Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale

This course explores Shakespeare’s great tragi-comedy, The Winter’s Tale. As a jealous Leontes wreaks havoc before being shocked back into reality we experience tragedy as intense as anything Shakespeare wrote. A daring device, an interlude spoken by Time, moves the story on sixteen years, and we experience a happier world in the country. We feel the tension build as a complex plot moves all the characters back to Sicilia. There Leontes has been persuaded to make a pilgrimage to a statue of his wife and at the climax of his visit we thrill to a restoration as joyous as anything in literature.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face

SUGGESTED READING

  • Wood, Michael, In Search of Shakespeare, BBC London 2003
  • Bate Jonathan, The Genius of Shakespeare, Picador, London 2008

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Act 1: A childhood paradise is shattered by Leontes jealousy. Polixenes flees.
  • Act 2: Leontes accuses Hermione of adultery. He imprisons her and commands that the baby be burnt.
  • Act 2: Paulina and Antigonus defy Leontes. He invokes the Oracle of Delphos.
  • Act 3: The Oracle declares that Hermione is innocent and condemns Leontes as a jealous tyrant. The baby is cast away but is found by shepherds.
  • Act 4: Sixteen years later, the baby now a young woman, Perdita, is the pride of her community.
  • Act 4: Perdita has fallen in love with Florizel, Polixenes’ son. Polixenes is furious that his son is to marry a shepherdess.
  • Act 4 (cont’d): Polixenes tries to separate the lovers but Camillo arranges their escape to Sicily. Act 5, they all arrive at Leontes’ court and Polixenes wants the lovers arrested.
  • Act 5 (cont’d): Perdita’s identity is confirmed and Paulina takes Leontes and all to see Hermione’s ‘statue’. The reconciliation is most moving.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Know how the details of Shakespeare’s language – words, images, rhythms, allusions etc - all work to create the play’s impact.
  2. Know how everything depends on the director’s and the actors’ knowing, at every line, what the character is doing.
$239 Limited / $215

<p>This course explores Shakespeare’s great tragi-comedy, The Winter’s Tale. As a jealous Leontes wreaks havoc before being shocked back into reality we experience tragedy as intense as anything

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31 Jan

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