Literature Study GuidesThe Winters Tale

The Winter's Tale | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Course Hero. "The Winter's Tale Study Guide." Course Hero. 26 Sep. 2017. Web. 5 July 2020. <>.

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Course Hero. (2017, September 26). The Winter's Tale Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 5, 2020, from

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(Course Hero, 2017)



Course Hero. "The Winter's Tale Study Guide." September 26, 2017. Accessed July 5, 2020.


Course Hero, "The Winter's Tale Study Guide," September 26, 2017, accessed July 5, 2020,


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William Shakespeare

Years Written

c. 1609–11




Drama, Romance

About the Title

The title The Winter's Tale may stem from a play by English dramatist George Peele titled The Old Wives' Tale (1590). In this play a narrator relates "a merry winter's tale" about a daughter who has disappeared. In contrast Shakespeare's character Mamillius cautions that "a sad tale's best for winter." In keeping with this pronouncement, Mamillius's mother is consequently tried for a series of crimes, and Mamillius's death comes moments after his mother is vindicated by the oracle.


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