The Winter's Tale
The Winter's Tale is like the Disney movie of Shakespeare plays—if you ignore all the murders, mauling, and love-children, anyway.
|Author||Shakespeare - William Shakespeare|
It begs the question, is this a happy romance or a dark tragedy? Or did Shakespeare visit
the apothecary one too many times? Let’s study the facts.
Kings and queen in a beautiful castle. Romance!
King tries to murder best friend and throws very pregnant wife in the slammer because
he thinks they’re having a love-child. Tragedy. A princess is born. Romance!
Actually… Have you tried to give birth in a jail cell without an epidural? We’re going
to say tragedy. Then, like a bad episode of Maury, the king
won’t admit he’s the baby daddy.
And he orders the baby killed.
And the kid prince dies from despair over his mom.
But maybe it’s a good thing he dies? Who wants a fragile mama’s boy to be the future
Wait, no, not a good thing. Because the queen drops dead. Bummer.
Although… the King’s servant doesn’t actually kill the baby, and instead leaves
her in a faraway land to be raised by a funny shepherd and his clown-friend. Romance!
Then the servant gets eaten by a bear.
That’s right. Eaten. On stage. By a live bear. Tragedy.
Time passes, and the pretty princess wins the sheep sheering festival’s beauty pageant.
She’s even dating a prince. Sigh.
Not so fast. The prince’s father… the king’s ex-best friend, awkward… thinks
she’s just a country bumpkin and threatens to disfigure her. Double awkward.
Back at the castle, the king is sad. It’s hard murdering your entire family.
But sure enough, the Shepherd and clown-man come with documents and prove the princess
is alive. And so, a perfectly logical ending occurs
The king is reunited with his best bud.
The princess and prince are allowed to get married.
Everyone visits a statue of the dead queen.
Which then comes alive!
And they all live happily ever after. Perhaps we’ll never know Shakespeare’s
But at least it all ends up right as rain in the end.
Except for the king’s servant and son, who are still very much dead.