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» » The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare, Signet Classic)
The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare, Signet Classic)


Frank Kermode,William Shakespeare


The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare, Signet Classic)



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Signet Classics (May 1, 1963)





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The Winter's Tale (Shakespeare, Signet Classic) by Frank Kermode,William Shakespeare

Book by Shakespeare, William
I feel like this Shakespearian play doesn't get enough face time. The first time I ever saw its title, I was in High School, looking at the names of all the plays Shakespeare ever wrote. We all know about his overly famous plays, like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, but what about The Winter's Tale? I was intrigued by the title at the time, and the fact that I'd never heard of it before (and with a brother heavily into Shakespeare and acting, that was unusual). I've never seen this title on a playbill, though I'm sure it must be preformed somewhere, and my curiosity about this play was peaked--though in High School I didn't do anything about it. Recently, I had to teach Hamlet, and as I was looking on Amazon for a copy for my Kindle, I once again came across The Winter's Tale. As it was a free copy, I scooped it up and read it right away, just to assuage my curiosity.

It was interesting. In my opinion, it's not really like Shakespeare's other plays. It's a bit intense in the beginning, and though there are comedic scenes, I wouldn't necessarily classify this as a comedy, nor a tragedy either. A romance, I suppose, but for me, it's a bit strange. Through a little research I found that Shakespeare actually modeled his play off Pandosto, by Robert Greene (which I've never read), but I, personally, see much of Oedipus Rex in this play. I know Shakespeare dealt a lot with Greek mythology in his works, and The Winter's Tale seems to really follow that of Oedipus Rex. I'm not going to give the entire synopsis away, or any spoilers, but, like Oedipus, King Leontes is a haughty man, paranoid. He refuses to listen to oracles and attempts to do away with his newborn child by sending her away to die. While there are many differences between The Winter's Tale and Oedipus, there are also many similarities and I found this rather interesting, especially because I really enjoy Oedipus. That being said, I'd like to see this play preformed someday, I always tend to like plays more when they're preformed, so I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for this one.

(Please note: I use the star rating system of Goodreads, which is different from that of Amazon. My overall rating is that I liked it.)
Rolling Flipper
I used this for a reading this weekend. The content is accurate but the format is poor.
Three things made this difficult to work with.
1.) The text is justified on both sides. This makes the page look odd and breaks the flow of words in bad places. It also inflates the "size" of the book by wasting a lot of screen space, requiring a bunch of extra page turns.
2.) The text has a capitol letter at the beginning of each line of text. This breaks the flow as your mind struggles to resolve where a line ends and a new one begins. Hard to do while reading in-character.
3.) The format includes stage action comments without delimiting them from the dialog. Unless you are reading way ahead of the words you are speaking you will invariably "exeunt" in the middle of a line.
I applaud the low price and ready availability of this e-text but I wish people would do the work formatting these products to actually be e-text documents.
I saw the play at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and decided it was time to read the words to see what I didn't quite hear. It's a fun play and different from Shakespeare's other works.
The Modern Library/RSC Shakespeare series IS a very valuable addition. Inexpensive edition of the plays, helpful scene-by-scene summaries of the action, etc. But by far the most valuable part of the half dozen volumes I have studied is the "In Performance" sections. This is what sets this series apart from most others. Here, are performance histories detailing a variety of historic interpretations, interviews with contemporary directors and actors, revealing how they interpreted the text, and turned it into a stage drama.
"The Winter's Tale" marks Shakespeare's entrance into a prescient world of High Romantic ideals, where the stagnancy of a courtly world dominated by emotionally afflicted males is subverted by a vernal world of female power. Leontes, King of Sicilia, is one of Shakespeare's most convincingly self-tortured characters, while Hermione is an icon of long-suffering patience, incarnated in the famous statue of the play's conclusion. Her daugher Perdita is the subject of potentially blasphemous adoration, not only for her suitor Florizel but for the entire world; she glows in the suggested light of pagan mystery cult, the Eleusinian mysteries of mothers and daughters in secret collusion with nature and against the withering forces of jealousy and death. In this light, the critical essay included with this edition is sadly tone-deaf to Shakespeare's potent poetic raptures in this play, hearkening instead to a dogmatic, albeit at least clearly presented, rehearsal of Renaissance attitudes about "patriarchy" which deadens Hermione and her faithful advocate Paulina into mere totems for self-exculpating males of the sort whom Shakespear embodies, with withering criticism, in Leontes and the judgmental Polixenes.
We are abruptly thrown into a man's paranoia which has very tragic consequences, The play then takes us through slow paced central scenes
and then to an surprise and abrupt ending. I think that I liked the play because of the magical ending. I read this downloaded version while I listened to an audioplay performed by Shakespearean actors.
It's just bare bones but it's free and helpful for those of us who spend a ton of money on school books. I loved it on kindle since we can change font, spacing, margins and even my 8 year old can follow along then. We do Shakespeare as a family subject.
I went to see The Winter's Tale on stage. Before going I was curious about what this drama was about. It was quite good in the first part but maybe I am living in modern time and the last part wasn't satisfying when Princess was found.

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