We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)
In the play, many characters speak in a pretty formal and decorous language that suits their noble status in the royal courts of Sicily and Bohemia. These speech habits are notorious for making The Winter’s Tale one of Shakespeare’s more challenging plays to read – at first. Like all of Big Willie Shakespeare’s work, some of the language takes some getting used to, but once we get the hang of people running around saying things like “They were trained together in their childhoods, and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection which cannot choose but branch now” (Translation: They were raised together and became the best of friends but live far apart now), we quickly discover that The Winter’s Tale is basically a really cool fairy tale. The play does have some twists and turns that can be a tad confusing , but if you can follow the drama that goes down in your favorite soap opera (or fairy tale), then you should have no problem with the play’s plotline.