English 366C, Section F01: Shakespeare's Comedies and Romances   >   The Winter's Tale   >   Notes (1) To the previous page To the next page

The Winter's Tale: Notes (1)

The contrast with The Tempest

The Tempest The Winter's Tale Measure for Measure
Tightly controlled
  • The neoclassical unities
  • Prospero's magic keeps a tight rein on all action
  • Caliban and Ariel invite a schematic and allegorical interpretation
Informal
  • A range of time, place, and mood
  • Paulina stage-manages, but her magic (?) is not absolute
  • Autolycus as an uncontrolled anarchic force (c.f. Caliban)
Semi-formal?
  • Place limited to Vienna; days pass
  • The Duke manipulates and stage-manages, but does not see or anticipate all
  • Lucio, Pompey, and the under-class are anarchic, semi-Morality figures

"Romantic" comedy

Tales of Winter

Leontes supported and challenged

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This page last updated on March 25, 2009. © Michael Best, 2002.