"Leontes: I have too much believed mine own suspicion" (3.2.149). He is racked by repentance, yet, it is too late, Hermione is dead, says Paulina, and "winter in storm perpetual, could not move the gods to look that way thou wert" (210-12). But is it so? Is there no deep magic, beneath winter's snow, that can make so wrong a right...
Shakespeare's great romance, The Winter's Tale, is being offered now (Jan. 28 - Mar. 8) at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D. C. Not many of us are in a position to attend, but through the ample resources at the Folger web site we can participate. "Actors Daniel Stewart (Leontes) and Connan Morrissey (Hermione) give a behind-the-scenes take on the play, which explores the themes of love, forgiveness, and second chances".
Teacher's will find especially useful the downloadable pdf study guide; others will enjoy the wealth of links: music samples from the play; a synopsis of the play decorated with a magnificent facsimile of a drawing inspired by Owen Jones and Henry Warren from a mid-19th century production;the director's notes (Blake Robison); a reminiscence of the 1856 Charles Kean production, in fact, Ellen Terry's first stage role as Mamillius to Kean's Leontes; an introductory adaptation from the New Folger Library Shakespeare edition, edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine; and more.
For those interested in a serious study of the play, I can recommend the following editions:
The Arden Shakespeare:The Winter's Tale third series, edited by John Pitcher.
The Oxford Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale, edited by Stephen Orgel--among the new series being issued by Oxford in 2008.
The Bedford Shakespeare Series: The Winter's Tale,edited by Mario DiGangi.
The New Cambridge Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale, edited by Susan Snyder and Deborah T. Curren-Aquino.
Congratulations to the Folger on another splendid web presentation and for mounting what promises to be another great production. We will link to reviews here when as they are published.