"The Winter's Tale" has been seen as a play celebrating natural renewal and regeneration. Others see it as a tale with a Christian message. Examine these interpretations and explain your own interpretation.
Tilly Riches March 2003 "The Winter's Tale" has been seen as a play celebrating natural renewal and regeneration. Others see it as a tale with a Christian message. Examine these interpretations and explain your own interpretation. "The Winter's Tale" contains themes and symbols throughout which illustrate various interpretations and messages behind the mask of the play. It is important to appreciate the socio-political context at the time of Shakespeare. There was much conflict between Christians. Protestants had been persecuted during the Catholic reign of Mary (Elizabeth's sister) and during Elizabeth's Protestant reign there was religious conflict between Britain and the Holy Roman Empire. The cycle of natural renewal and regeneration is demonstrated throughout "The Winter's Tale". Nature consists of an ordered structure; at the top of this structure is divinity, followed by the predators (monarchy) and at the bottom the prey (common man). Normally in nature individuals do not move from lower to higher levels and vice versa. Furthermore, anyone who tries to move vertically will be punished by the level they try to enter. Leontes violates this rule by overruling divinity when the oracle reveals the truth about Hermione that he does not agree with. The King has caused the death of Hermione and "the heavens themselves do strike at [his] injustice." This can
In what ways does the structure of "The Winter's Tale" serve its main preoccupations.
"The Winter's Tale has all the fascination of a daring experiment devised by the subtlest of artists in extending the domain of its art... A genuine diptych in construction" In what ways does the structure of "The Winter's Tale" serve its main preoccupations. The Winter's Tale belongs to a small group of plays which have been labelled 'the problem plays' as they do not fit comfortably into the classifications of either Comedy, History or Tragedy. Therefore it joins Pericles, Cymbeline, and The Tempest in the list of the genre-defying later plays that are usually referred to as "romances or tragicomedies" (Justin Eller 1972). The Winter's Tale falls into this category as it has a unique dramatic structure and the results of this, "daring experiment", has divided critical opinion throughout the decades: On one hand some critics declare that it has allowed a, "genius" (Thomas R. Price 1890) to fully explore the boundaries of tragedy and comedy. Whereas others state that due to the careful structure, "none of the characters show much philosophic depth" (Hartley Coleridge 1851). People have regarded The Winter's Tale as a "tragicomedy" because it is constructed like two facing pages from an open book with one half representing a tragedy and the other a comedy. The second half contrasts with and complements the first half to form a complete work of art. Thus The Winter's Tale