The Winter’s Tale as Tudor Family Allegory.
The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s more obscure and baffling plays. The title alone needs justification: the plot spans sixteen years and settles mostly in springtime. But more peculiar: if Shakespeare is so “universal,” what possible relevance to anyone is the story of a disowned girl whose brother dies young and whose insanely jealous father is responsible for the trial and death of her mother?
This class will feature more Renaissance paintings – this time Tudor family portraits – to demonstrate that Shakespeare’s primary target-audience was his own Queen, for whom he provided therapeutic comfort regarding her own extremely dysfunctional family background: Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Edward VI (and where is Bloody Mary?). Through The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare even provides Elizabeth with a glimpse of a lost beloved family member through a kind of dramatic resurrection, and a touching reconciliation.
Join Professor Michael Delahoyde on Thursday, November 20 at 9pm EST/6pm PST for this final class in the School of Night series.
Class prep is optional – read the play ahead of time if you like:
The Winter’s Tale staged reading – full audio
No time for the whole play? Watch this video synopsis from Salt ‘n’ Pepper Shakespeare, a detailed 20-minute summary (enacted with kitchen gadgets!).