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The Winter's Tale is one of Shakespeare's most varied, theatrically self-conscious, and emotionally wide-ranging plays.
This 2007 edition provides a newly-edited text, a comprehensive introduction that takes into account current critical thinking, and a detailed commentary on the play's language designed to make it easily accessible to contemporary readers.
Much of the play's copiousness inheres in its generic intermingling of tragedy, comedy, romance, pastoral, and the history play.
In addition to dates and sources, the introduction attends to iterative patterns, the nature and cause of Leontes' jealousy, the staging and meaning of the bear episode, and the thematic and structural implications of the figure of Time.
Special attention is paid to the ending and its tempered happiness. Performance history is integrated throughout the introduction and commentary. Textual analysis, four appendices - including the theatrical practice of doubling, and a select chronology of performance history - and a reading list complete the edition.
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.
One of Shakespeare's more problematic romances gets a picture-book treatment in Coville's new rendition. Jealous King Leontes suspects without reason that his wife and best friend are having an affair. Despite the protests of his most trusted advisors, he sentences his wife to death and demands that her newborn babe be cast into the wilderness. There the child is discovered by a kindly shepherd and raised as a peasant until the day a wayfaring prince falls in love with her. In true Shakespearean fashion, all works out well in the end with true identities discovered, families reunited and multiple weddings to boot. For a tale of suspected infidelity and death, author and artist do as much as they can for what boils down to a fairly adult story. Some judicious editing of the text would not have been out of place - the character of Autolycus weighs down an otherwise succinct narrative. Yet the cleverly selected direct quotes and theatrical watercolor and gouache images make this a more than adequate companion to the original play. (Picture book/play. 7-10) (Kirkus Reviews)
Introduction: Genre and title
Iterative patterns: sameness with a difference
LeontesG++ jealousy in criticism and performance
G++Exit pursued by a bearG++
The figure of Time
Act 5 and the triumphs of Time
The WinterG++s TaleG++s sense of an ending: happiness qualified
Note on the text
List of characters
Simon FormanG++s notes on The WinterG++s Tale
Some doubling possibilities in The WinterG++s Tale
The WinterG++s Tale in performance: selected issues, scenes, and passages
The WinterG++s Tale: a select performance chronology
ISBN: 9780521293730 ISBN-10: 0521293731 Series: The New Cambridge Shakespeare Audience:
Number Of Pages: 308 Published: 30th April 2007 Publisher: Cambridge University Press Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.498
Edition Number: 2