Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Exit, pursued by a bear

How strange that Shakespeare could write so many plays full of memorable quotations, and then write The Winter's Tale in which only one stage direction makes a mark. I really can't find much to like in this play, which seems to split into two parts: the first a tragedy of a jealous, irrational man and his destructive behavior, the second a piece of buffonery where the reconciliation doesn't really feel satisfying. And in between, sixteen years go by, announced by a character named "Time" -- and the play's location also jumps between Sicily and Bohemia. While Shakespeare was no great lover of unities of time or place, I don't know what to make of this.

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