The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale

4.0 21
by William Shakespeare
     
 

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Running an emotional gamut from betrayal and broken hearts to romance and reconciliation, this 1611 tragicomedy begins with the tyrannical actions of a jealous king, whose baseless suspicions destroy his own family. The play's second half takes place 16 years later, when the lively plot takes a lighthearted turn, abounding in song and dance.

Overview

Running an emotional gamut from betrayal and broken hearts to romance and reconciliation, this 1611 tragicomedy begins with the tyrannical actions of a jealous king, whose baseless suspicions destroy his own family. The play's second half takes place 16 years later, when the lively plot takes a lighthearted turn, abounding in song and dance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Prospero-like in their artistry, Spirin's dazzling watercolors dominate this retelling of Shakespeare's final play. Shaped like altar panels fit for a Renaissance church or palace, the illustrations are romantic, regal and magical, richly interpreting the play's themes of betrayal, revenge and all-conquering love. A wispy ethereal air pervades island scenes, beautifully suggesting the atmosphere of enchantment, while Antonio and the King of Naples are pictured in brocade and velvet, the stench of power upon them. The other characters, too, are both otherworldly and very much flesh and blood. Especially well rendered is the monster Caliban, shown here as part man, part beast, part mythical creature, a sense of evil glee lighting his features. While this prose adaptation does not, of course, retain the full magic of the Bard's work, Beneduce nonetheless provides an intelligent, gripping story. Several passages from Shakespeare introduced at key points give a taste of the original. Symbols and small pictures integrated into the text further enhance the lavish presentation. All ages. (Mar.)
VOYA - Patti Sylvester Spencer
This edition of the play, part of the Oxford School Shakespeare series, presents Shakespeare's unabridged tragicomedy with thorough supplementary notes (parallel to script), vocabulary, and brief scene synopses. Scattered pen/ink sketches illustrate a few scenes. Large pages might make this paperback more reader-friendly than some. A lengthy commentary introducing the play could be useful to students already familiar with it. Following the text of the play, the editor discusses source material, demonstrating Shakespeare's use of borrowed ideas. Several paragraphs of criticism inform students how readers/viewers from Samuel Johnson (1765) to Harold C. Goddard (1951) viewed the play. Supplementary material includes a nineteenth century actress sharing ideas about working on the play with famed actor Macready, and a musical score for songs in the play. Ten pages titled Classwork and Examinations offer a variety of traditional teaching methods for instructors (discussion, character study, essays, etc.) The volume closes with a frank biographical sketch of Shakespeare, which admits to the dearth of facts and the necessary speculation. Illus. Source Notes. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Shakespeare comes to picture books beautifully when Ann Beneduce retells the complex story of The Tempest in a way that's understandable to children. She's helped by the very classic looking illustrations of Gennady Spirin, who captures the magic of spirits and beasts.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The Tempest becomes accessible to children through the retelling skill of Bruce Coville and the glowing illustrations of Sanderson. This fairy tale of magic and love, demons and spirits, has much to attract today's children and to introduce them to the works of the master.
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
With clever interplay of original dialogue and adapted text, the bard's immortal work is here transformed into a charming "once-upon-a-time" tale. Purists might bemoan the deletion of lines, verses, even whole scenes, but no one can complain that the spirit of the play has not been faithfully transmitted. It has been transmitted with grace and elegance, moreover, and with an acute perception of a young reader's capabilities. Spirin's illustrations are exquisite.
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
Shipwrecks, storms at sea, magicians, sorcerers, revenge, love, all these and more take place in Shakespeare's play The Tempest which John Escott brings to life for young people. Readers will come to understand Propsero, the former Duke of Milan, who was cast out to sea with his young daughter by Antonio. They arrived at a mysterious island filled with magical characters. Prospero causes a tempest that shipwrecks Antonio and his young son Ferdinand on the same island that has been Prospero and daughter Miranda's home. Through the pages of this beautiful adaptation, we watch Prospero take revenge, but in the end come to terms with his magic and those who had done him wrong. Accompanied with exquisite pictures of the different characters and the conflicts, The Tempest comes alive in this version.
VOYA - Roxy Ekstrom
This book is designed to help students read a play written in an English used 350 years ago-but the reader has to get to page 105 among the appendices to learn the book's intended audience. This information would have been more helpful as an introduction, instead of the offbeat one found here. The book's strength lies in its page-by-page notes that explain difficult words, archaic phrases, and historical/literary allusions. An occasional note may be more than the student wants, but most are useful without being dumbed-down. The notes are also helpfully placed alongside the text rather than at the bottom of the page, a feature students might like if they are not put off by the resultant double-column appearance.

While the notes should be useful to students at any grade level, the appended material, both introductory and supplementary, is marked by style and vocabulary making it suitable only for the most advanced and/or interested high school or undergraduate students. Among the appendices is a modern poem with no explanation for its inclusion, and no identification of the poet whose poem does allude to the The Tempest. One gets the impression of a mountain of unrelated three-by-five cards being used, with no effort to bridge them together. A long appendix titled "Classwork and Examination," which is a collection of very good ideas for teachers, is strangely addressed to students.

The cover features a fine color photograph of Sweden's Max Von Sydow as Prospero and Rudi Davies as Miranda, but one wonders if a picture of the young lovers or Caliban the monster would have been more appealing to young readers. Students could make good use of this book by ignoring most of the scholarly appendages and using the excellent footnotes to elucidate one of the most enjoyable of Shakespeare's profound works. Illus. Charts. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix.

VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q, For the YA rea

School Library Journal
Gr 3 Up-The play is set circa 1610. Spirin expands Beneduce's retelling by basing his lavish watercolors on Italian Renaissance paintings. Though the pages are carefully framed, highly ornate, and formally structured, there is plenty of leeway for individual imagination to make itself felt. Ariel is a decorative Renaissance angel. Caliban is given piscine characteristics and expressions that evoke the longing as much as the brutishness in his character. And the human characters have the complexity of portraits. Spirin's illustrations highlight the fantastic while Ruth Sanderson's landscapes for Bruce Coville's version of the play (Doubleday, 1994) focus on the effects of nature. Both are valid. Coville's simpler retelling is easier to follow. Beneduce, too, eliminates some of the subplots in order to avoid confusion, but her fuller text manages to incorporate most of the romantic, magical, and political elements. Within the main text, she modernizes the dialogue. This works smoothly for the most part, though it's hard to see how "What a wonderful new world I am about to enter..." is an improvement over "O brave new world..." A few passages of original text are set off in isolated frames, for a sense of the poetry. Readers and potential playgoers will need to see the play performed to experience the comic scenes of Caliban and his cronies. Brief appendixes explain the context in which the play was written and the reteller's choices and give an overview of Shakespeare's life. This is a case in which an acceptably graceful text plays a supporting role to the illustrations. They are worth the price of admission.-Sally Margolis, formerly at Deerfield Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Beneduce (A Weekend With Winslow Homer, 1993, etc.) retells Shakespeare's play in a text that reads like a fairy tale.

This version emphasizes first the love story between Miranda and Ferdinand and then Prospero's forgiveness of his enemies. Some of the subplots have been eliminated (for reasons given in a careful author's note), but several songs and speeches have been folded into the story, much of which is told in dialogue. Spirin's beautiful watercolors are done in the manner of Renaissance paintings, even to the effect of old varnish affecting the tones. The scenes echo the narrative's focus on the enchantments of the play, presenting beasts worthy of Hieronymous Bosch and gentle spirits to rival the angels of Botticelli. This gorgeous picture book will be particularly useful in high school collections, for the story in the art sets the stage for this Renaissance drama. Recommended for public and school libraries: Not only does it work as a read-alone story but will prepare theatergoers for a performance of the full play.

From the Publisher

The Winter’s Tale is a kind of miracle play in which performance is of the essence of an exciting, imaginative, and inspiring plot embodied in visionary dialogue. In creating a course in Shakespeare Performed (2010) with his students staging an abridged Winter’s Tale, Mark Muggli was in an ideal position to edit the play especially from the perspective of performance, as he did. This is a twenty-first-century edition up-to-date enough to include the Guthrie Theater’s production of 2011 together with the solid twentieth-century scholarship of G. L. Kittredge. Kittredge’s introduction, lightly edited, begins with Muggli’s “Spoiler Alert” about plot revelations the reader might prefer to experience first in the play itself. His notes are designed less to interpret than “to facilitate the reader’s interpretation,” and the reader and the play are primary in this presentation of The Winter’s Tale.
—Tom Clayton, Regents Profesor, University of Minnesota

"No edition gives such equal balance to the play as it appears on the page, the stage, and the screen as does the New Kittredge Shakespeare. This edition of Winter’s Tale begins that balancing act with Mark Muggli’s engaging introduction and continues it throughout the text of the play per se with considerations of stage choices, abundant photographs, and a concluding essay on the play as performance. The result is that the reader is always in touch with the work in its multiple dimensions as a literary, theatrical, and cultural phenomenon. That approach makes Muggli's edition an excellent introduction to the play and equally an ally of the teacher and the director."
— Ralph Alan Cohen, Mary Baldwin College

Even as the New Kittredge Shakespeare series glances back to George Lyman Kittredge's student editions of the plays, it is very much of our current moment: the slim editions are targeted largely at high school and first-year college students who are more versed in visual than in print culture. Not only are the texts of the plays accompanied by photographs or stills from various stage and cinema performances: the editorial contributions are performance-oriented, offering surveys of contemporary film interpretations, essays on the plays as performance pieces, and an annotated filmography. Traditional editorial issues (competing versions of the text, cruxes, editorial emendation history) are for the most part excluded; the editions focus instead on clarifying the text with an eye to performing it. There is no disputing the pedagogic usefulness of the New Kittredge Shakespeare's performance-oriented approach. At times, however, it can run the risk of treating textual issues as impediments, rather than partners, to issues of performance. This is particularly the case with a textually vexed play such as Pericles: Prince of Tyre. In the introduction to the latter, Jeffrey Kahan notes the frequent unintelligibility of the play as originally published: "the chances of a reconstructed text matching what Shakespeare actually wrote are about 'nil'" (p. xiii) But his solution — to use a "traditional text" rather than one corrected as are the Oxford and Norton Pericles — obscures how this "traditional text," including its act and scene division, is itself a palimpsest produced through three centuries of editorial intervention. Nevertheless, the series does a service to its target audience with its emphasis on performance and dramaturgy. Kahan's own essay about his experiences as dramaturge for a college production of Pericles is very good indeed, particularly on the play's inability to purge the trace of incestuous desire that Pericles first encounters in Antioch. Other plays' cinematic histories: Annalisa Castaldo's edition of Henry V contrasts Laurence Oliver's and Branagh's film productions; Samuel Crowl's and James Wells's edition of (respectively) I and 2 Henry IV concentrate on Welle's Chimes at Midnight and Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho; Patricia Lennox's edition of As You Like It offers an overview of four Hollywood and British film adaptations; and John R. Ford's edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream provides a spirited survey of the play's rich film history.

The differences between, and comparative merits of, various editorial series are suggested by the three editions of The Taming of the Shrew published this year. Laury Magnus's New Kittredge Shakespeare edition is, like the other New Kittredge volumes, a workable text for high school and first year college students interested in film and theater. The introduction elaborates on one theme — Elizabethan constructions of gender — and offers a very broad performance history, focusing on Sam Taylor's and Zeffirelli's film versions as well as adaptations such as Kiss Me Kate and Ten Things I Hate About You (accompanied by a still of ten hearthtrobs Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles). The volume is determined to eradicate any confusion that a first time reader of the play might experience: the dramatis personae page explains that "Bianca Minola" is "younger daughter to Baptista, wooed by Lucentio-in-disguise (as Cambio) and then wife to him, also wooed by the elderly Gremio and Hortensio-in-disguise (as Licio)" (p.1). Other editorial notes, based on Kittredge's own, are confined mostly to explaining individual words and phrases: additional footnotes discuss interpretive choices made by film and stage productions. Throughout, the editorial emphasis is on the play less as text than as performance piece, culminating in fifteen largely performance-oriented "study questions" on topics such as disguise, misogyny, and violence.

Studies in English Literature, Tudor and Stuart Drama, Volume 51, Spring 2011, Number 2, pages 497-499.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486113074
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
01/15/2013
Series:
Dover Thrift Editions
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
File size:
723 KB
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

HERMIONE, Queen of Sicilia
MAMILLIUS, their son
PERDITA, their daughter

POLIXENES, King of BOHEMIA
FLORIZELL, his son

CAMILLO, a courtier, friend to Leontes and then to Polixenes ANTIGONUS, a Sicilian courtier
PAULINA, his wife and lady-in-waiting to Hermione
CLEOMENES courtier in Sicilia
DION courtier in Sicilia
EMILIA, a lady-in-waiting to Hermione

SHEPHERD, foster father to Perdita
SHEPHERD'S SON
AUTOLYCUS, former servant to Florizell, now a rogue ARCHIDAMUS, a Bohemian courtier

TIME, as Chorus

TWO LADIES attending on Hermione
LORDS, SERVANTS, and GENTLEMEN attending on Leontes
An OFFICER of the court
A MARINER
A JAILER
MOPSA shepherdess in Bohemia
DORCAS shepherdess in Bohemia

SERVANT to the Shepherd

SHEPHERDS and SHEPHERDESSES
Twelve COUNTRYMEN disguised as satyrs


ACT 1

Scene 1
Enter Camillo and Archidamus.

ARCHIDAMUS If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia.

CAMILLO I think this coming summer the King of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.

ARCHIDAMUS Wherein our entertainment shall shame us; we will be justified in our loves. For indeed --

CAMILLO Beseech you --

ARCHIDAMUS Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge. We cannot with such magnificence -- in so rare -- I know not what to say. We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.

CAMILLO You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.

ARCHIDAMUS Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.

CAMILLO Sicilia cannot show himself over kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods, and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities and royal necessities made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, hath been royally attorneyed with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies, that they have seemed to be together though absent, shook hands as over a vast, and embraced as it were from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves.

ARCHIDAMUS I think there is not in the world either malice or matter to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young Prince Mamillius. It is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into my note.

CAMILLO I very well agree with you in the hopes of him. It is a gallant child -- one that indeed physics the subject, makes old hearts fresh. They that went on crutches ere he was born desire yet their life to see him a man.

ARCHIDAMUS Would they else be content to die?

CAMILLO Yes, if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.

ARCHIDAMUS If the King had no son, they would desire to five on crutches till he had one.

They exit.

Meet the Author

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.
Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare’s Romances and of essays on Shakespeare’s plays and their editing.
Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King’s University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare’s plays.

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The Winter's Tale (Pelican Shakespeare Series) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It begins as the perfect ending to a fairy tale. Everyone is in love, and is living happily ever after. And then jealousy begins its evil spin. The king accuses his wife of being unfaithful and orders her to be put to death. Will the king realize the error of his ways before it is too late?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This play is absolutely brilliant! Despite its facade of being set in a fantasy land, the emotions behind the characters are very realistic. There is even humor embeded in all the drama and anguish, most especially played out in the 'begger' Autolycus. A must read for all who love drama.
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linnylou More than 1 year ago
Well, I wanted a version that would help me see how close the movie was to the actual story. I ordered the wrong version, as this was the actual stage written version, in the old English. very hard to understand, and confusing as after each set of conversations there were stage directions etc. not exactly what I wanted
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I've heard this work described as The Bard's most mature work and I've had the privilege of seeing it performed lived. I'm not sure I would describe it as "mature," however there is an element of something that makes "The Winter's Tale" stand out from his other works. It's not a straight comedy, nor is it exactly a tragedy. There are issues Shakespeare touches on, very real, very human, very relatable issues that bring this work to a different level. The wordcraft is just as masterful as anything Shakespeare has done, perhaps a little more, which makes it a little hard to follow completely; at times I found myself re-reading passages in order to understand all of it. I would recommend this play only if you have read a great deal of Shakespeare.
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Nancy Kerber More than 1 year ago
I actullaly haven't read it but I'm in the play so I know that it is an amazing story