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The Winter's Tale: Essay Topics

1) Examine issues of jealousy in the play.

2) The Winter's Tale is classified as a romance but some have said that this classification is misleading. Do you feel the play should be classified as a tragedy and, if so, why?

3) Analyze the character of Hermione. How does Shakespeare's portrayal of Hermione reflect the conceptions of women in Tudor England?

4) Compare the play with its primary source, Robert Greene's Pandosto. What changes did Shakespeare make and why?

5) Analyze the importance of Time in The Winter's Tale.

6) Perdita says "Methinks I play as I have seen them do". Examine the references to life as artifice in The Winter's Tale.

7) Discuss the role of mythology in the play.

8) Examine Leontes' stages of evolution and discuss forgiveness, remorse, and love as it pertains to each major character in the drama.


More Resources

 Daily Life in Shakespeare's London
 Life in Stratford (structures and guilds)
 Life in Stratford (trades, laws, furniture, hygiene)
 Stratford School Days: What Did Shakespeare Read?

 Games in Shakespeare's England [A-L]
 Games in Shakespeare's England [M-Z]
 An Elizabethan Christmas
 Clothing in Elizabethan England

 Queen Elizabeth: Shakespeare's Patron
 King James I of England: Shakespeare's Patron
 The Earl of Southampton: Shakespeare's Patron
 Going to a Play in Elizabethan London

 Ben Jonson and the Decline of the Drama
 Publishing in Elizabethan England
 Shakespeare's Audience
 Religion in Shakespeare's England

 Alchemy and Astrology in Shakespeare's Day
 Entertainment in Elizabethan England
 London's First Public Playhouse
 Shakespeare Hits the Big Time

Research Your Topic

 The Winter's Tale: Plot Summary
 Introduction to Hermione
 Introduction to Paulina
 Introduction to Perdita

 Introduction to Leontes
 Introduction to Camillo
 Introduction to Autolycus
 How to Pronounce the Names in The Winter's Tale

 Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama
 The Romance Plays
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Metaphors and Similes

 What is Tragic Irony?
 Seneca's Tragedies and the Elizabethan Drama
 Characteristics of Elizabethan Drama

 Why Shakespeare is so Important
 Shakespeare's Language
 Shakespeare's Boss: The Master of Revels