The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale

by William Shakespeare


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The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

HERMIONE. To tell he longs to see his son, were strong: But let him say so then, and let him go; But let him swear so, and he shall not stay, We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.-- Yet of your royal presence[To POLIXENES.] I'll adventure The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia You take my lord, I'll give him my commission To let him there a month behind the gest Prefix'd for's parting:--yet, good deed, Leontes, I love thee not a jar of the clock behind What lady she her lord.--You'll stay?

POLIXENES. No, madam.

HERMIONE. Nay, but you will?

POLIXENES. I may not, verily.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781727057782
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/06/2018
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

Susan Snyder was formerly a scholar in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library and a former Professor of English at Swarthmore College.

Deborah T. Curren-Aquino is Reader at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC.

Date of Death:


Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Read an Excerpt

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

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
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
MOPSA shepherdess in Bohemia
DORCAS shepherdess in Bohemia

SERVANT to the Shepherd

Twelve COUNTRYMEN disguised as satyrs


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.

Table of Contents

Plan of the Workix
The Winter's Tale: Text, Textual Notes, and Commentary1
Irregular, Doubtful, and Emended Accidentals in F1567
Unadopted Conjectures569
The Text
The 1623 Version of The Winter's Tale586
The F1 Copy590
Crane's Copy598
Crane's Reliability600
The Printer's Reliability601
Subsequent Early Editions601
The Date of Composition
External Evidence602
Internal Evidence609
Primary Source
Shakespeare's Use of Pandosto656
General Indebtedness656
Other Sources
Robert Greene's Cony-Catching Pamphlets672
The Second and last Part of Conny-catching673
The Thirde and last Part of Conny-catching673
Francis Sabie's Poems674
The Fissher-mans Tale674
Flora's Fortune675
Possible Sources, Analogues, and Imitations680
General Assessments702
Themes and Significance728
Time's Mutability728
Nature (and Art)730
Repentance and Renewal738
Drame a Clef742
Language and Style753
Shepherd and Clown797
The Winter's Tale on the Stage
Staging the Bear and Time816
Screen and Sound Recordings818
The Text on the Stage819
The Versions819
Reshaping the Text826
Substitutions, Transpositions, and Additions840
Music in the Winter's Tale851


Appropriate for all levels of Shakespeare courses, including courses on Shakespeare, or drama, or Renaissance drama as taught in departments of English, courses in Shakespeare or drama taught in departments of theater, Great Books programs where individual volumes might be used, or high school level courses.

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The Winter's Tale (Pelican Shakespeare Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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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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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