A sad tale's best for winter: I have one / Of sprites and goblins. - William Shakespeare, A Winter's Tale
|Perdita, of The Winter's Tale, by the pre-Raphelite Frederick Sandys|
Some fun facts about The Winter's Tale:
The Winter's Tale shares elements of both comedy and tragedy, which has led to its classification as a "problem play" or "romance".
The first half of the play takes place in Sicily. The second half of the play takes place 16 years later in Bohemia.
Hermione of the Harry Potter books was named after Hermione of The Winter's Tale. Hermione is the Queen of Sicily, and unfairly accused by her husband of cheating on him with his best friend. (Dorcas is another name J.K. Rowling probably took from The Winter's Tale.)
The play contains Shakespeare's most famous stage direction: "Exit, pursued by a bear." Wikipedia says "it is not known whether Shakespeare used a real bear from the London bear-pits, or an actor in bear costume". Exit, Pursued by a Bear is also the name of a band, a play, a theatre, and a video hoax.