William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale

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The Winter's Tale is classified as a comedy by the composers of the First Folio, a late romance, an allegory or a solstitial play by modern scholars, and “an old tale” by the characters themselves, who nevertheless insist we must accept it as true. While its title recalls those of A Midsummer Night's Dream or Twelfth Night, which have to do with seasonal rites rather than with actual events of the plot, it shares many features with the group of Shakespeare's last plays – storms at sea, families broken and mended, pagan gods, magic tunes – and definitely requires more than the average suspension of disbelief. The plot draws on an improbable story by Robert Greene,

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Citation: Goy-Blanquet, Dominique. "The Winter's Tale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 October 2005; last revised 10 September 2019. [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8178, accessed 26 February 2024.]

8178 The Winter's Tale 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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