“I first read this in college, but over the last couple of days, I re-read it in order to work on my grad school application paper. I don't remember having as much fun reading it then as I did this time! Even though there are a lot of dark parts, the last part of this play is so cheery and...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Pretty awful, read for school.”see full review » see other reviews »
“I first read this in college, but over the last couple of days, I re-read it in order to work on my grad school application paper. I don't remember having as much fun reading it then as I did this time! Even though there are a lot of dark parts, the last part of this play is so cheery and fanciful that it was easy to get through in a short amount of time. Then again, I was reading it side by side with Hamlet, so that might have made it look more cheery-fun-time than it actually was. Either way, I really enjoy The Winter's Tale.”Allison wrote this review Monday, April 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Shakespeare penultimate play written on his own (he did his final two with John Fletcher) - it's a "collection" throwing in themes from all of his great plays - mixing in his insight of bad kings, jealousy and revenge mixed with the twisted fate of next generation falling in love against the parents wishes and resolving all. High death count - mainly through the fates. A sort of "best of Shakespeare" album released when still alive but seen better days. As Mamillus tells us "a sad tale's best for winter". The blind jealousy of King Leontes of Scilia results in the death of his son, his wife (hermione) and he casts his daughter (suspected to be the bastard child of his former best friend the king of Bohemia) . Sending his most loyal subject to "get rid of the girl" - his subject is chased by a bear and shipwrecked away. Babe is saved by a passing shepherd and grows up in co-incidently in Bohema. Meanwhile back at Leontes court, the oracle from Dephi called in and reveals the errors of his jealousy and gives a prophesy that will take 16 years to resolve in the young love of a shepherd's daughter and the prince of Bohema eloping against the wishes of the king, fleeing to Scilia! Unlike some of his better tragedies - this one ends on a crowdpleasing happy note - sending the audience home with a "all's well end's well" kick in their step. Bloody unlikely. Love this line: "Prosperity's the very bond of love" ”MR MATTHEW D CARROLL wrote this review Thursday, March 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really enjoyed this book - it was kind of a combo of Othello and As You Like It (imo) - mistaken identify and jealousy that seems to come out of nowhere!!”Kendall Carr wrote this review Thursday, January 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Nuttall, p. 344. Moreover in The Winter's Tale, written just after Cymbeline, Perdita speaks of Florizel's desire to "breed" by her with a frankness immediately reminiscent of Desdemona. Nuttall, p. 345. Arcadia Revisited: The Winter's Tale Nuttall, p. 345. We need in short to be ready to think, " Are the feelings Leontes has for Polixenes partly homosexual?" Nuttall, p. 348. A certain judge in a British court once commended a reoffending child molester for beginning t abuse little girls instead of little boys. Nuttall, p. 349. Shakespeare is thinking again about pastoral, a genre he had explored in As You Like It. He is now joining the doctrine of pastoral to his comedic theme of same-sex bonding replaced by heterosexual marriage. Nuttall, p. 350. IN the play taken as a whole the myth of lover followed by loss and restoration prevails. Nuttall, p. 352. We associate communism with Karl Marx and revolution. But communism - that is, the imagined abolition of private property - before the mid-seventeenth century, in More's Utopia, say, or in monastic institutions ore in poetry about the lost Golden Age, isn't revolutionary at all. Auden was right to see Arcadian as the reverse of political. Nuttall, p. 356. Polixenes, conversely, as might as have been predicted from his maleness and gravity, speaks with the voice of Stoicism. We noticed earlier that, for Stoics, to follow nature and to follow reason are one and the same, whereas for pastoral poets they are opposed. The amazing climax of The Winter's Tale in the statue scene depicts a triumph of nature over art. Nuttall, p. 360. Is the ending of The Winter's Tale in any sense religious? . . . Is not the play concerned to teach us that redemption can come form a warm, living body?”Jim Robles wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“King Polixenes of Bohemia is visiting King Leontes of Sicilia. When Polixenes expresses his desire to return to his native land, as he has been gone for some time now, Leontes asks his wife, Hermione, to convince Polixenes to stay. She does so and, in so doing, Leontes is convinced that his pregnant wife Hermione is having an affair with the Bohemian king. Not only that, but the baby in her belly must not be his! Polixenes luckily escapes Leontes’ plot to poison him just in time, but Hermione is locked up in prison where she gives birth to a daughter which in Leontes’ anger, he casts out of the kingdom hoping that it dies stranded on the road. Though his court tells him he has been foolish in his assertion, Leontes waits for the oracle to tell him the truth of his wife’s faithfulness...and faithful she was! And for his mistrust in her, the oracle states that until his true born daughter is returned to the kingdom, he will never have an heir. Hermione, heartbroken, dies in prison, and Leontes mourns the rest of his days. Meanwhile, a lowly shepherd finds a small baby by the Bohemian coast...
Originally categorized as one of Shakespeare’s comedies, later scholars have moved this into what is now known as the Bard’s late romances, and I think that label is the one that better applies to this play. There really weren’t any particularly funny bits but rather, since it wasn’t a play where everyone died, I think most people usually like to call those Shakespeare’s comedies. In fact, the ending for this play was one of the happier ones that I have ever read. I also think the term “romance” applies much more so because it really is much more about Leontes’ love lost and then afterwards Polixenes’ son falling in love.
However, as interesting as the plot seemed and as refreshing as it was for me to once read a Shakespearean play I actually knew nothing about going into it, this is not one of my favorites of his. Leontes’ suspicions of his wife seemed to come out of nowhere and I got confused thinking I missed some big clue, but he was just being stupid, which I understand was needed as the catalyst for the whole play, but it still annoyed me. And then the anger in the second part of the play over a prince marrying someone of such low birth...I know it was appropriate for the time, but again...annoying. It wasn’t a bad play by any means. Shakespeare is still Shakespeare. But just not his best in my opinion. ”
“Pretty awful, read for school.”Ashleigh Nichole. wrote this review Tuesday, October 23, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As far as Shakespeare goes this one was a pretty fast read. Even though it starts out tragic it ends very lightheartedly. And my last comment- a bear? WTF??”Lxpetrik wrote this review Wednesday, April 25, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I think I like The Winter's Tale the most out of any of the other Shakespeare plays I have read so far because of the fact that it is considered to be one of Shakespeare's "late plays" or "tragicomedies." The tragedies and the comedies, for a while now, have always been my favourite of the Shakespeare plays, but now that I have read one that sort of combines the themes and plot elements of the both the tragedies and the comedies, I have fallen in love.
When I first heard of the "tragicomedy" I was concerned because there is absolutely nothing comic about tragedies and absolutely nothing tragic about comedies. And yet, The Winter's Tale combines both genres together and absolutely makes it work. I mean, this play is just absolutely great and completely underrated. The characters are also another thing about this play that I just loved. Leontes is a complete asshole (pardon my language) and a complete hypocrite. Completely out of nowhere he accuses his wife of adultery and claims that his two children, Mamillus and Perdita, are the offspring of his good friend, Polixenes, when in fact they really are his. I also love the comedy in this play because not only is it apparent in the dialogue, but also in the minimal stage directions Shakespeare included. My favourite of course being in Act III when the character of Antigonus must "exit pursued by bear." According to my professor, production companies would sometimes perform this play with an ACTUAL BEAR (on a leash of course). How great is that?!
I highly recommend this play because of the fact it is so different and so underrated. It is one of those plays that I think should be taught in schools and should be talked about, even more than Hamlet or Macbeth or even Romeo & Juliet. I would also like to point out that today, April 23, 2012 is Shakespeare's 448th birthday. So, Happy Birthday Shakespeare and I believe it is quite fitting that I wrote a review about your play on your birthday. ”
“Lo que comienza con una terrible trama de celos injustificados pasa después a ser una comedia pastoril y termina con felices escenas de solemnes arrepentimientos. Brillante en todo momento, el autor aprovecha los vericuetos narrativos para ensartar sus personajes eternos, como en todas sus mejores obras. Y a través de esos personajes (Leontes, Perdita, Florisel, Paulina, Autólico) va entregando sus reflexiones acerca del comportamiento humano, del arte y la naturaleza, del amor y del arrepentimiento.
La prosperidad es el verdadero lazo de los enamorados.”
“Not much to say about this play. It is the perfect tragicomedy. It begins with two acts marked by Leonte's madness and fierce jealousy and ends with another two of restorative comedy :). A suitable lecture for one rainy afternoon.”Miruna. wrote this review Sunday, March 11, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No