Study Guide

Winter The Home

By William Shakespeare

The Home

If one part of "Winter" is the desolate, winter landscape, the other part is some nice little cottage where various homely activities are taking place (cue the holiday music). "Greasy Joan" is stirring a pot of something (probably stew or soup), Dick is carrying logs (for a fire in the hall), and there are crab apples in a bowl of ale. Despite a seriously cold and rough winter outside, the "home" is doing just fine. In fact, it's the rough weather outside that makes the home-y inside so much more inviting.

Questions About The Home

  1. What kind of home do the people mentioned in this home live in anyway? A cabin? A cottage? Is there any way to tell?
  2. Who is "greasy Joan" anyway? What does she contribute to the theme of the home?
  3. Do you think all these people are part of the same family or household? Why or why not? What does that suggest about the home and family?
  4. Why is there no mention of the owl's or the birds' home anyway? Do they not have homes?

Chew on This

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. The warm, inviting, homely atmosphere subtly described in this poem wouldn't be the same if it weren't snowing and freezing outside.

Home is where the heart beats. The home is the primary symbol of life in this poem of death.