The Winter's Tale

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Autolycus by Robert Leslie, 1836

The Winter's Tale is a play by William Shakespeare, published in the First Folio, in 1623. It was grouped among the comedies,[1] but some modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances. Some critics, among them W. W. Lawrence,[2] consider it to be one of Shakespeare's "problem plays", because the first three acts are filled with intense psychological drama, while the last two acts are comedic and supply a happy ending.

Despite this, the play has been popular, and there are different adaptations of it to the stage. The first was done by David Garrick in his adaptation called Florizel and Perdita; first performed in 1754 and published in 1756. The Winter's Tale was revived again in the 19th century, when the third "pastoral" act was widely popular). In the second half of the 20th century The Winter's Tale was often performed as a whole. The text was usually taken from the First Folio.

References[change | change source]

  1. WT comes last, following Twelfth Night which uncharacteristically ends with a blank recto page, suggesting to Arden editor J.H.P. Pafford there was some hesitation as to where WT belonged at the time of printing the Folio. (J.H.P. Pafford, ed. The Winter's Tale (Arden Shakespeare) 3rd ed. 1933:xv–xvii.)
  2. Lawrence, 9–13,