The Winter's Tale
39 Installments—Entirely free
Members' Rating: from 2 Ratings
A dramatic beginning gives way to a happy ending in this play, which includes perhaps the funniest stage direction ever written: "Exit, pursued by a bear."
When a jealous king imprisons his pregnant wife for infidelity, the consequences of his rash actions are greater than he could have imagined. Even after Queen Hermione gives birth to a baby girl named Perdita, King Leontes will not relent, ordering the baby to be taken away and left to die. Soon thereafter Leontes discovers that Hermione was never unfaithful to him, but by then it is too late. By a stroke of luck, the baby Perdita is rescued and raised by adoptive parents. But the grief-stricken king can only mourn the loss of his daughter and his wife, who appears to have died in prison. Meanwhile, Perdita lives the quiet life of a peasant, unaware that she is, in fact, a princess. A string of chance occurrences brings her back into contact with the king. As surprises are revealed and disguises are shed, Shakespeare’s comedy works towards a resolution, and provokes deep questions about identity, fidelity, and forgiveness.
Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
Shepherdesses, Guards, &c.
SCENE: Sometimes in Sicilia; sometimes in Bohemia.
SCENE I. Sicilia. An Antechamber in LEONTES' Palace.
[Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS]
pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
praise us, as ...
Ratings for 'The Winter's Tale' by Shakespeare, William