Though not a book, and better viewed on the stage than in print, I have made it a personal goal to read through all of Shakespeare’s plays. I debated writing a review because Shakespeare is a classic and there are eloquent, analytical essays written by all sorts of academics worldwide yearly that know far more about his work than I could ever imagine. But I shall write one anyway, so the common reader can relate to his work in some form.
All I knew about The Winter’s Tale was that the name “Hermione” was in it. Everything I read was fresh and new and unheard of. In all of my course work, professors focused on Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Romeo & Juliet. One of my high school teachers dissected Twelfth Night, which was extremely refreshing. But not one professor or teacher discussed Midsummer, Othello, Winter’s Tale, Richard. Apart from his sonnets, I decided to dive into his work on my own.
Without giving too much away, I must say that I did like the play and would rather see it on stage. Reading it reminded me of Othello meets Oedipus the King by Sophocles. There’s tragedy, there’s disguise, there’s a man felt falsely wronged by a woman, and there’s a fulfilled prophecy with offspring. What was different about this play from Shakespeare’s earlier works was its maturity. It was truly a tale, and it incorporated fairy lore and Greek mythology. In some ways, this was a tragic-comedy as well(so tragic, it was nearly comedic – but laughing could make one feel guilty for doing so). Winter’s Tale was entertaining, humorous, and serious at the same time.
I liked it, but I stick by what I said before: it would be better on stage. Macbeth still holds a special place in my heart for my (so far) favorite Shakespeare play (and I still have yet to see it. R&J and Midsummer are close seconds because I’ve seen it performed).
Rating: ★★★ of 5
GoodReads: 3.64 of 5