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Shakespeare's Lyric StageMyth, Music, and Poetry in the Last Plays$
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Seth Lerer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226582405

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226582689.001.0001

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Poetry and Performance in The Winter’s Tale

Poetry and Performance in The Winter’s Tale

(p.69) 3 Poetry and Performance in The Winter’s Tale
Shakespeare's Lyric Stage

Seth Lerer

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores The Winter’s Tale as the last of the Comedies in the First Folio, juxtaposing it with The Tempest as the first of those Comedies. It looks at how Winter’s Tale transforms the old language of pastoral into new comic languages of bawdry. It shows the figure of Autolycus as both a mythic heir to Ovid and a social participant in the new practices of ballad selling and performing in Jacobean England. It looks closely, too, at James I’s own ideals of kingship as performance, seeking to understand Leontes in Winter’s Tale as a challenged and challenging refraction of James’s ideals.

Keywords:   The Winter's Tale, James I, Leontes, Autolycus, Dowland, ballad, knacks, pastoral

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