1. Tragicomedy/Romance. The Winter’s Tale is unlike any of the the plays we have read this quarter. It is neither a pure tragedy or comedy but contains elements of both. This genre is referred to as tragicomedy or, more commonly, romance. Pay attention to how these two parts of the play function, or don’t function, together. Notice the different choices in the tragic versus the comedic section, and how the transition is made from one to the other (the chorus Time). How does this blending of genre effect the mood and meaning of the play?The design of The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare, which consists of both tragic and comedic twists, aids in the play's grasp on reality. The life of King Leontes of Sicilia is played out during the course of sixteen years. It depicts the trials and pleasures of life. The beauty of motherly love and long term friendship that is caught up with the sting of betrayal and the tragic loss of lovedones. The depth of human emotions are explored as Leontes battles with his demons and those around him. Shedding light also on the fact that people make mistakes and as we grow through life, we may be able to correct the wrongs we have done. This simply makes the fictional play, that was written so many years ago, relatable to modern life experiences. The comedic aspect lightens the tragic mood that is littered in the play as well, which displays the small and simple joys of life that spring up unexpectedly. However, just as the comedic twists lighten the mood, the tragic darkens it as well, which clearly shows taht life is filled with ups and down, turns and twist but one just has to take it one day at a time.
2. Tragedy. The first section of the play is the tragic story of Leontes’s misbegotten jealousy and its disastrous consequences among his family and friends. Notice that this part of the play is set in winter, and pay special attention to the metaphors of snakes, spiders, and darkness that Leontes uses. What else contributes to making this part of the play a tragedy?The play indeed proports a tragic beginning. What makes it especially tragic is the background story that is given in Act One Scene One, as Camillo and Archidamus converse. The two statesmen discuss the extent of the childhood friendship of the two Kings, Polixenes and Leontes that has grown into adulthood as well. The friendship is displayed as being a strong, unbreakable bond, and ignites a sense of faith within the audience, however this simple foreshadows what is to come of this "unbreakable bond". Moreover, teh symbol of the story that is told by Leontes and Hermione's son, Mamilius was said to have been a frightful story that was said to have fit the winter mood. This "story" signalled the tragedy that was to come and the harsh reality that it would indeed be a "frightful" winter.
3. Can you think of characters from other fairy tales that are similar in personality to Leontes? Hermione? Mamillius? And Perdita? If you were the author of The Winter’s Tale, how would you write the ending?Leontes is reminiscent of the Queen Grimilda from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Both chracters sought after someone who was innocent and just as the Queen sought advice from her magic mirror, Leontes sought his from the Oracle. Both characters appeared to have insecurites that drove them to persecute others. Hermoine is reminiscent of the Fairy Godmother of Cinderella. She appears to be very celestial and wise, just as the Fairy Godmother. Her innocence proprts this aura divine presence that propells the audienece to believe that she is not guilty. Mamillius is reminiscent of Little Boy Blue. Boy Blue, just as Mamillius is the apple of his mother's eye. Both boys are very playful and loving, especially with their mothers. The close maternal bond really brings the two fictional characters together. Both boys a threatened with the loss of their mothers, however unlike Boy Blue, Mamillius does not get the chance to help his mother as he dies before her. Perdita is reminiscent of the Princess Rapunzel, who is most well known for her extremely long locks, however that has nothing to do with here comparison to Perdita. Just as Rapunzel was trapped in a tower from the real world, Perdita was seperated from her reality oof being a princess, instead she lived as a peasent, shepherd girl. Howver she is "rescued" by a handsome prince that she falls for and hopes to marry. Through meeting her prince,Perdita discovers her true identity just as Rapunzel did after escaping the tower due to the help of a heroic prince as well.
If I were the author of The Winter's Tale, the ending of the play would be altered. Instead of teh life of Hermione being restored, I would instead have her remain a statue as a constant reminder of Leontes' tragic mistake. Perdita would not have married the prince, mainly because as the friendship of Leontes and Polixenes is mended, herself and Florizel would be considered family do to the bond. However, the relationship of Paulina and Leontes would becoem romantic and the two would be wed. The former life of Leontes would be left in the past, except for Hermione's statue.