1. I read this play back in my junior year of college as part of my Shakespeare course. The course was 15 weeks long and held on Saturday mornings at 9am. I had no option but to take it at this time. As a junior, even though I was quite studious, I also liked to have some fun… and Friday nights were a key period of fun… I may or may not (no confessions here) have not quite turned 21 yet… but did enjoy a few drinks (that’s all I will say) on Friday evenings. And then I had to go to class the next morning.
2. In this Shakespeare course, we read 1 play each week, wrote a paper on it, and then discussed it from 9 to 12. This was a really difficult course mostly due to the advanced nature of the analysis, the ruthless professor (whom I actually was quite close with) and the time it was held. Towards the end, The Winter’s Tale was one of those 15 plays… and by the grace of every single deity out there, this was not one I had to present or do a major paper on. We wrote 5 major papers, 5 small papers and 5 journal entries. I got lucky and this was a journal entry.
3. It did not capture my attention for all of the above reasons, but also because it was a little too “out there” for me. I love most of Shakespeare’s work, but this was not one I could engage with. It was written towards the end of his career and probably one of his better masterpieces, given everything he learned over his prolific career. But the play had so many themes, sub-plots and topics, I was just a bit overwhelmed.
4. If this is the first review you’re reading from me, you should have stopped earlier and read some different ones before this one. I rarely give a 5 out, only when my life has been changed as a result of reading it. I only give a 1 out if it should never have been published. So in the scale of 2 to 4… 4 is a strong recommendation to read it and a 3 is your generally good book. I haven’t given many 2’s out either, but this one is on the border of 2 or a 3, but my memory yells at me to give it a 2. I suppose I should re-read it… but why? There are definitely other great works of literature before I’d go back to read something I didn’t much care for.
That said… I’ve given you very little in this review other than to re-count a tale of my college experience and a time when I couldn’t connect with a book. I’m sorry Mr. Shakespeare. I’m sorry book review readers. This one just fell too flat for me to even put more energy into describing all the reasons why.
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