The Winter’s Tale
By: William Shakespeare
Format/Source: eBook; my copy
The jealous King of Sicily becomes convinced that his wife is carrying the child of his best friend. Imprisoned and put on trial, the Queen collapses when the King refuses to accept the divine confirmation of her innocence. The child is abandoned to die on the coast of Bohemia. But when she is found and raised by a shepherd, it seems redemption may be possible.
And here I am, at the last title that I’ve listed to read for this year’s William Shakespeare Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in. The title seemed fitting as we enter the winter season soon enough 😉
Once again, I find myself unsure what to thik of this play. On the one hand, it’s easier to follow compared to some of the recent comedies I’ve read, but on the other I’m not sure I would even group this under comedy (despite of the happy ending–from the bit I researched, apparently scholars are also wondering about this play a bit)? I had to look up why this play was titled the way it was too, as there’s no sign of winter anywhere in this story 😛
It’s a pretty bizarre tale, with royalty and peasants, shepherds and clowns roaming about. Once again we have a tale here where the husband thinks his wie is cheating on him, which results in a whole lot of drama and confusion. There are some familiar tropes here that Shakespeare has used in other plays, but I didn’t really think much of the characters here which is why some of the themes weren’t as powerful as they could’ve been in my experience reading the story. The setting in which this story is placed in seems fantastical as well; there are places like Bohemia and Sicily, but with the names and the practices, I couldn’t quite place what time period this story was set in. It was interesting though.
Overall, this play was okay. Felt rather bizarre, at times frustrating with the jealous king in question being, well, a bit of a stubborn arse. It wasn’t boring or horrid, but it wasn’t as captivating as some of his other plays. Nonetheless I’m glad to have gotten around to reading it.