Plays Directory : The Winter's Tale

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    William Shakespeare
  • Overview
    One of Shakespeare's last, great plays, "The Winter's Tale" presents a story whose political themes would have had obvious force for its contemporaneous audience. Most early-17th Century listeners and readers knew that their last married king (prior to the incumbent James I), Henry VIII, had disposed of two of his wives - Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard - on grounds of sexual infidelity; the evidence for the initial accusations was an opaque mixture of paranoid wish-fulfillment and personal pragmatism, legitimated by being voiced in the forum of the Reformist Tudor politics of the 1530s and '40s. Thus we have Leontes, king of Sicilia, deluded with frightening rapidity into believing his pregnant wife Hermione and boyhood fr iend Polixenes, king of Bohemia, are conducting a secret and treasonous affair, the imaginary nature of which is set coolly before the audience. Leontes' suspicions feed upon the misread acts of his disbelieving lords; he breaks in upon Hermione and the young prince, Mamillius - aptly, as Mamillius is unfolding a sad, winter's tale for his mother - and orders the queen's arrest and incarceration. Despite Hermione's magisterial self-defence and renunciation at the trial, and the plainer impartiality of the Oracle, Leontes is unrelenting until the reports of the offstage deaths of both Hermione and Mamillius shock him into a realization of his folly; the plot's first resolution is accompanied by the closing of the Sicilian action and the image of the banished, newborn child rescued from the shores of Bohemia.

    Act IV opens with personified Time bringing us forward to Spring and Polixenes' son Florizel meeting Perdita, wh ose identity as Leontes' daughter is guessed at by his estranged lord, Camillo. In flight from the disapproving king, the lovers travel to Sicilia where a reunion between father and daughter segues into a final rapprochment before the statue of Hermione, orchestrated by the steadfast Paulina. The play's second and final resolution places forgiveness and hard-won wisdom alongside a frank acknowlegement of the inevitability of loss.
  • Play
    Download the text for free from Project Gutenberg here: The Winter's Tale

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11 known characters

20 known roles


Connected mandy members:

Eleanor de Rohan
2019, Paulina
OSO Barnes
Ellie Gill
Ellie Gill
Actor
2019, Paulina
Brighton Fringe, The Hat, The Warren
Gabriela Cerda Martinez
2019, Paulina
Shakespeare's Globe
Victoria Valcheva
2019, Paulina
Becki Zaritsky
2019, Paulina
Francesca Burgoyne
2019, Paulina
Barbara Ferrara-Bardile
2018, Paulina
Shakespeare's Globe
Barbara Ferrara-Bardile
2018, Paulina
Shakespeare's Globe
Amber King
Amber King
Actor
2018, Paulina
Emma Wilkinson Wright
2018, Paulina
John Lyons Theatre
Lydia Gard
Lydia Gard
Actor
2018, Paulina
Georgia McKnight
2018, Paulina
GSMD
Carol Norris
Carol Norris
Actor
2017, Paulina
Promenade performance in grounds of Traquair House circa 1100AD Scottish Borders
Maggie Turner
2017, Paulina
The Courtyard and tour
Shea Donovan
Shea Donovan
Actor
2017, Paulina
Archway Studio Theatre
Charlotte Peach
2017, Paulina
Zoe Lambrakis
2016, Paulina
Robinson College
Monika Herberova
2016, Paulina
The Workhouse Theatre
Kim Featherstone
2016, Paulina
GSA
Emma Piech
Emma Piech
Actor
2016, Paulina
ADC Theatre

Alternative Names

A Winter's Tale, a winters tale, the winters tale, Winters Tale