Edited, introduced and annotated by Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English, University of Sussex
The Winter's Tale, one of Shakespeare's later romantic comedies, offers a striking and challenging mixture of tragic and violent events, lyrical love-speeches, farcical comedy, pastoral song and dance, and, eventually, dramatic revelations and reunions. Thematically, there is a rich orchestration of the contrasts between age and youth, corruption and innocence, decline and regeneration. Both Leontes' murderous jealousy and Perdita's love-relationship with Florizel are eloquently intense. In the theatre, "The Winter's Tale" often proves to be diversely entertaining and deeply moving.