The Winter's Tale is Shakespeare's most perfectly realized tragi-comedy, as notable for its tragic intensity as for its comic grace and, for the richness and complexity of its poetry. It concludes, with the most daring and moving reconciliation scene in all of Shakespeare's plays. Though the title may suggest an escapist fantasy, recent criticism has seen in the play a profoundly realist psychology and a powerful commentary on the violence implicit in family relationships and deep, long-lasting friendships. Stephen Orgel's edition considers the play in relation to Renaissance conceptions of both dramatic genre and the family, traces the changing critical and theatrical attitudes towards it, and places its psychological and dramatic conflicts within the Jacobean cultural and political context.
William Shakespeare (15641616) was a poet, playwright, and actor who is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers in the history of the English language. Often referred to as the Bard of Avon, Shakespeare's vast body of work includes comedic, tragic, and historical plays; poems; and 154 sonnets. His dramatic works have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
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