The Winter’s Tale: A Paradox of a Play


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“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” – Anne Bradstreet

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.” – Ernst Fischer

Shakespeare wrote some really bizarre stuff in his lifetime, but The Winter’s Tale out-weirds most of the roster.


Did Shakespeare even have a map?

Like, for one thing, it’s somehow a bleak and snowy winter in the normally sunny-central, Mediterranean island of Sicily. Meanwhile nestled far to the north between Germany and Poland is the unexpected land of sunshine, flowers, and summery-silliness…Bohemia.


Which apparently has a coastline no one knew about…because all maps clearly indicate how unfortunately landlocked the country is.

As if manipulated geography and climate zones weren’t enough, a statue comes to life, a man is eaten by a bear, and a people rise from the dead.

What in the world is going on here?

In the vernacular, a “winter’s tale” is an absurd story of enchantment and faraway places told to fight off cold and dark days of snow and ice. A fairy tale. So in calling his play by such a title, Shakespeare was signaling to all of us that this was a story not to be taken seriously in details; but the greater themes of the story aim at something larger, and act to stave off the darkness and cold. Continue reading


Then the Magic Happened…

Old books

“The free exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.”
– John Steinbeck

I hated reading for years.

I couldn’t stand it. I avoided books like the soul-sucking demons they were. If I had to read for homework, it took nothing short of threats of early bedtime and losing ice cream privileges to force me to the task. Even when I settled down to read, I would scowl and mope through the whole affair, and slam the book down in frustration when I finished.

I thought I would never like reading. I assumed I was just made that way.

That is until one day I was being babysat by a family friend. Continue reading