The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare
The Winter's Tale is one of Shakepeare's last plays and combines dark tragedy, light-hearted comedy and a magical ending.
Leontes, King of Sicilia becomes convinced that his queen Hermione is being unfaithful with his childhood friend Polixenes, King of Bohemia, and he is consumed with jealousy. In fear for his life Polixenes flees, Hermione is imprisoned, and her new-born daughter is abandoned on a deserted shore. By the end of the first half of the play Leontes' family has been destroyed by his mad passion.
Sixteen years pass and Perdita, the lost daughter, has been raised by shepherds as their own, and is courted by Florizel, the disguised son of Polixenes. The fun and flirtation at the sheep-shearing feast is disrupted when Polixenes discovers his son and threatens to separate the young couple who then flee to Leontes for help......
Shakespeare's play has all the unlikely contrivances and coincidences of a fairy tale – one unfortunate even gets eaten by a bear - but the characters are true to life and as the story unfolds it cannot fail to captivate the audience. Download Here