The Winter's Tale Appendix
- Irregular, Doubtful, and Emended Accidentals in F1
- Unadopted Conjectures
- The Text
- The 1623 Version of The Winter’s Tale
- The F1 Copy
- Crane’s Copy
- Crane’s Reliability
- The Printer’s Reliability
- Subsequent Early Editions
- The Date of Composition
- External Evidence
- Internal Evidence
- Primary Source
- Other Sources
- Possible Sources, Analogues, and Imitations
- General Assessments
- Themes and Significance
- Drame à Clef
- The Winter’s Tale on the Stage
- The Text on the Stage
- Music in The Winter’s Tale
- Songs and Dances Introduced in The Winter’s Tale
Irregular, Doubtful, and Emended Accidentals in F1
For an explanation of the contents of this list, see here. In the notes, the lemma is the reading of this edition’s text. For emendations, the lemma is followed by the siglum of the edition from which the emendation is drawn and then by the rejected F1 reading and the sigla of the 17th-c. editions reading differently from the lemma. If no source is given for the emendation, the reading adopted is to be found in none of the folios. Doubtful and irregular readings are merely listed. ( | ) indicates that the reading is found in a full line; (?) indicates dubiety or an alternative to the reading adopted, although not a correct one in the judgment of the editor. In notes pertaining to variants in punctuation, a swung dash ( ~ ) shows that a word in the lemma is replaced in substantially the same form, and an inferior caret (‸) calls attention to a lack of punctuation.
A joke); langue dam [stop his tongue] Becket (1815, 1:355–6); live-damn Walker (1860, 3:99); Lent-damn Nicholson in cam1 (3:430; withdrawn 1867, p. 435); hand-damn Browne in cam2; land-ram Nicholson (1867, p. 435, and withdrawn); lambaste Keightley (1867, pp. 200–1); land-drum Bulloch (1878, pp. 120–1); lam— damn [
lambackbroken off] Platt (1906); loud-damn Burton (1970, p. 228)
in order to tease) pen2
Why to me?mlet; And beckon to me
Why?Bulloch (1878, pp. 123–4); And bellow
Why to me?Kinnear (1883, pp. 188–9); And begin
why?to me. Spence (1890); Demanding, Why to me? Orger (1890, p. 65); And begging
Whyto me. A. Walker in ard2
That Sh. was not the author of the entirety of WT was casually suggested by Pope (ed. 1725, 1:xx):
I make no doubt to declare that those wretched plays [such as Pericles, added to the canon in F3], cannot be admitted as his. And I should conjecture of some of the others, (particularly Love’s Labour Lost, The Winter’s Tale, and Titus Andronicus) that only some characters, single scenes, or perhaps a few particular passages, were of his hand. Robertson (1930, pp. 133–4), a more dedicated disintegrator, also finds WT unworthy. Time’s prologue (lines 1579–1611)
has quite an un-Shakespearean aspect. The (For the rhyme, see n. 1606–7.)
I mentioned , further, implies a previous prologue, which has been dropped. Perhaps the clearest ground for suspecting a non-Shakespearean hand is the rhyming of
daughter, a thing unexampled in Shakespeare’s serious work, but emphatically of a kind of perverse rhyming much affected by Chapman.
The chief æsthetic difficulty of the play, Leontes’s sudden jealousy,
like  Shakespeare. . . . It would be a more satisfying solution if . . . the unnaturally rapid action had been imposed by a previous constructor, of whom we seem to find plain traces.
The critical problems Robertson discovers have concerned others (see n. 181–92 for Leontes’s jealousy, for example), but no one else attributes the apparent disparities to a previous constructor. WT is generally regarded as authentically Sh.’s. Some critics who accept this opinion believe, nevertheless, that the play as it stands is a revision of a version in which Hermione really dies. See, for example, Craig (Revisions, 1931, pp. 347–8) and, for a more recent expression of the idea, Mueller (1971).
The 1623 Version of The Winter’s Tale
The printing of the First Folio (1623), in which WT was originally published, has been analyzed by Willoughby (1932), by Shroeder (1956), and, most thoroughly and expertly, by Hinman (1963), on whose work much of this account is based. On 8 November 1623, close to the publication date of Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, sixteen of the plays were entered in the Stationers’ Register to Edward Blount and Isaac Jaggard (Arber, 1875–94, 4:69). Blount, a publisher and bookseller, was the leading member of the syndicate sponsoring publication of the First Folio. Isaac Jaggard, a printer, publisher, and bookseller, had replaced his late father, William, as a principal member of the syndicate. Wilson (1925) believes that because of William’s blindness and failing health in 1622–3, Isaac was the chief overseer of the printing of the collection. The entry covers
soe manie of the said Copies as are not formerly entred to other men and lists, according to their order in the Folio, eight comedies, two histories, and six tragedies.
WT is the last of the comedies named in the entry; it is also the last play in the first section of F1 (the Comedies), where it occupies sigs. Aa1–Cc2 (pages 277–303); gathering Cc is a single sheet. The play is preceded by AWW (sigs. V1v–Y1v) and TN (Y2–Z6). The text of WT, which concludes in the top third of Cc2, is followed by
The Names of the Actors. Sixteen characters are identified by name, and
Other Lords, and Gentlemen, and Seruants. Shepheards, and Shephearddesses covers the rest (3370–88). Among the Comedies, the first, second, and fourth plays—Tmp., TGV, and MM—are equipped with similar dramatis personae, and all were probably typeset from manuscripts in the hand of the scribe Ralph Crane, of whom more below. He may have compiled these lists, although Eccles (ed. MM, 1980, p. 3, n. 2940) points out that in the case of a work by Webster, Crane
is more likely to have copied than to have originated the list printed in [The Duchess of Malfi] in 1623 [from another Crane transcript], since it names . . . actors . . . who had died in 1614, and . . . in 1619. Wiv., the third play in the Comedies section and probably another Crane copy, lacks space for such a list.
The Names of the Actors in WT is the satyr tailpiece, in which a small defect acquired during the course of the F1 printing shows that the last page of Jn. (b5v) was printed before the last page of TN (Z6) and the last page of WT (Hinman, 1:179–80). Sig. Cc2v is blank. Since the play following WT in the Folio is Jn., the first of the history plays, the blank may seem to have been left so that the Histories section of the book could begin on a recto. This nicety, however, was actually compelled by the fact that Jn. and part of R2, which follows Jn., had been printed before the typesetting of WT began (Hinman, 1:37). It is more extraordinary that the first page of WT is preceded by blank Z6v. Hunter (1845, 1:417) suggests that there was
some danger of losing this play. In the folio collection there is a blank page following Twelfth Night, as if there the collection of comedies ended, and the histories were about to begin: and my copy of the first folio actually wants the Winter’s Tale. Pollard (1909, p. 135) thought there had been simply a miscalculation of the space required for TN, but the anomaly seems to arise from another and more complicated cause.
As Hinman (2:521) explains—repeating to some extent the conclusions of Willoughby (1932, pp. 34–43)—when AWW was nearly completed, Compositor B, who had been working alone on that play, skipped to the Histories. With Compositor C he set all of Jn., which begins at sig. a1, and then two pages of R2, b6–6v. B at that point returned to the Comedies. By himself he finished AWW and TN, which concluded on Z6. He then set two more pages of R2 and, after an interruption for work on another book, with Compositor A set ten more pages of R2 and proceeded to WT. The blank Z6v is thus a legacy of the excursions from the Comedies into the Histories and back again, sheet Z having been printed before copy for WT was available. (Shroeder, p. 42, notices another minor consequence: In the first sheet of Jn. to be printed, sig. a3 is designated Aa3, in the style of the signature alphabet to be used later for WT.) Hinman continues:
For some reason the copy for Twelfth Night was not readily available when quire X was finished (though it evidently became so soon afterward), and . . . the copy for The Winter’s Tale was in like manner unavailable when quire Z was finished (though on this occasion the want was made good even more quickly than before). . . . No difficulty over copyright can be supposed—only some short-lived trouble over the copy itself. He thus puts to rest several earlier speculations, such as that of White (ed. 1857, 5:275):
It is possible that in gathering the plays together Heminge and Condell forgot this one [WT] until the folio was nearly in type; but it is more probable that, finding it no more tragical [i.e., less so] in its course or its catastrophe than Cymbeline, they first intended to class it with the Tragedies [as Cym. is], and after it was ready to be struck off restored it to its proper place among the Comedies. Equally groundless is the explanation of Furness (ed. 1898, p. vii) that
inasmuch as the sheets were printed off . . . at different presses [he seems to be referring, incorrectly, to printing houses], it was undoubtedly easier to leave a whole page blank at the end of a signature than to transfer a single page of The Winter’s Tale to the press that was striking off Twelfth Night.
According to Hinman (2:496–503), the formes of quires Aa through Cc were set by Compositors A and B in the following sequence:
the A of the early comedies and the A of WT and the histories [are] the same compositor. . . . The compositor of WT prefersHoward-Hill also finds (p. 85) that, with respect to chuse (two instances in WT) / choose (0), deare (2) / deere (2), deuil(l) (2) / diuell (0), graunt (1) / grant (0), grief(ue) (8) / greef (ue) (0), Heauen (11) / heauen (0), howre (0) / houre (1), indeed (10) / indeede (0), mistresse (7) / mistris (2), scarce (1) / scarse (0), suddaine (1) / sodaine (0), yeere (7) / yeare (0), and young (8) / yong (0), Compositor A of R2 and WT preferred the first form and Compositor A of the earlier Comedies the second. As the figures indicate, though, not all of these preferences are expressed powerfully or even at all in WT alone.indeed,mistresse, [and in elisions]x’th, andx’lewhereas in A’s pages of Tmp., TGV, Wiv., MM and MV the corresponding preferences areindeede,mistris,x’th/xth, andx’ll.
Howard-Hill explains his differentiation between the two Compositors A (pp. 86–7):
Whereas the comedies compositor would quite often space a fair number of internal commas, occasionally more than were left without spaces, the practice of the  histories A is much more pronounced and never, in the plays . . . examined, is there a greater number of spaced commas to unspaced commas. . . . Also, before WT, the compositor A [of the Comedies] was indifferent to whether he set the first word of the speech together with the speech-prefix in a catchword, or the speech-prefix alone, but in the histories his invariable practice was to supply the first word of the dialogue with which the next page started. In WT, catchwords consisting of speech prefix and a word of dialogue are found on Aa3, Aa5v, Bb5v, and Cc1, all attributed to A, whereas abbreviated speech prefixes only are found on Aa4, Bb1v, Bb2, and Bb2v, all attributed to B. The Compositor A of WT thus appears to be the Compositor A of the Histories, not the Compositor A of the earlier Comedies. The latter was designated F by Howard-Hill (1973, p. 87). But Werstine (1984, p. 92), noticing that in the text assigned to Compositor F, portions of prose speeches that
mark a change of address or of topic may be given a new line, a characteristic of Compositor D, wonders whether
any distinction can be made between the two workmen. (The subject awaits further investigation.) Moreover, the validity of spacing as a compositorial discriminant has been questioned by McKenzie (1984). He found that its apparent testimony in early books printed at the Cambridge University Press does not accord with the work records kept.
The signatures of WT translate into line numbers as follows:
- Compositor A: (Aa3v) 623–754, (Aa3) 497–622, (Aa2v) 365–496, (Aa5) 1005–1136, (Aa2) 233–364, (Aa5v) 1137–1255, (Aa1v) 101–232, (Aa6) 1256–1387, (Aa1) 1–100, (Bb4v–Cc1v) 2411–3319
- Compositor B: (Aa4–4v) 755–1004, (Aa6v) 1388–1513, (Bb3v–4) 2147–410, (Bb3) 2016–146, (Bb2v) 1884–2015, (Bb2) 1759–1883, (Bb1v) 1635–1758, (Bb1) 1514–1634, (Cc2) 3320–69.
And they translate into sequentially ordered signatures and line numbers as follows:
- Compositor A: (Aa1–3v) 1–754, (Aa5–6) 1005–1387, (Bb4v–Cc1v) 2411–3319
- Compositor B: (Aa4–4v) 755–1004, (Aa6v–Bb4) 1388–2410, (Cc2) 3320–69.
About the order of composition there is little different from the regular procedure for typesetting F1. The manuscript text would be cast off—that is, before typesetting began, the words of the manuscript would be allotted to specific type pages—so that the two compositors could work more or less simultaneously. Both started with the innermost forme; and then one of them usually worked backward through the page sequence of each quire and the other forward. Since much of the text is regular verse, its casting off amounted to little more than counting the number of verse lines needed to fill the two columns of each page. Even on pages largely of prose (e.g., Bb1–2), white lines left above and below stage directions and scene heads permitted expansion or contraction, so that the typeset words could be fitted into the estimated space. Nothing shows what B did while A set Aa1v–2v, 5v–6 by himself.
The few irregularities are minor. On Aa1, the first page of the play but the last of the Aa gathering set by Compositor A, the white space preceding and following Scœna Secunda, near the foot of column a, is reduced, to allow plenty of room for the ornament, head title, and initial entrance direction at the top of the page and to avoid having the scene head or the initial SD stand alone at the foot of the column. At 467 (Aa2vb), perhaps to gain a couple of lines, an entrance direction, rather than being centered, is set on the same line as the conclusion of a speech—or, if the direction had been overlooked earlier, it could have been inserted there after the column was in type. SDs similarly placed are found at 2005 (Compositor B) and at 3029 (Compositor A). On Bb3a there are about two lines of white space above and below Autolycus’s song (2044–55), but on Bb3b his second song in the scene (2139–44) is crowded into the text: A one-line speech has been run into the concluding line of another speech (2138); the logotype
yt is used (2146, its only appearance in WT, although
ye is found at 1672); and probably line 2080 has been moved from the head of column b to the foot of column a, where it now occupies the direction line, normally blank in column a. Lines 2145–6 may have been reset. Pafford (1961, p. 173) suspects
some mistake in the casting off or else some later insertion, perhaps the song. The latter seems likely, and if the song was overlooked, it may have been written on a piece of paper not a part of the main MS. Pafford suggests, too, that the typesetting of Bb3 was done by Compositor E, supposed to be an apprentice, but Hinman and Howard-Hill disagree. Pafford’s opinion, however, is shared by Cairncross (1972, p. 382).
Harrison (1948, p. 242) argues that
in his later plays not only did Shakespeare abandon blank verse in conversation, but in the longer speeches he often substituted for the normal pattern of five feet . . . a much freer short line verse. This opinion is reiterated by Bertram (1981), who urges modern editors to forgo relining as iambic pentameter the apparently irregular verse of the early eds. In doing so, he says, they obscure Sh.’s rhetorical instructions to the actors, instructions that are embodied in the lineation of the early texts. Werstine (1984), investigating whether the line division in the Folio is Sh.’s or the F compositors’, finds that in the late plays, including WT, departures from iambic pentameter are usually caused by the compositors’ need to create or waste space to make cast-off copy fit its typographical allocation. The irregular lineation has nothing to do with rhetorical instructions.
The F1 Copy
According to Greg (1957, 3:1111),
There is external evidence of trouble over the copy for this play [WT], for on 19 Aug. 1623 the Master of the Revels relicensed the piece since And it probably was; Hinman (1:357) believes that the work on quires c and Aa–Cc
the allowed booke was missing[e] [see here], though by that time the play must have been already printed.
may well have taken place in December 1622. (Earlier scholarship, summarized by Greg, 1955, p. 461, arrived at nearly the same date, late November.) Even though the manuscript of WT bearing the original license had been lost, however, at least one other copy existed to provide a basis both for the production with which the Master of the Revels, Sir Henry Herbert, was concerned and for F1 printer’s copy. Willoughby (in J. D. Wilson, ed. 1931, p. 113 n.) suggests that what Herbert actually saw was the printed sheets of WT. This is possible, of course; as Greg (1955, p. 417 n.) points out, though,
they would have needed a lot of editing [presumably the addition of bookkeeper’s notes for control of the performance and perhaps the cutting of dialogue] and have provided very little room for it. Knowles (privately) suggests that
the company may have retrieved from Jaggard the Crane transcript. That is also a possibility. Manuscript returned by modern letterpress printers may be too marked up and inky for theatrical use, but the copy for the 1591 English translation of Orlando Furioso, as described by Greg (1924), is quite neat. In that case, however, it may have made a difference that the manuscript was being received by Sir John Harington, the translator. Because the F1 text has no theatrical stigmata, there is no support for the opinion, voiced by Lee (1902, p. xxvi), that
after being represented on the stage, the MS version of the play licensed by Herbert
was sent to press.
In his TGV, Wilson (ed. 1921, p. 78) had argued that
the A plot in this sense was an outline of the action of a play, recording entrances and exits, properties, noises, and other details of performance of which the prompter wanted to be reminded (for further information, see Greg, 1922). Wilson’s idea was quickly adapted to WT. Because, in his opinion, WT has
copy for The Two Gentlemen was made up by stringing together players’ parts and arranging them in acts and scenes by the aid of a
no stage-directions, or very few, Rhodes (1922, pp. 59–60) asserts that the text cannot
have been set up by the printer from the prompt-book. It was, instead, (p. 60)
assembled from the players’ parts,
complete with cue, dialogue, and certain directions, and . . . a detailed extract from the stage-directions to serve as his [the prompter’s] remembrancer—that is, the plot. The plot would furnish a
guide for sorting the players’ parts and keeping them in order whilst pasting them together into one continuous text, which would, however,
inevitably lack many directions. Rhodes finds that WT
bears all the stigmata of an
assembled text. The entrances of the players are not, as usual, distributed in the places where they are due to appear, but each scene is headed by a list of characters. . . . In all the five acts there are not more than a dozen incidental entrances and exits, and those are mostly of minor characters.
The same idea is expressed more fully by Rhodes (1923, pp. 98–100), and, after it receives favorable mention by Pollard (1923, p. 8), is reiterated by J. D. Wilson (1924, pp. 72–6). This view, reflecting Johnson’s (1756; 1968, 7:52) opinion that Sh.’s plays were
printed . . . from compilations made by chance or by stealth out of the separate parts written for the theatre, was obviously influenced by TGV’s and WT’s massed entries (that is, the lists at the head of a scene not only of the characters who appear at its beginning but also of those who enter later). WT has massed entries at 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 4.4, 5.1, and 5.3. The characters are listed according to social rank or importance in the drama in 2.1 (in two groups) and 5.3 but in the approximate order of their speaking in 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, and 4.4. In 5.1, those present at the beginning are in order of rank; Florizel and Perdita, named last, enter later. Plays in the Ben Jonson folio (1616) also have massed entries, as do the quartos from which the folio texts derive. In Webster’s Duchess of Malfi (1623), according to Bald (1931–2, pp. 244–6), occasionally a character named in a massed entry fails to appear in the scene; and Greg (1931–2) reports that in Massinger’s autograph MS of Believe as you List, a massed entry includes characters who enter later. In these instances, players’ parts cannot have been involved unless, as in the case of BAYL, the point of entry was specified in another direction or could be deduced from another feature of the text. In any event, parts do not seem to have been involved in WT.
Although it was endorsed by J. D. Wilson in his 1931 ed. of WT (p. 122), the theory of assembled texts was to collapse under its impracticalities. (For a history of its career, see Greg, 1955, pp. 156–8.) Speculation about the fate of WT’s allowed book continued, however. Adams (1917, p. 25, n. 2) guesses that the MS was
misplaced by the printer of F1. Such an eventuality would be possible if the allowed book was printer’s copy, for WT probably was printed in December 1622, and the entry in Herbert’s office book was dated 19 Aug. 1623 (see here). In the decade following Adams’s study, though, WT’s textual history began to be understood differently. Greg (1926, p. 154) found that the manuscripts of Fletcher and Massinger’s Barnavelt and Middleton’s The Witch (see here) were in the same handwriting, and F. P. Wilson (1926–7) proved that the hand was that of Ralph Crane, a scrivener associated with the King’s Men, who had signed his name to his transcript of Fletcher’s Demetrius and Enanthe; or, The Humorous Lieutenant (see here). To this signed document, Crane’s other surviving work, some also signed, is linked by distinctive and recurrent stylistic features. Wilson’s attribution of the Folio copy of WT to Crane was attacked unsuccessfuly by Tannenbaum (1933, pp. 75–86), who mistakenly thought the MS was
quite possibly Shakespeare’s own manuscript.
F. P. Wilson (1926–7, pp. 211–14) describes
some general characteristics of [Crane’s] work. 1. A publisher who came by one of Crane’s transcripts might reasonably expect from the printer an accurate text. . . . 2. All Crane’s transcripts are carefully divided into acts and scenes. . . .  3. Those stage-directions in Barnavelt which are in Crane’s handwriting give little information apart from mere statements of exits and entrances [Fletcher and Massinger’s Barnavelt is preserved in British Library MS Add. 18653; see Fredson Bowers, ed., in The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon, 8:485–501]. . . . In Crane’s other transcripts the directions never smack of the theatre. . . .  Statements of entrances are massed together at the head of each scene. Chambers (1930, 1:488–9) finds that the SDs in WT consist of
little more than entries and exits, and the latter are often omitted. The entries are normally given in [4.3] and [5.2], but for the other scenes all the characters taking part, whether they are present from the beginning or not, are grouped in the initial entry. This follows the order of their appearance, and in [2.1, 3.2, 5.1, and 5.3], but not elsewhere, the successively appearing characters or  groups of characters are marked off by colons in the stage-directions. Howard-Hill (1972, p. 130) points out that the massed directions with colons were typeset by Compositor A, those without by Compositor B, who
was apparently unwilling to print the colons from copy.
The entrance directions are of four types. The first, reflecting English tradition, marks entrances as the characters appear (4.3 and 5.2). The second, reflecting neoclassical tradition, includes some of the massed entries discussed earlier (here). In this type, all the characters appearing in the scene are named in the initial SD, although some actually enter later; their entrances are unmarked (2.1, 2.2, and 3.2; the SD for 3.2 omits Paulina, unless she is included among the Ladies, and the Servant who enters at 1323). The third is neutral: all characters who appear in the scene are present from the beginning (1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, and 5.3). The fourth is hybrid: all who appear in the scene are named in the initial entry but some actually enter later, and their entrance is marked (2.3, 3.3 [except for the Shepherd who enters at 1501], 4.4 [except for the Servant who enters at 2145], and 5.1 [except for the Lord who enters at 2940]). Since the stage directions in all the Shn. texts thought to be printed from foul papers are in the English style and since there is no reason to think that Jaggard would have introduced the neoclassical, Crane must be its source and the source of the inconsistencies as well.
Only a few SDs add anything to the bare entrances and exits: as to her Triall (1174–5), pursued by a Beare (1500), the Chorus (1579), singing (1668 and 2043), Heere a Da(u)nce of (1988 and 2164), and like a Statue (3185). Of these, singing is common, of course. As to is unusual; it occurs in only two other Shn. SDs (Trumpets sound as to a charge [TNK 184.108.40.206]; Enter as to the Parliament [R2 220.127.116.11 (1921)] and there in F only, not in Q). WT’s pursued by is unique in Sh. Like is sometimes preceded by a participle—for example, habited like Shepheards (H8 1.4.63 ) or drest like Vincentio (Shr. 4.4.0 )—but more often in Sh. it is not—Enter Ariel like a water-Nymph (Tmp. 1.2.316 [453–4]) and like a Harpey (3.3.52 ), like Gentlemen (MM, DP ), and like himselfe (Tim. 1.2.0 ). Similar SDs appear in AYL—like Forresters (2.1.0 ) and like Out-lawes (2.7.0 ); in Tit.—like a Cooke (5.3.25 ); and in Cym.—like a poore Souldier (18.104.22.168 ). These texts were printed from a variety of sources, according to Wells & Taylor (pp. 145–7), who represent a recent, although not universally shared, opinion: Tmp. from a Crane transcript possibly of foul papers, MM from a Crane transcript of what we now call a promptbook, Tim. from foul papers (Middleton’s and Sh.’s), AYL from a transcript or a promptbook, Tit. from foul papers, and Cym. from a transcript
probably by Crane, of a manuscript in two hands. The SDs in WT obviously contribute nothing to our knowledge of Crane’s copy.
Punctuation marks, especially parentheses and apostrophes, provide another approach to the study of the F1 version of WT. Thorndike (1934), having assiduously counted the parentheses in the F1 texts thought not to have been printed from quartos, finds the greatest number in WT (369, 2 short of the number given by a later critic—see below, here), 2H4 (259), Wiv. (219), Cym. (158), and TGV (129). The printer’s copy for all but 2H4 is now believed, with more or less conviction, to have been Crane transcripts. Thorndike also notices that TGV, Wiv., and WT have collective entries of the type found in Crane’s (MS Malone 25) transcript of Thomas Middleton’s A Game at Chess. Pafford (1961, pp. 175–7) notes that, in WT, apostrophes mark—in addition to omitted vowels (as in ’d preterits)—parts of words (cam’t for came it, le’t for let it) and entire words before exclamations or appeals (’Beseech you) or in the middle of a phrase (Who taught ’this).
The apostrophe is also used where apparently nothing has been dropped. . . . E.g., has—the verb, not a contraction of he has—is usually printed ha’s. . . .  The apostrophe was sometimes perhaps used vaguely, to indicate that writer or compositor realized that a word was abbreviated but did not know how to show it; e.g. Gillyvors, presumably for gillyflowers . . . is first spelt Gilly-vors [line 1890] and then Gilly’vors . In contrast there are cases where something is dropped but no apostrophe used. Instances include Ile (73, 95, 97, 121, etc.), th for the (1408, 1450, 2375), tane (1730), ha (1743), and fore (2221). Howard-Hill (1972, p. 129) also finds
many possessive singulars of nouns with apostrophes after vowels [e.g., Camillo’s (792), Cytherea’s (1936)], To the suggestion by Pafford (p. 176) that the colons punctuating many SDs might be traceable to Edward Knight, at one time bookkeeper to the King’s Men, Howard-Hill (1966) objects that Crane’s MS Malone 25 uses colons in massed entries to separate characters who enter later from those with whom the scene begins, whereas Knight did not use colons for this purpose.
it’s with the apostrophe [for its—e.g., 231, 236, 357, 1488],
it for the possessive [e.g., 1110, 1279].
The fundamental study of Crane’s work is Howard-Hill (1972), which superseded such earlier studies as that of Somer (1962). A summary of Howard-Hill’s and other research on Crane is provided by Haas (1989). Eight of Crane’s dramatic manuscripts survive, three being of Middleton’s A Game at Chess. Three additional MS copies of this play, one in Middleton’s hand, also exist, and comparison of Crane’s versions with Middleton’s affords an unusual opportunity to isolate many details attributable to the scribe rather than to the copy from which he worked. Eight nondramatic transcripts in Crane’s hand have also survived, and comparison of these and the dramatic transcripts permits more characteristics of Crane’s work to be identified. Those evident in WT include The Names of the Actors (3370–88) and the massed entrances mentioned above; division of the text into acts and scenes; descriptive stage directions (see here); some characteristic spellings (the very common ’em; see below for many more); the Jonsonian elision at 109 (Verely’is); numerous hyphens linking, for example, prepositions and objects, prefixes and stems, adverbs and adjectives, adjectives and substantives, and stems and suffixes (6, 17, 24, 30, 50, 73, 79, etc.); and, according to Howard-Hill (p. 82), huge quantities of colons and parentheses, 839 of the former and 371 of the latter. He points out (p. 87) that
of the possible situations where parentheses [to enclose vocatives] could have been used, 39% of the vocatives in WT have them. Wells & Taylor (p. 601) add
parentheses to mark passages spoken aside at 2516–17 and 2520. Crane may not be entirely responsible for the text’s numerous hyphens, however; McKenzie (1959, p. 81) finds that in setting MV Q2 (1619),
Compositor B hyphenated such words as bed-fellow and me-thinks 25 times and deleted the hyphen in his copy only 9 times. (While John F. Andrews found that me-thinks was hyphenated only by
Compositor B’s fellow-workman on MV  and the other Pavier quartos [The Pavier Quartos of 1619—Evidence for Two Compositors (Vanderbilt diss., 1970)], nonetheless it remains true that
Compositor B did introduce hyphens into many words he set in these quartos. There is reason to doubt, however, that Compositor B worked on the Pavier quartos: see R. Knowles, SB 35 , 202.)
A great many of Crane’s characteristic spellings appear in WT, although, as one might expect, there are some exceptions. Howard-Hill’s summary (pp. 64–8) includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- -ei-, never -ie- (all such spellings in WT accord with modern convention—e.g., perceiue  and Heire )
- -lly, never -ly (the same—e.g., naturally )
- -ing, never -eing (the same—e.g., mouing )
- -nck (e.g., prancks  and wrinckled , although these are far outnumbered by such -nk forms as ranke  and Winke )
- -ll, never -l (Royall , wooll , but wil  and shal , both full lines)
- -s, never -es, for plurals of nouns with short vowels (e.g., Gifts , things )
- -es, never -s, for plurals of nouns ending in -th/sh/ch (Oathes , blushes , Wenches )
- -ings, never inges, for words ending in -ing (Fadings  but singes , a full line; the spelling is not found elsewhere)
- -s or -sse, never -ss (e.g., killes , Presse , kisse , but also Princess )
- b is not doubled before -’d or -ed (e.g., rob’d [past tense of rob; 1729], but crabbed ); it is doubled before -ing after short vowels (e.g., stabbing )
- d is not doubled before -s or -es (but toddes , Goddes , addes , oddes ), before -ing (but bidding [733, 1100, and 1143]); or before -er (e.g., hinder )
- g is not doubled before -ing, -er, -es, but is probably doubled after an unvoiced short vowel (e.g., Egges , Dagger , pugging )
- Doubled consonants are retained before -ed, but one -l may be dropped before -d (e.g., crabbed , spotted , Added , muzzel’d , and Il’d ). An exception to the doubling of l before -ed is (vn)setled (this word only) (224, 424, 1767, 2385, and 3272)
- m is doubled medially only after short vowels (e.g., (be)comming [8 and 1464], Commission , and command ) but not before -es or -s (e.g., lames  and redeemes , plurals in which the vowels are long)
- n is doubled medially after short vowels (e.g., Sonne(s) [46 and 3136], manner , and winners ) but not after long vowels or before -s (e.g., finer  and begins )
- p is generally not doubled medially, but there are exceptions (e.g., Coppy , slipperie , Lippe , Appollo’s )
- r is doubled after short vowels (e.g., Starre , morrow , and Iarre )
- s is doubled after short vowels (e.g., Hostesse , Kisse [165 and 3284], and Glasse )
- t is doubled after short vowels and before -ing (e.g., pitty  and committing )
- w is always single
- z is always single (reversed in WT: muzzel’d  and Chizzell ).
Other Crane preferences are for w in such words as sowr’d (173), Lowt (397), scowre (631), lowd’st (865), Perswades (868), powre (927 and 1586), and howre (1587); for internal a in roab’d (1830), Coarse (1944, 1946), poaking (2052), and coap’st (2267); for -que in Basilisque (496), publique (815), and Heretique (1042); for internal -y- in prayse (18), trayn’d (25), and tyre (66); for blood (20 times; no other spelling occurs). He was elsewhere indifferent to the termination ance/aunce, but in WT aunce is found only in daunce(s) (183 and 1988), whereas dance occurs eight times, once at 1991—two lines from Daunce. Among spellings preferred by Crane and not likely to have been altered to justify lines of type, Howard-Hill (pp. 100–2) lists, for WT, Councels (326; plural noun), Physick (282), powrefull (284, 622), and wayting (163).
Those that also may signify Crane are councell (singular nouns: 2777, 2786), extreames (1804), flowre(s) (1879, 1886, 1889, 1916, 1919, 1927, 1931, 1941), graunt (187, 2994; but also grant ), howre (1587), moneth(s) (98, 173, 2089, 2871, 2998), powr’d (2172), and publique (815). And to these Howard-Hill adds (pp. 171–2) Crane spellings adopted by Compositor B against his preference: Angell (2034), answere (2023), approach (1465, 1857, 2036), choice (2137, 2257), daylie (1434 as dayly), deed (797, 1571), extreames (1804), forth (837, 979, 1606), happie (2178), howre (1587), mightie (921, 1725), moneth (2089), need (1722, 2256; neede, 6 times), old (1860, 2089, 2179, 2263, 3328, 3345; olde, twice), powre (927, 1586, 1839), son (1638, 3363; sonne, 39 times), sun (1717, 1918), wee’ll (2135; wee’l 5 times), yeere(s) (1585, 1617, 1671; yeare(s) [1399, 1887]).
Spellings in Crane’s transcripts that Eccles (ed. MM, 1980) discovered in MM also appear in WT: beleeue (12 times), Coyne (2607), deere (10 times; deare 11 times), (vn)easie (118, 1661, 2662, 3298), medler (2143), meere (901, 1322, 1326), mistris (6 times; mistresse, 7 times), neere (8 times), peece (11 times; pieces once), practise/practis’d (189, 1352), sence (8 times), thether (1662, 2125; thither, 3 times), vertue (7 times), and yong (5 times; young, 9 times). Of all these spellings, Kable (1968, pp. 157–9) found extreames (1804), howre (1587), and moneth (2089) to be contrary to Compositor B’s preference, hence his copy spellings. Kable’s opinion, however, is compromised by R. Knowles’s finding that the work was not Compositor B’s (see here).
The two plays also display some similarities in punctuation. In WT as in MM, colons are preferred to semicolons, although more strongly (1 per 29 words, as opposed to 1 per 140 in MM). The exclamation point does not appear. Sometimes the question mark is exclamatory (at 265, for example), but in many instances its exclamatory function cannot be distinguished clearly from its interrogative one. One difference from MM and the transcripts is that the suffix is nearly always -nesse in WT; only one -nes is found, in 1663, a full line.
Howard-Hill (pp. 66–8) separately categorizes Crane’s spellings of
words that have been used to identify the stints of Jaggard’s compositors. His tabulation may be compared with the occurrence of the spellings in WT (see table). Ignoring counts
|Crane Transcripts||WT A||WT B|
the spellings in the First Folio . . . are unquestionably printing-house spellings in the main—the spellings of the compositors who set them into typeis confirmed by the saving grace of
in the main.
Because Crane exerted such a strong influence on the form of the texts he transcribed, it is not surprising that critics find it difficult to penetrate his version of WT as it is represented in F1. Greg (1955, pp. 416–17) believes that WT was late reaching the printer only because of the time required to make for Jaggard a transcript of the foul papers, an opinion with which Evans (ed. 1974, p. 1604) agrees. Howard-Hill (1965, p. 340), having protested against too facile an acceptance of numerous parentheses as indicative of Crane’s transcription, suggests, nevertheless, that the number in WT may indicate that the play was printed from a Crane transcript of his own earlier transcript, an idea developed further by Howard-Hill a year later (1966, p. 140). When, according to Howard-Hill,
copy was being gathered for the Folio, Crane was given foul papers for Winter’s Tale with instructions to prepare also the promptbook for playhouse use. Crane prepared the promptbook first before making the transcript for the printer for by so doing he would release the foul papers in the shortest possible time to return to the security of the players’ collection of manuscripts. Had he prepared the Folio copy before the promptbook, we should not have the clean and sophisticated text, showing an unusually large number of parentheses, that we find in the Folio. On the same evidence, Crane apparently retained the promptbook, but probably returned the foul papers, so that he would avoid having to make both transcripts from foul papers. . . . He chose, therefore, to delay delivery of the Folio copy, perhaps thinking, or indeed knowing, that the printers had enough to go on with. [Howard-Hill (1992, p. 128) conjectures that the delay arose from Crane’s occupation with his transcript of Webster’s Duchess of Malfi.] From this order of events, we get a good, clean, literary text, with an unusually high number of parentheses consistent with other Crane transcripts from his own earlier papers, and, of course, a delay which affected the printing of Winter’s Tale in the First Folio. In his major work on Crane, Howard-Hill (1972, p. 131) adds,
The massed entries [appearing in F1 and deriving from the printer’s copy] would have been out of place in a copy made for a promptbook but [they] easily could have been compiled from a transcript with conventional entries. Why he [Crane] should choose massed entries when he had a clean manuscript available is not readily explained, but the variety of the directions argues that the copy was prepared in some haste, under conditions which did not allow the scribe to adopt the massed convention completely.
The idea that the WT copy was a transcript of a transcript had appeared earlier in Howard-Hill (1965, pp. 337–8). The number of WT’s parentheses (371, 268), the article indicates, is substantially greater than that in the other Folio Comedies believed to have been set from Crane manuscripts—Tmp. 98 (115), TGV 128 (150), Wiv. 218 (241), and MM 75 (78); the first figure is the actual incidence and the second, the actual adjusted for the length of the plays. Since the Folio compositors did not have an identical fondness for parentheses, the figures adjusted for length become, when further adjusted to allow for Compositor A’s preference, Tmp. 116, TGV 131, Wiv. 308, and MM 62, in contrast to WT’s 415. Moreover, Crane’s several transcripts of A Game at Chess indicate that every time Crane recopied a text, he
tended to reproduce the parentheses of his copy, but added to them, and . . . added more parentheses when he was transcribing from his own copy (p. 336). The WT transcript, Howard-Hill (1972, p. 70) observes,
must have been made after any other transcripts he made for the Folio. Therefore the scribe’s habits would have been influenced both by the character of the copy before him, and by his increasing familiarity with the kind of material he had to work from.
A question about this theory arises from the massed entries. If they were undesirable in a promptbook, as Howard-Hill says, and if the WT promptbook was created before the printer’s copy, would Crane, having copied in the first transcript the entrances where the play’s action required them, have then taken the trouble to extract and compile these entries for each of the play’s eight scenes they head? The compilation is incomplete, moreover (4.3 and 5.2, which might have been massed, are not), and the style of the massed entries differs (see here). Crane’s motive would have been professional pride or a classical preference (massed stage directions serve no essential literary or dramatic purpose), which he indulged even though, as noted above,
the copy was prepared in some haste, under conditions which did not allow the scribe to adopt the massed convention completely (Howard-Hill, 1972, p. 131). In response, Wells & Taylor (p. 601) state that
as the Folio had been printed [WT in Dec. 1622] long before Herbert saw the new prompt-book [on 19 Aug. 1623], this [Howard-Hill’s explanation] seems unlikely. The original prompt-book might even have been lost as a result of being copied by Crane for the Folio. They also allude to Thorndike’s idea that the dance of satyrs at 2164 was taken from Jonson’s Oberon (see n. 2164):
The passage introducing this dance could be omitted without disturbing the dialogue; no one comments upon the dance afterwards; moreover, the Clown’s comment that (see here.) Regarding the supposed unnaturalness of 2165, however, not one of the acting editions collated for this edition cuts it (see here). Since there are no other traces of Crane’s having copied WT’s promptbook, the apparent anomaly probably arises from an aberration in foul papers, toward which the clothing crux may also point (see n. 2557–8 and here).
My Father, and the Gent. are in sad talke [2134–5] would be naturally followed, after the exit of Autolycus and his clients, by Polixenes’
O Father, you’l know more of that heereafter , which indicates that they have been carrying on a conversation which we have not heard. Polixenes’ comment is not nearly so natural after the satyr dance, since it suggests that he had been talking to the Old Shepherd rather than attending to the dance he had himself insisted upon witnessing [2156–7]. There is no reason to doubt Shakespeare’s authorship of the passage introducing the dance, but it could be a late addition; if so, Crane was copying a prompt-book, and the original composition was earlier than January 1611.
The foul papers of one of Sh.’s compositions—147 lines of Sir Thomas More, a play of uncertain date originally by Anthony Munday and Henry Chettle—may have survived. Having been heavily censored by the Master of the Revels for political reasons, the play was parceled out to several playwrights for salvage. The 147 lines are indeed foul—punctuation lacking, SDs absent or incomplete, SPs mistaken or vague, words omitted, and verse mislined—but they have perhaps created too strong an impression of Sh.’s scribal carelessness. It may be true that Jaggard’s
initial editorial policy called for scribal transcripts to be given to the printer if quartos were not available (Eccles, ed. MM, 1980, p. 293). Nevertheless, recent critical opinion, as represented by Wells & Taylor (pp. 145–7), is that foul papers more or less certainly were the initial printer’s copy for as many as 17 of the 35 plays included in F1. If this opinion is correct, the foul papers of WT could have served as Crane’s copy as well.
In about 1625, Crane transcribed Thomas Middleton’s The Witch for a presentation by the author (see Greg, 1941–2). Three of the songs in this transcript are preserved in other versions. In 1625, Crane made a private transcript of Fletcher’s Demetrius and Enanthe, or the Humorous Lieutenant, which may be compared with the independent text of the play published in the Beaumont and Fletcher folio of 1647, a version representing the play as cut for production (see Cyrus Hoy, ed., in The Dramatic Works in the Beaumont and Fletcher Canon, 5:293). Nosworthy (1965, p. 221), having examined these sources, concludes:
It is clear that Crane, though an elegant scribe, was at times an extraordinarily perfunctory one. Carelessness, combined with strange orthography, occasionally results in misreadings which would have baffled any compositor. . . . That he was, like many another scribe, occasionally guilty of sins of omission is a ready inference. . . . [Sh.] Folio texts based on Crane transcripts must obviously be viewed with suspicion. He was doubtless responsible for the sprinkling of apparent nonce-words which defy emendation, and there are often grounds for suspecting small omissions. Howard-Hill (1972, p. 133) differs, however:
Even when he [Crane] may be suspected of error, the reading of his transcript is at the least plausible. If his sophistication of the texts he transcribed had been less, more could be discovered of the nature of his copy. The That the F1 text of WT is not considered word-perfect is evident from the long history of its emendation recorded in this edition’s textual notes; for a contrast of the repairs made by two recent eds., see here below.
goodness of . . . WT means little more than that the printer’s copy was free from obvious error. The general level of Crane’s accuracy was high, but he was not reluctant to interfere with his text, consciously or unconsciously, when its meaning was obscure to him.
The Printer’s Reliability
There is almost no evidence of proofreading. As Pafford (1961, p. 178 n.) notes,
Some copies of F1 may have a Bears. [at 1500], but apparently in most it is a Beare. This possible press variant is not mentioned in his ed. 1963, however. Hinman (1:264) reports that page number 281 (sig. Aa3) is 285 in one copy (Folger 24) and that in about a third of the more than fifty copies he collated, a mark appears between the first e and the long s of these in 1880. One cannot be at all exact in judging the accuracy of the compositors, for their errors may have been corrected in an earlier stage of proof than the one that has survived, or they may have faithfully transmitted incorrect readings introduced by Crane. Nevertheless, it is interesting to observe that in a conservatively edited version of the play and a more radically edited version, the rate of error is similar. Evans (ed. 1974) makes twenty substantive emendations:
- Compositor A: 175, 237, 290, 368, 1185, 1207, 2617, 2739–40, 2798, 2818–19, 3206
- Compositor B: 945, 1559, 1678, 1810, 1910, 2262, 2272, 2316, 3363
The Oxford editors (1986) emend in nineteen of these instances (2818–19 excepted) and nineteen more:
- Compositor A: 11, 213, 1353, 2464, 2488, 2530–1, 2588, 2751, 2795, 2821, 3191, 3302
- Compositor B: 896, 1617, 1811, 1965, 1980, 2184, 2266
Subsequent Early Editions
The later history of WT in the 17th c. is told primarily by the entries in the Stationers’ Register, quoted and annotated by Greg (1957, 3:1113–21). After the publication of F1, Isaac Jaggard’s widow transferred
her parte in Shackspheere playes to Thomas and Richard Cotes on 19(?) June 1627, and on 16 Nov. 1630 Edward Blount transferred his right to sixteen plays, including WT, to Robert Allot. The publication of F2 (1632) ensued; the work was printed by Thomas Cotes for Allot and four other stationers. This edition was twice reissued. Because Allot’s widow was about to marry Philip Chetwind—who was a clothworker rather than a stationer—she was forced to give up her copies (on 7 November 1636; the Stationers’ Register entry is dated 1 July 1637). Chetwind recovered the copyrights, however, and became the publisher of the two issues of F3 (1663–4), in the manufacture of which three printers participated. Yet the Stationers’ Company continued to regard the copyrights as the property of Richard Cotes, and on 6 August 1674 transferred them (including the right to WT) to John Martin and Henry Herringman; these rights were again transferred by Martin’s widow to Robert Scott, on 21 August 1683. F4 followed in 1685, its three sections (Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies) evidently having been printed simultaneously by three printers. Textual changes made in WT in the three derivative folios and in the principal later versions may be found in the notes of this edition. None of these changes has independent textual authority.
The Date of Composition
Early attempts to date WT were influenced by the opinion that so irregular a play must have been the work of an inexperienced playwright and by the entry dated 22 May 1594 in the Stationers’ Register of
a booke entituled a Wynters nightes pastime (Arber, 1875–94, 2:650), which was taken to be WT. Ulrici (1839; trans. 1846, p. 269) wrote, for example, that
this is probably the same drama as we now have, which, upon its revision, received a name more suited to its altered form. The equation was not unreasonable, for the Accounts of the Revels at Court record a performance by the King’s Men on 5 November 1611 of
A play called ye winters nightes Tayle (see Cunningham, 1842, p. 210, and Streitberger, 1986, p. 48); Chambers (1923, 4:125) identifies this later wintry amusement as WT.
Overly imaginative discoveries of allusions also interfered. Walpole (1768, 2:114–16) thought that WT
was certainly intended (in compliment to queen Elizabeth) as an indirect apology for her mother Anne Boleyn. . . .  The unreasonable jealousy of Leontes, and his violent conduct in consequence, form a true portrait of Henry the Eighth, who generally made the law the engine of his boisterous passions. . . . Several passages . . . touch the real history nearer than the fable. Hermione on her trial says, [ Adding several similar details, Walpole concludes (116):
For Honor, ’Tis a deriuatiue from me to mine, And onely that I stand for (1217–19)]. This seems to be taken from the very letter of Anne Boleyn to the king before her execution, where she pleads for the infant princess his daughter.
The Winter Evening’s Tale was therefore in reality a second part of Henry the Eighth. For the compliment to have point, Queen Elizabeth must have been alive to receive it; hence, in Walpole’s view, WT preceded her demise, in 1603. The letter to which Walpole alludes is found in The Harleian Miscellany (1808, 1:201–2). According to DNB (s.v. Anne), the letter is
a manifest fabrication of the time of Queen Elizabeth; nevertheless, it speaks with pathetic dignity of the foul blots on the most dutiful wife and on the infant princess. A modernized text is in Black (1933, pp. 46–7).
Far-fetched notions abound. Capell (1783, 2.4:176) finds several absurd reasons to think that at the time he wrote WT, Sh. had his mind on a country matter, his retirement (e.g., the mention of
th’Grange, or Mill at 2126). The play is
a writing for Stratford, or a writing at it. Capell dates the play 1613, after H8 and before Tmp. (1614). Ironically, Capell is nearer current opinion than the more judicious Malone (in Steevens, ed. 1778, 1:285). Influenced by the entry of A Winter Night’s Pastime,
which might have been the same play, Malone assigns WT to 1594, although his respect for Walpole, the silence of Francis Meres’s Palladis Tamia: Wit’s Treasury (1598), which mentions a dozen other Shn. titles, and the paucity of couplets in WT (characteristic of Sh.’s early style) make him
doubt whether it ought not to be ascribed to the year 1601, or 1602. By the time of his own edition of WT (Malone, ed. 1790), he was convinced that A Winter Night’s Pastime was not WT, and its removal from consideration made Walpole’s conjecture
extremely plausible (1.1:350). Meanwhile, Blackstone (in Steevens, ed. 1785) discovered in the lines
If I could find example Of thousand’s that had struck anoynted Kings, And flourish’d after, Il’d not do’t: But since Nor Brasse, nor Stone, nor Parchment beares not one, Let Villanie it selfe forswear’t (460–4)
an allusion to the death of the queen of Scots. The play therefore was written in king James’s time. His argument is that an allusion to Mary, Queen of Scots, King James’s mother, could never have been made before Queen Elizabeth’s death, for Queen Elizabeth, however reluctantly, had consented to Queen Mary’s execution. Trapped, Malone (1.1:351) attempted to have it both ways: Sh.
lay’d the scheme of the play in the very year in which the queen died , and finished it in the next. He discovers, however, in the Stationers’ Register, 2 April 1604, the entry of The Strange Report of a Monstruous Fishe (see n. 2097–103), to which, he believes, Autolycus alludes, and he also finds the Puritan who sings psalms to hornpipes (1712–13) a corroborating detail, because (1.1:352)
the precise manners of the puritans was at this time much ridiculed by protestants. As for style, the meter is
less easy and flowing than is usual in Sh.’s plays and the phraseology
more involved and parenthetical. . . . In this harshness of diction and involution of sentences it [WT] strongly resembles Tro. and H8. The latter play is now dated 1612–13, not long after WT, but Tro. some ten years earlier. Nevertheless, Malone knew that Jonson had alluded to WT, as well as to Tmp., in the Induction to Bartholomew Fair, first produced in 1614 (see n. 0), and so again changed his mind (1.2:286): Jonson
joined these plays in the same censure, in consequence of their having been produced at no great distance of time from each other; and . . . The Winter’s Tale ought to have been ascribed to the year 1613.
Hurdis (1792, pp. 22–3), is unconvinced:
The faults of its [WT’s] metre and its language are so numerous, that it must be ranked with [Ant., H8, Cor., and Cym.], . . . the earliest efforts of our poet’s muse. The
anointed kings passage, Hurdis believes (p. 23), was inserted later.
The compliment he has paid to the Queen in the fable of the play . . . affords a strong proof that it was written during her life-time. For it is not likely that he [Sh.] would endeavour to exculpate Anne Bullen in the reign of James. Chalmers (1799, pp. 396–401)—whom F. W. Clarke (in Furnivall, ed. 1908, p. ix) calls
the Sir Politick-Would-Be of Shakespearean criticism—observes several historical allusions in WT but not Blackstone’s, for, Chalmers says, Blackstone’s mind was
not very amply stored with historical knowledge of the Elizabethan period. He believes that the lines Blackstone cited—
If I could find example Of thousand’s that had struck anoynted Kings (460–1)—reflect the public prayers offered for the queen after the failure of Essex’s rebellion; an allusion such as
Heire-lesse it hath made my Kingdome (2737) would have been inappropriate in King James’s time, for he had heirs. Thus, Chalmers concludes, WT was written in 1601. Also rejecting Blackstone and his use of the execution of the Queen of Scots as evidence, Douce (1807, 1:347) notes:
The perpetrator of that atrocious murder did flourish many years afterwards. Douce therefore thinks the allusion in lines 460–4 is to King James’s escape from the Gowrie conspiracy (1582),
an event often brought toi the people’s recollection during his reign.
Opposition to such fanciful guessing was bound to arise. Boswell (ed. 1821, 14:234–5), for example:
I confess I am very sceptical as to these supposed allusions by  Shakspeare to the history of his own time. If the plots of his plays had been of his own invention, he might possibly have framed them with a view of that kind; but this was unquestionably not the case with the play before us; and if any one had intended a courtly defence of Queen Elizabeth’s mother, it must have been Greene, and not Shakspeare. Garinter, the Mamillius of our poet, dies under the same circumstances, in the novel [see here]; nor is it, as Mr. Walpole seemed to suppose, an unnecessary incident, because it fulfils the declaration of the oracle,
that if the child which was lost could not be found, the king would die without an heir [1315–16]. To say that a child resembles her father is surely not so uncommon a remark as to make it evident that it had reference to a particular individual; nor is there any thing very courtly or complimentary in Paulina’s angry allusion to the old proverb.
Moreover, Malone had already found the clue needed to begin working through the early speculations, although he did not immediately recognize its value. In his
Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the English Stage (ed. 1790, 1.2:1–284), Malone first makes use of a document that has since disappeared, the office book of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels to King James. As Chambers (1930, 2:347) explains, the
Office Book of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels, . . . is now lost, but in 1790 was in the house of Francis Ingram at Ribbesford, Worcestershire, which had belonged to Herbert. Malone (1.2:226) quotes Herbert’s memorandum:
For the king’s players. An olde playe called Winters Tale, formerly allowed of by Sir George Bucke, and likewyse by mee on Mr. Hemmings his worde that there was nothing prophane added or reformed, thogh the allowed booke was missinge; and therefore I returned itt without a fee, this 19 of August, 1623. Book in this context is probably the technical term for the prompt copy of the play on which the license to act was inscribed (see Greg, 1931, 1:192–3), although Pollard (1920, p. 67) had thought that the term
possibly [referred to] the original manuscript. Bucke, or Buc, was Master of the Revels from 1610 to 1622; Hemmings, or Heminge, was an actor with, and the business manager of, the King’s Men.
George Buc had served as deputy Master from 1603, however, and Chalmers (1799, pp. 200 ff.) prints extracts from the Stationers’ Registers showing Buc as licenser for the printing of plays as early as 1606. Malone may or may not be right that Buc did not license plays for performance before he became Master (see Eccles, 1933, p. 458). Thus critics like Rolfe (ed. 1879, p. 10 n.), who asserts that
the Stationers’ Registers show . . . that he [Buc] had practically the control of the office from the year 1607, are saying more than the entries in the Registers prove. The same applies to critics like Wickham (1973, p. 96 n.); they maintain that until his official installation as Master, Buc licensed for printing only. Albright (1927, p. 246), incidentally, asserts that WT was relicensed to prevent its being
taken over by another company because it was in print, but Greg (1928, p. 96) points out the obvious—that Buc acted not for Albright’s reason
but because the authorised copy had been lost. That copy was apparently on hand when the play was acted at court on 7 April 1618 and perhaps in 1619 as well (see here); as Baldwin (Division, 1965, p. 51) notes, its absence may have been discovered when the company began to prepare for the court performance of 18 January 1624 (see here). Greg (1954, p. 150):
The Winter’s Tale is peculiar in that it may have been a late addition to the folio, and that a new prompt-book was licensed by Herbert in August 1623. . . . These facts are probably related, but it is not clear that they have any bearing on the nature of the text.
Drake (1817, 1:504–5), convinced that Tmp.
was written towards the close of 1611, argues (1:497) that WT was written
towards the close of 1610 and was
licensed and performed during the succeeding year. The order of the two plays is assumed to be that in which they were named by Jonson. Without mentioning Drake, Malone (in Boswell, ed. 1821, 2:463) states:
I . . . suppose The Winter’s Tale to have been originally licensed by him [Buc] in the latter part of that year  or the beginning of the next. He therefore assigns the play to 1611. Although Dutton (1991, p. 151) finds
no cogent evidence that Buc was involved . . . in the censoring of plays for performance, prior to Tilney’s death, critics by and large have accepted Malone’s terminus a quo. According to Halliwell (ed. 1859, 8:40), for example,
In the absence of any direct evidence to the contrary, it seems . . . unnecessary to suggest that the Winter’s Tale may have been one of the dramas that passed under Buck’s review during the tenancy of Tylney in the office; and it may fairly, at present, be taken for granted that the comedy was not produced until after the month of August, 1610. Hunter (1845, 1:416) believes that prior to 1610, Buc licensed both for performance and for printing; on the basis of a supposed affinity of WT with TN, he dates WT
not later than 1601 or 1602—or, if licensing by Buc must be taken into account, 1606, the year after the Gunpowder Plot, because of the
anointed kings passage (see n. 460–4). As for the absence of the allowed copy, Malone suggests that it was destroyed in the Globe fire of 1613, but Chambers (1930, 1:488) disagrees, pointing out that there was a performance in 1618 and
probably another about 1619. The former is attested by Cunningham (1842, p. xlv):
To John Heminges &c upon a warrant dated 20 April 1618 for presenting two severall Playes before his Maty. on Easter Monday Twelfte night the play soe called and on Easter Tuesday the Winter’s Tale xxli. The latter is inferred from the appearance of
The Winters Tale on a piece of waste paper from the Revels Office (see Marcham, 1925, pp. 7, 13).
Important new evidence of WT’s date came to light with the discovery of a passage in Simon Forman’s Obserue ther howe Lyontes the kinge of Cicillia was overcom wth Ielosy of his wife with the kinge of Bohemia his frind that came to see him. and howe he Contriued his death and wold haue had his cup berer to haue poisoned. who gaue the king of bohemia warning therof & fled with him to bohemia/Remēber also howe he sent to the Orakell of appollo & the Aunswer of apollo. that she was giltles. and that the king was Ielouse &c and howe Except the child was found Again that was loste the kinge should die wthout yssue. for the child was caried into bohemia & ther laid in a forrest & brought vp by a sheppard And the kinge of bohemiā his sonn maried that wentch & howe they fled into Cicillia to Leontes. and the sheppard hauing showed the letter of the noble man by whom Leontes sent a was [away? it was?] that child and the Iewells found about her. she was knowen to be leontes daughter and was then 16 yers old Remember also the Rog that cam in all tottered like coll pixci /. and howe he feyned him sicke & to haue bin Robbed of all that he had and howe he cosoned the por man of all his money. and after cam to the shep sher with a pedlers packe & ther cosoned them Again of all ther money And howe he changed apparrell wth the kinge of bomia his sonn. and then howe he turned Courtiar &c / beware of trustinge feined beggars or fawninge fellouse.
Bocke of Plaies (Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 208, fols. 201v–202). As Pafford (Forman, 1959, pp. 289–90) remarks,
W. H. Black began to catalogue the Ashmole manuscripts in 1830 or 1831, and there is a note by Black on a proof-sheet of the catalogue against  the entry of the The so-called Book of Plays consists of memoranda made in 1611 by Forman after seeing four plays at the Globe—Macbeth, Cymbeline, Richard II (not Sh.’s), and WT. Of WT he wrote:
Bocke of Plaies which reads
I made a transcript of this curious article, in 1832, for my friend J. P. Collier.
IN the Winters Talle at the glob 1611 the 15 of maye ☿ [Wednesday]
This transcription appears in Evans (ed. 1974, p. 1842). It agrees in all but a few insignificant details with those given by Pafford (ed. 1963, pp. xxi–xxii) and by Chambers (1930, 2:340–1). Coll pixci, or Colt-pixie, means
a mischievous sprite or fairy (OED); Quiller-Couch (ed. 1931, p. viii) gives
a shaggy goblin-horse (Grose, 1787). About the memorandum, Quiller-Couch observes:
If we may draw the inference, Forman’s rather elaborate description of the plot seems to indicate that The Winter’s Tale was in May 1611 a new play. The WT summary is actually no more elaborate than the summaries of Mac. (1606) and Cym. (1609–10?). Bullough (1975, 8:118), commenting on whether there might have been an earlier version of WT:
Forman’s summary of what he saw omits the statue, but since his account of Cymbeline omits the dénouement no argument can be drawn that on 15 May 1611 the play lacked the climactic scene.
Obserue ther howe Lyontes the kinge of Cicillia was overcom wth Ielosy of his wife with the kinge of Bohemia his frind that came to see him. and howe he Contriued his death and wold haue had his cup berer to haue poisoned. who gaue the king of bohemia warning therof & fled with him to bohemia/Remēber also howe he sent to the Orakell of appollo & the Aunswer of apollo. that she was giltles. and that the king was Ielouse &c and howe Except the child was found Again that was loste the kinge should die wthout yssue. for the child was caried into bohemia & ther laid in a forrest & brought vp by a sheppard And the kinge of bohemiā his sonn maried that wentch & howe they fled into Cicillia to Leontes. and the sheppard hauing showed the letter of the noble man by whom Leontes sent a was [away? it was?] that child and the Iewells found about her. she was knowen to be leontes daughter and was then 16 yers old
Remember also the Rog that cam in all tottered like coll pixci /. and howe he feyned him sicke & to haue bin Robbed of all that he had and howe he cosoned the por man of all his money. and after cam to the shep sher with a pedlers packe & ther cosoned them Again of all ther money And howe he changed apparrell wth the kinge of bomia his sonn. and then howe he turned Courtiar &c / beware of trustinge feined beggars or fawninge fellouse.
Forman’s notes were first published by Collier (1836, p. 20), in a somewhat modernized version. As Collier’s forgeries and impostures were revealed, Forman’s Book of Plays also fell under suspicion, but W. H. Black’s note proves it genuine. Further authentication became available with the publication by Cunningham (1842) of extracts from the Revels Accounts, in which the performance of WT on 5 November 1611, mentioned above, is recorded. Collier (ed. 1842, 3:425–6), however:
The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale were both acted at Whitehall, and included in Sir George Buc’s account of the expenses of the Revels from October, 1611, to October, 1612. How much older The Tempest might be than The Winter’s Tale, we have no means of determining; but there is a circumstance which shows that the composition of The Tempest was anterior to that of The Winter’s Tale. . . .  There is . . . one remarkable variation [between Pandosto and WT]; in the former the infant Fawnia is put into a boat [ Although Collier may be mistaken that Tmp. is the earlier play, his opinion carried some weight; it is quoted with approval later, by Hudson (ed. 1852, 4:6), for example, and it reappears in Muir (1957, p. 243):
to be carried into the midst of the sea, and there left to the wind and wave]. Shakespeare . . . describes the way in which the infant [Perdita] was exposed very differently, and probably for this reason:—that in The Tempest he had previously (perhaps not long before) represented Prospero and Miranda turned adrift at sea in the same manner [as Fawnia]. When, therefore, Shakespeare came to write The Winter’s Tale . . . he varied from the original narrative, in order to avoid an objectionable similarity of incident in his two dramas.
Possibly the first version of The Tempest had been written before The Winter’s Tale, so that Shakespeare could not easily repeat the incident of the babe adrift in a boat. That there was more than one version of Tmp. is a supposition, however, that disappears from Muir (1977). Nevertheless, it is possible that Tmp. antedates WT. According to Orgel (ed. Tmp., 1987, pp. 63–4),
There is . . . not . . . any way of determining chronological priority between The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale. . . .  The most we can say is that the evidence supports a date of late 1610 to mid-1611 [for Tmp.], and that Shakespeare was writing the play just after, or just before, or at the same time as The Winter’s Tale. Halliwell (ed. 1859, 8:44):
With equal probability, it might be conjectured that Shakespeare, having omitted the incident in the construction of the Winter’s Tale, introduced it in the Tempest as one especially suited to a romantic drama of that description.
Another approach is represented by Procter (1844, 1:x–xi), who finds WT too badly written to be a late play:
As a general principle, . . . I would say, that the plays in which signs of imitation (particularly imitation of style) are manifest, should be accounted the earliest; and that those wherein the poetry is redundant and far exceeds the necessities and purposes of the story, should be held to have preceded, in point of time, the great and substantial dramas, in which the business of the play is skilfully wrought out, and where the poetry springs out of the passion or humour of the characters, and serves to illustrate and not to oppress them. In conformity with this view, I think that the [xi] Winter’s Tale, although perhaps not actually performed until the year 1611, can never have been the last work of Shakspere. It is far more like the labour of his youth, an idea to be revived seventy-five years later on supposedly scientific as well as impressionistic evidence (see here). Nevertheless, by the time of Hudson (ed. 1852, 4:6), the composition of WT was assigned to
the winter of 1610–11. The later limit is 15 May 1611, when Forman saw the play. The earlier limit, Thorndike (1900, pp. 116–17) argues, was shortly after 1 January 1611, the date of the performance at court of Ben Jonson’s Oberon, the action of which opens upon Silenus, a shaggy old forest god, and at least five of the satyrs over whom he presides (the number who speak). For the probable reappearance of three of these satyrs in WT, see n. 2164 and here. The
shortly arises from the assumption that the three saltiers who danced before the king (2158–9) must have done so recently in order for the audience, or at least the members of it who knew about courtly amusements, to grasp the allusion and perhaps also in order for the men still to be available to perform in WT. Yet the line is spoken in modern performances, its significance having become that the three will unknowingly dance before the king once more—that is, King Polixenes. It possibly never meant more than this. Moreover, as Nicoll suggests (see n. 2164), the satyr dance could be an interpolation. Thus WT may have no precise anterior limit, but, as Wells & Taylor (1987, p. 601) point out, if the Crane transcript from which the F text was typeset derived from the promptbook,
the original composition predates January 1611 (see here).
Two attempts to prove WT an occasional play were made by Wickham (The Winter’s Tale, 1969, and Investiture, 1969), in the second of which the first is summarized:
Critical discussion of The Winter’s Tale has centred on the sixteen-year gap dividing the Sicilian court scenes from the Bohemian pastoral scenes bridged only by Time as Chorus. . . . This odd structural pattern may have stemmed from a deliberate emblematic purpose. Since the skeleton of the plot is the fusing of seemingly irreconcilable opposites, and as nowhere in contemporary politics were such opposites more glaringly apparent than in Anglo-Scottish relations . . . Shakespeare deliberately reworked (and altered) . . . Pandosto at a narrative level in order to reflect emblematically the reunion of the British Isles under his master, James I. The datum point was the legend of the division of Britain by King Brutus among his three sons and Merlin’s prophecy of eventual reunion under a descendant of King Arthur. Henry VII had seen himself as that descendant and James viewed his own claim to the crowns of Scotland and England through Henry’s daughter Margaret (James’s great-great- grandmother) as the fulfillment of the prophecy. Wickham continues:
The Winter’s Tale may be regarded not only as a figurative compliment to James I, but also Shakespeare’s contribution to the investiture of Henry, Prince of Wales and Heir Apparent, in 1610. The evidence is drawn from two pageants by Anthony Munday, two masques by Ben Jonson, a poem and a masque by Samuel Daniel, three of James I’s own speeches and two statues, the memorial effigies of Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots, commissioned by King James and placed on the queens’ tombs in Westminster Abbey. Examination of this evidence
combines to designate The Winter’s Tale as written for performance in the autumn of 1610 before the King and the Heir Apparent . . . ; to reveal it as [figuring] the mystical marriage of Prince Henry (Florizel) to the three kingdoms whose original unity was lost but has been found (Perdita) thanks to Everett (1970) supports Wickham’s parallel of Hermione and Mary, Queen of Scots:
Time and King James’ own
piaculous action; and finally to show that, by substituting for the dead Queen of Greene’s novel the living statue of Hermione . . . , Shakespeare created a work of art which was as effective an emblem for his court audience as it was enjoyable dramatic romance for his wider public in the city.
Hermione’s blend of royal dignity and pathos . . . [is] expressed in The Winter’s Tale by a few phrases so like echoes of Mary’s words [as given by Antonia Fraser in Mary, Queen of Scots, 1969] as to suggest the possibility of a real connexion. Mary told the deputation of lords who came to announce her trial: Having cited several similar parallels, Everett concludes,
I am myself a Queen, the daughter of a King. Hermione refers to herself during her trial as
a great king’s daughter , and later . . . says,
The Emperor of Russia was my father .
There is, in short, enough dignity and pathos in the Jacobean (as distinct from the Elizabethan) image of Mary Stuart, to give an added interest to Shakespeare’s creation of Hermione, perhaps his queenliest heroine.
Apart from Everett, however, Wickham’s topicality seems to have attracted no supporters. Regarding the statues of the two dead queens, Smith (1972, pp. 217–18) observes: If either
had anything to do with The Winter’s Tale, it would seem to be Mary’s, not Elizabeth’s; Mary could in some sense be thought to be resurrected by the investiture of her grandson as Prince of Wales. The trouble is that Mary’s statue was not finished until 1612 . . . and by this time The Winter’s Tale had been on the stage for two years. But Wickham, undismayed, says [in Heritage, 1969] the sculptors lived in Southwark . . . and Shakespeare could have dropped in at their studio any time from 1606 to 1610 to see  how the statue was coming. On this frail evidence we are asked to believe that Florizel represents Prince Henry. Nevertheless, these ideas are reiterated and further developed in Wickham (1973). Bullough (1975, 8:117) objects, though:
It is going too far to suggest that the play To which it might be replied that Florizel, as Perdita’s consort and Mamillius reborn, will reign over two kingdoms, although that fact will hardly save Wickham’s case.
figures the mystical marriage of Prince Henry (Florizel) to the three kingdoms whose original unity was lost but had been found (Perdita). . . . If there was such an allegorical intention why did not Shakespeare make Florizel (like Greene’s Dorastus) rule over two kingdoms at the end of the play?
As Furness (ed. 1898, p. 316) says, Roderick (1758, p. 225) was apparently the first to observe that the verse lines of H8 more frequently than those of other plays
end in a redundant syllable. Malone (in Steevens, ed. 1778, 1:280 n.) adds that a mixture of rhyming lines and blank verse is
a circumstance which seems to characterize and distinguish our poet’s earliest performance. From these beginnings developed a close study of Sh.’s style to determine, more exactly than external evidence allows, when he wrote his works.
The earliest critic to divide Sh.’s career into four periods distinguished by stylistic differences was Bathurst (1857). By the third quarter of the 19th c., one of the internal tests of chronology given by Ward (1875, 1:359–63) was versification, subdivided as follows: (a) Rhyme:
Progress from more to less rhyme may be held to accompany the general progress of Shakspere as a dramatic writer. (b) Stopped and unstopped lines:
A (c) Feminine endings, or line endings with an eleventh, unaccented, syllable:
stopped line is one in which the sentence, or clause of the sentence, concludes with the line; but it is not always possible to determine what is to be regarded as the clause of the sentence, whether e.g. and is to be regarded . . . as beginning a new clause. The stopping of the sense is . . . often of more importance than the
stopping of the sentence.
While it is certain that Shakspere employed the feminine endings sparingly in many of his plays . . . regarded as early, it is certain that in those plays which on other grounds may be regarded as . . . late . . . he employed these endings largely. Ward’s examples, supplied by Fleay, include Shr. (now dated 1593–4), line 260, and WT 639, but also R3 (1592–3), line 570. The tabulations are not adjusted for the length of the plays or the proportions in them of verse and prose. And (d) Other verse tests, such as irregularities in the trimeter couplets of the early plays and, in the late plays, such carelessness as the failure to mark the caesura.
Fleay himself (1876) divides Sh.’s career into periods characterized by more or less distinct metrical features. In the last period (pp. 70–1), doggerel, alternately rhyming lines, and couplets are absent; alexandrines, with considerable variation in the position of the caesura, increase; and so do feminine endings; and so do
lines of less than five measures. Fleay assigns WT (p. 136), along with Cym., Cor., Ant., and Tmp., to Sh.’s fourth (and last) period, but in a postscript (p. 138) creates a fifth period for Tmp. and WT alone. The actual date he assigns to WT is 1610–11 (p. 54) or 1611 (p. 130), 1611? having earlier been proposed by Furnivall (1874, p. xlv). Later, Fleay (1886, p. 65) decides that WT
was certainly produced early this year , before Jonson’s Alchemist, which was acted and entered S[tationers’] R[egister] October 3. Fleay’s techniques and conclusions raised questions immediately (see the discussion following the reading of his paper before the New Shakspere Society on 13 Mar. 1874, in Fleay, 1874), and he changed his mind as his investigations continued. In any event, his date for WT was not affected; in the 1886 work (p. 247) as in the 1874 volume (p. 10), it is 1610. By introducing this type of analysis, Fleay hoped to apply a scientific technique to the problems of Shn. chronology, but his followers proved capable of wild variations in method and conclusions, and he himself could not count.
The predilection for Shn. statistics, however, extends to Bather’s
Table of Plays, According to Number of Puns (1887, p. 74), which shows a decrease in the number of puns per 100 lines from 3.97 in LLL to 0.26 in WT. As a technique for dating, the scheme is demolished by the fact that Tit. contains only 0.15 and 3H6 only 0.14. Bayfield’s (1920, pp. 402–3) verse analysis reveals that WT
must have been written some years before the generally received date 1610. . . . It suggests that the performance at the Globe theatre on May 15, 1611 . . . must refer to a revival. . . .  [WT’s] versification is in fact of a quite different period [from that of the late plays. WT was written] near Troilus and Cressida, The Taming of the Shrew, and Timon. On the other hand, impressionistic critics who did not conduct verse tests could also reach strange conclusions. Spens (1922, p. 92), for example,
suspects that all the Romances . . . were written originally by Shakespeare at the very beginning of his career, and that they were for the most part one or two act pieces forming part of a series. Mathew (1922, p. 41) agrees in part:
These Plays were written first when Shakespeare was young and revised when he was mature.
The testimony of internal evidence is usually linked to the historical and practical facts of Sh.’s career, the latter being, for instance, that Sh. could not write more than a certain amount in a certain period, about two plays a year when his known work is distributed over the period during which he is believed to have been active. The distribution may also be colored by assumptions, not necessarily wrong, about Sh.’s development as a man and an artist. As Dowden (1877, pp. 37–41) puts it,
We need no scientific test to make us aware that, in passing from Love’s Labour’s Lost to Hamlet, and from Hamlet to The Tempest, we pass from youth to manhood, and again from a manhood of trial and sorrow to a riper manhood of attainment and of calm. Affected by the transitions are (a) style and diction.
In the earliest plays . . . the idea is at times hardly sufficient to fill out the language in which it is put; in the middle plays . . . there seems a perfect balance and equality between the thought and its expression[; in the latest] this balance is disturbed by the preponderance or excess of the ideas over the means of giving them utterance. . . . (b) The growth of Shakspere’s taste and judgment. . . .  (c) In the structure of the play and grouping of characters there is, in some of the early plays, a tendency to formal symmetry, an artificial setting of character over against character, and group against group. . . . Afterwards the outline of the play is drawn with a freer because a firmer hand. (d) . . . By degrees the characterisation becomes profound and refined. . . . (e) The entire reflective power deepens. . . . (f) The imagination . . . becomes passionately energetic, of daring and all-comprehensive power, as in King Lear, or lofty and sustained, with noble ideality, as in The Tempest. (g) The sympathy with human passion and the power of conceiving and dramatically rendering it in its most massive and most intense  forms increases. (h) . . . The humour of the dramatist . . . becomes full of grave significance, and works in conjunction with his (i) Deepening pathos. . . . (j) Finally, in moral reach, in true justice, in charity, in self-control, in all that indicate fortitude of will, the writings of the mature Shakspere excel, in an extraordinary degree, those of his younger self. These characteristics obviously cannot be quantified, but the alteration in Sh.’s verse can be.
At first Shakspere has his breaks and pauses at the end of the line—the verse is Light and weak endings increase. The first group, in Dowden’s classification, encompasses words on which (p. 41)
end-stopt; gradually he more and more [carries] on the sense from one line to another without a pause at the end of the line [but] in some part of the line other than the end.
the voice can to a small extent dwell (am, are, be, can, could; the auxiliaries do, does, has, had; I, they, thou). The weak endings are
more fugitive and evanescent . . . , including such words as and, for, from, if, in, of, or. Now weak endings hardly appear in Shakspere’s early or middle plays. . . . Nor do they come in by slow degrees at a later period. . . . In Macbeth light endings appear for the first time in considerable numbers; weak endings in considerable numbers for the first time in Antony and Cleopatra. This test serves perfectly to pick out the plays which form the group belonging to Shakspere’s last period of dramatic authorship; and within that period it probably serves to indicate nearly the precise order in which the plays were written. Dowden reproduces part of a table devised by Ingram (1874, p. 450) showing percentages of light and weak endings, from Mac. through H8, in a sequence that does not quite bear Dowden out, in that it places Tmp. earlier than Cym. and WT. Similarly, Dowden reproduces a table he attributes to Hertzberg; it shows the percentage of double, or feminine, endings increasing from LLL (4) through Tmp. and puts WT (31.09) before Cym. (32) by a whisker. Actually, the table Hertzberg published (1878, p. 252) reverses the sequence (WT 32.5), but in neither accounting is the difference great enough to establish priority. (Similar data from which similar conclusions were drawn persisted; see, for example, Neilson & Thorndike, c. 1913, pp. 69–75.)
The history of stylistic analysis and the efforts of other contributors to it are described in detail by Chambers (1930, 1:242–74). As a prelude to his own assignment of dates, he provides a thorough discussion of the problem of chronology, an evaluation of the evidence of dates, and (in 2:397–408) his own metrical tables, several of them corrected versions of Fleay’s. He believes (1:489) that
the style and metre group Winter’s Tale with Cymbeline and Tempest, and it may reasonably be placed between them. A date early in 1611 is suggested by the probability that the bear of iii.3 and the dance of satyrs at  were both inspired by Jonson’s mask of Oberon on 1 January 1611. For the bear, see n. 1500, and for the satyrs, n. 2164. Gray (1931, p. 148) averages
the percentages of double [i.e., feminine] endings, run-on lines, and speeches ending with the line and discovers that the results for WT, Tmp., and Cym., though close to those for Cor. on the earlier side and H8 on the later, are also close to each other. Having related independent clauses to verse lines, Langworthy (1931, p. 748) gets similar results for the same plays, although his data order them as Tmp., Cym., and WT. Law (1936, pp. 50–1) tabulates the dates assigned by Adams (1923), Alden (1925), Chambers (1930), Craig (ed. 1931), Campbell (1932), Parrott (1934), and Brooke (ed. 1935). All give 1610 or 1610–11. So does Reinhold (1942, p. 87); like Oras (see below), Reinhold calculates split lines (pentameters shared by two or more speakers) as a percentage of the total lines in each play to show that their number generally increases with time. In an early statistical study, Yardi (1946) uses multiple measurements of metrical data for the discrimination of groups; the results place WT with Cym. and Tmp. but do not provide actual dates. Brainerd’s (1980) statistical study of Shn. chronology has no bearing, for WT, dated 1610.5, is a member of the test set, plays for the most part unambiguously dated.
A few recent critics dissent. Wentersdorf (1951, p. 178), combining such stylistic features as split lines, extra syllables within and at the end of lines, feminine endings, and alexandrines into a metrical index for each play, finds the three last to have been written in Chambers’s (1930) order, but he moves each work back by a year, WT to 1609–10. As Tmp. was performed at court on 1 November 1611, it would have been acted publicly
at least by the summer of 1611, since public success presumably preceded the selection of any play for presentation at court. If the dance of satyrs in WT derives from Jonson’s Oberon, WT may nevertheless have been in existence prior to January 1611, when the masque was performed, and the satyrs subsequently added.
It has also been suggested that the bear scene in Act iii was borrowed from . . . Mucedorus, which was revived by the King’s Men shortly before 1610. If this was the case (as the bear episode is not in Shakespeare’s source for WT), it points to an upward [i.e., anterior] time limit late in 1609. . . . Finally, the reference at  is sufficiently motivated by the story and in any case too general to warrant interpretation to the murder of Henri IV on 14 May 1610 (see Chambers, 1930, 2:489). Having assigned Per. to 1607–8 and Tmp. to 1610–11, Wentersdorf accordingly dates Cym. and WT 1608–9 and 1609–10, respectively. Also dissenting is Oras (1960), who studies three types of pauses in the verse of Sh. and a number of other early writers, under three heads: all pauses indicated by the internal punctuation of the earliest eds. (A-patterns); strong pauses indicated by punctuation heavier than commas (B-patterns); and lines shared by two or more speakers—split lines—(C-patterns). That the punctuation may be scribal or compositorial is recognized, but it is still considered a valid marker because its source is contemporaneous. The data are presented numerically and graphically, and although no actual dates are assigned, the patterns of Cym. and WT resemble each other more strongly than they resemble the patterns of the other works studied.
Alexander (ed. 1951, p. xv), wisely declining to be pinned down to more than
an approximate order of composition, places WT, along with Per., Cym., Tmp., and H8, between 1608 and 1613. Maxwell (ed. Cym., 1960, p. xi), commenting on 1609–10 and 1610–11 for the dates of Cym. and WT, respectively:
It is reasonable to associate the greater artistic assurance of The Winter’s Tale with a later date [than Cym.’s], which is also supported by the fact that Shakespeare undoubtedly knew the Boccaccio source of Cymbeline when he wrote The Winter’s Tale. I think [the 1610–11] date for The Winter’s Tale may well be a year too late. There is a fairly close verbal parallel between The Winter’s Tale [1941–7] and Philaster [4.6.2–8], which seems to me most easily explained as an echo of the former by the latter; and Philaster is not later than 8 October 1610 [see Chambers, 1923, 3:223]. To Tillyard (1938, pp. 9–10), however, the echoes seem reversed: Sh. is improving Fletcher (see n. 1941–7). In any case, as Pafford (ed. 1963, p. 97 n.) remarks, the strewing of corpses as well as bridal beds with flowers is a common idea.
As for the presence of Cym.’s source in WT, the story in question is the ninth novel of the second day of Boccaccio’s Decameron. Muir (1977, pp. 262–3) summarizes it:
Some Italian merchants at an inn in Paris deride the idea of a female chastity and Bernabo of Genoa is provoked by Ambrogiuolo to bet on the chastity of his wife, Ginevra. On going to Genoa, Ambrogiuolo realizes that he cannot seduce Ginevra. Concealed in a chest, he is able to observe the pictures of her bedroom, to steal a ring and other belongings, and to observe a mole on the lady’s breast. Bernabo is convinced that he has lost the wager and he orders his servant to murder Ginevra. The servant, convinced of her innocence, spares her. She dresses in his clothes and takes service with the Soldan. One day she sees her purse and girdle in a stall in the market-place. When the truth comes to light, Ginevra reveals herself to her husband and forgives him. The villain is tortured to death:
Smith (1972, p. 216) holds that
the verie same day that hee was impaled on the stake, annointed with honey, and fixed in the place appointed, to his no meane tormente: he not onely died, but likewise was deuoured to the bare  bones, by Flies, Waspes, and Hornets, whereof the Countrey notoriously aboundeth.
As Iachimo is forgiven, this torture is not used in Cymbeline; but in The Winter’s Tale Autolycus tells the Clown [2665–72].
it is generally agreed . . . that The Winter’s Tale is the later of the two [because] the use of the leftover passage about the punishment of the villain . . . suggests that The Winter’s Tale followed Cymbeline.
Earlier, however, Nosworthy (ed. Cym., 1955, pp. xvi–xvii), instead of drawing this conclusion, recognizes
the possibility that Shakespeare owed the name Recalling that it was at the public theater that Forman saw WT, Nosworthy demurs at
Belarius [in Cym.] to the Bellaria of Greene’s Pandosto . . . so that the evidence can point either way. My own guess is that the composition of the two plays was more or less simultaneous or, at any rate, that both had been written, revised and prepared for the stage before either was actually performed, with consequent cross-fertilisation. This view . . . tallies with the attractive theory, put forward by [Bentley, 1948], that the impending acquisition of the Blackfriars private theatre led, in the Spring and Summer of 1608, to discussions among the King’s Players as a result of which Shakespeare was henceforth to write with the Blackfriars in mind, and not the Globe, and that [Cym., WT, and Tmp.,] in that [xvii] order, were the fruits of that decision. Bentley says nothing about their respective dates, but the application of his theory would . . . suggest 1608 for the first play of the series.
and not the Globe, preferring to think that after his company acquired the Blackfriars theater in 1608, Sh. wrote dual-purpose plays,
for such, most emphatically and triumphantly, the Romances are. If Cym., the first play of the series, was composed in 1608, 1608–9 would presumably be the date of WT. Although Pafford (ed. 1963, p. xxiii) does not deal explicitly with Nosworthy’s idea, he comments:
The language, style, and spirit of the play all point to a late date. The tangled speech, the packed sentences, speeches which begin and end in the middle of a line, and the high percentage of light and weak endings are all marks of Shakespeare’s writing at the end of his career. But of more importance than verse tests is the similarity of the last plays in spirit and themes. . . . Practically all authorities . . . accept, with minor variations, the approximate dates given by Chambers [i.e., 1610–11]. Those who do not follow Chambers may instead favor Wentersdorf—for example, Fitch (1981, p. 300), who, in a revival of sense-pause investigation, decides on 1609–10.
A comprehensive reexamination of the internal evidence of WT’s date is made by Taylor (in Wells & Taylor, pp. 93–109). Among the data included are the percentage of rhyme to verse and to prose; colloquialisms in verse (e.g., i’th’, ’em, ’ll, I’m), which show
that Shakespeare’s reversion to an antiquated dramatic form [the romance] apparently coincides with some backsliding toward a less colloquial poetry (p. 101); and a revision of Wentersdorf’s metrical indices and Oras’s pause patterns. Taylor concludes (p. 107) that
although minor ambiguities remain about the order of particular plays, we can be reasonably confident about the shape of the canon after about 1597. Nevertheless, recent eds. differ to some extent, as the following comparison shows (see table).
Chambers (1930) is included because his chronology was accepted by many eds. until recently; all his dates given here are reiterated by McManaway (1950). Lr. is present because Taylor holds that the text of that play included in F1 is a revision of the text that first appeared in the quarto of 1608 substantial enough to constitute a new creation. Cardenio is a play based on a story in Don Quixote and thought to be by Shakespeare and Fletcher (as are H8 and TNK). As Chambers (1930, 1:539) notes:
A play of Cardenno or Cardenna was given by the King’s men at court in the winter of 1612–13. It was acted in 1727 under the title Double Falsehood and printed in 1728 as
Written Originally by W. Shakespeare; And now Revised and Adapted to the Stage by Mr. Theobald. Bevington’s WT range is an innovation for him; his previous editions of the Works (1973 and 1980) substantially agree with Chambers and with Evans (c. 1610–11). He appears to have extended these dates on the chance that Taylor may be right, a question that critics of Lr. will have to decide. As it now stands, however, c. 1610–11 is as close as one can come to the date of WT.
|Chambers 1930||Evans ed. 1974||Taylor 1987||Bevington ed. 1992|
The first ed. of WT to quote extensively from Pandosto to illustrate Sh.’s dependence was Malone (ed. 1790). Recognition of WT’s source preceded Malone by a century, however. Langbaine (1691, p. 466):
The Plot of this Play may be read in a little Stitch-pamphlet, which is call’d, as I remember, The Delectable History of Dorastus and Fawnia, otherwise Pandosto, by Robert Greene. Rowe (ed. 1709, 1:xxvii–xxviii):
The Winter’s Tale . . . contains the space of sixteen or seventeen Years, and the Scene [xxviii] is sometimes laid in Bohemia, and sometimes in Sicily, according to the original Order of the Story. Gildon (1710, p. 336):
Whence I suppose the Absurdities are copyed, and the making Bohemia of an Inland, a maritime Country. The opinion of Grey (1754, 1:244)
that Dorastus and Faunia is of a more modern date [than WT], and borrow’d from Shakespeare was refuted by Farmer (in Steevens, ed. 1778). Farmer reported a copy of Pandosto with a publication date of 1588, considerably before any date proposed for Sh.’s play.
On 1 July 1588,
A booke intitled the complaint of tyme was entered in the Register of the Company of Stationers to Thomas Orwin (Arber, 1875–94, 2:493). Pandosto. The Triumph of Time was printed by Orwin for the stationer Thomas Cadman (RSTC [3:277] 12285); The Historie of Dorastus and Fawnia is its head title. The discrepancy between the title as given in the Register and the title as published creates some uncertainty that the entry pertains to the novel (see Wells, 1988, pp. xxx–xxxi); even so, there is no reason to doubt that the novel appeared in 1588. It was frequently reprinted—in 1592, 1595, 1600 (RSTC 12287.5, a single copy in the Biblioteka Gdanska), 1607, 1609, 1614, 1619, 1621 (a single copy in the Vienna National Library, located by Wells; not in RSTC), 1629, 1632, 1632–6 (date cropped; see Wells, p. xxxviii), 1636, and c. 1640 (date cropped; see Allison, 1975, no. 84). Wells (pp. xl–xlii) identifies eleven more editions of Pandosto, including an abridgment, published from 1648 to the end of the century and seven or eight more complete eds. and abridgments from about 1700 to 1735; uncertainties in the tabulation arise from difficulties in distinguishing the eds. and in dating them. The title pages of eds. 1588 through 1632 carry as a subtitle The Triumph of Time; in eds. 1636 and following, the earlier title and subtitle are replaced by The Pleasant Historie of Dorastus and Fawnia, the title Langbaine was thinking of.
Jusserand (1890; 1966, p. 155): The novel
had an immense success, much greater according to appearances than the exquisite drama of a Collier (1836, p. 19 n.) alleges that the 1609 ed.
Winter’s Tale, that Shakespeare drew from it.
is probably the very one used by our great Dramatist. In a subsequent work, Collier (ed. 1842, 3:476 n.) declares that in eds. of Pandosto published after 1588, the oracle’s words are
the king shall live without an heire, whereas in 1588 the word is
die. He settled on 1609 rather than an earlier ed. because it is the one that most immediately preceded the writing of WT. The actual situation, according to Wells (1988, p. 128), is that the eds. of 1588, 1592, and 1595 read
liue, as Sh. does (WT 1315), whereas 1609 and subsequent eds. read
die. Muir (1957, p. 240) asserts that Sh. used the 1588 ed., but, as Wells remarks, Muir evidently did not know that the 1592 and 1595 eds. existed. Since Sh. did not reproduce a unique feature of any of these eds., the specific one he consulted cannot be ascertained. Moreover, Coggins (1980) argues that there seems to have been a 1584 ed., no copies of which are known to have survived.
Later versions of Pandosto are found in Lennox (1753), a paraphrase; Collier, Shakespeare’s Library, vol. 1 (1843; 1875); NUC lists an ed. from the 1840s, possibly a separate issue of the Collier text, which seems not to be noticed elsewhere; an ed. of 1858, according to S. A. Tannenbaum & D. A. Tannenbaum, Elizabethan Bibliographies: Robert Greene , possibly the version in Halliwell (ed. 1859); A. B. Grosart, The Life and Complete Works of Robert Greene, vol. 4 (188?); Morley (ed. 1887), an abridgment; Anon., Pandosto, or The Historie of Dorastus and Fawnia, by Robert Greene (New Rochelle, 1902); Thomas (ed. Pandosto, 1907); James Winny, The Descent of Euphues (Cambridge, 1957); Bullough (1975); and Wells (ed. Pandosto, 1988, but finished in 1962). Eds. of WT containing Pandosto include those of Halliwell, Morley (1887), Furness (ed. 1898), and Pafford (1963).
According to Bolte (Schlussscene, 1891, p. 90), the novel provided material for a French play and a Dutch play: Jean Puget de La Serre’s Pandoste ou la Princesse malheureuse, en deux journées (Paris, 1631), which was performed at the Hôtel de Bourgogne in 1631; and Meynert Voskuyl’s Dorastus en Fauniaas (Amsterdam, 1637). The British Library Catalogue also lists Voskuyl’s Bellaria en Pandostos (Amstrelredam, 1637). Thomas (1907, p. xix) reports that a French version by Alexandre Hardy, who wrote several pastoral plays, is now lost. Jusserand (in Lee, ed. 1907, pp. xxviii–xxix) gives further details:
The first translation was printed at Paris, One adaptation, Le roman d’Albanie et de Sycile par le Sr du Bail gentil-homme Poict[evin], appeared in 1626, and another, Histoire de Pandolphe, roy de Bohême et de Cellaria sa femme, in 1722. Jusserand also supplies (pp. xxxvi–xxxix)
chez Guillaume Marette, in 1615, under the title of Histoire tragique de Pandosto roy de Bohême et de Bellaria sa femme. Ensemble les amours de Dorastus et de Faunia. . . . [xxix] Le tout traduit premièrement en Anglois de la langue Bohême, et de nouveau mis en françois par L. Regnault. . . . The translation [takes] a good many liberties . . . with the text (some voluntary, others not). . . . To the supposed
Bohemian original there is no further allusion.
the sketches made by the stage decorator [xxxvii] Mahelot for the scenery used in the performance of Hardy’s dramatic version.
A derivative in blank verse, Francis Sabie’s The Fissher-mans Tale (RSTC 21535), appeared in 1595, some copies being issued as a part of Sabie’s Pans Pipe, three eclogues in hexameters; and The Fissher-mans Tale was followed by a second part, Flora’s Fortune (RSTC 21536), also in 1595. These poems were reprinted by Halliwell (ed. 1859, 8:127–60)—possibly from a defective copy, since the
extracts, as he calls his text, run from line 632 of The Fissher-mans Tale to the end of Flora’s Fortune.
Pandosto of 1588 collates A–G4. The one surviving copy, located in the British Library, lacks the four leaves of sig. B; the missing text is supplied here by the edition of 1592, Folger Shakespeare Library. In the following reprint, the black letter of these eds. is rendered as roman and the roman as italic.
The Epitaph (here) is italic in ed. 1588. Most ornaments are ignored. Macrons and abbreviations of the, and, that, and with have been expanded. The two- and three-line initials beginning certain paragraphs are reduced to regular capitals, turned letters are returned, and the white space preceding and following some lines of dialogue has been removed. Footnotes show the origin of emendations of the 1588 and 1592 texts; the spelling of the emendations has been altered occasionally to accord with that of the copy-text. Asterisks in the text call attention to the footnotes. In the notes, a wavy dash in the variant reading repeats the word of the lemma in the corresponding position; the caret indicates absence of punctuation.
Important points of comparison and contrast between Greene’s novel and Sh.’s play, and representative commentary on them, may be found in the following notes: 3370, 3371, 3378, 3379, 3381, 3382, 3388, 14–16, 50–1, 121–3, 181–92, 234, 269–72, 285–8, 288, 410, 450–1, 455–66, 461, 468–81, 565, 582, 583, 648, 715–19, 798–805, 800, 938–41, 980, 1016–17, 1062, 1111–15, 1134, 1147, 1173, 1191–5, 1202–6, 1219–21, 1222–4, 1263, 1280, 1293, 1299, 1347–8, 1366–85, 1437, 1440, 1486, 1507, 1509–10, 1512, 1559, 1596–8, 1691–2, 1795, 1798–9, 1798, 1799, 1826–36, 1828–32, 2240, 2263, 2408, 2512, 2630, 2724, 2915, 2926, 2995, 2998, 3032, 3061. Passages of the novel referred to in these commentary notes are here preceded by bracketed TLN numbers of those notes, inserted into the text. In addition, TLN numbers for some other lines in WT, which correspond to passages in Pandosto but are not discussed in the notes, are likewise inserted here into the text before the corresponding passages of the novel.
Wherein is Discovered
by a pleasant Historie, that although by the meanes
of sinister fortune Truth may be concea
led, yet by Time in spight of fortune it
is most manifestly reuealed.
Pleasant for age to auoyde drowsie thoughtes,
profitable for youth to eschue other wanton
pastimes, and bringing to both a de
Temporis filia veritas.
Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit vtile dulci.
Imprinted at London by Thomas Orwin for Thomas
Cadman, dwelling at the Signe of the Bible, neere
vnto the North doore of Paules,
To the Gentlemen Rea
The paultring Poet Aphranius being blamed for troublinge the Emperor Traian with so many doting Poems: aduentured notwithstanding, stil to present him with rude and homely verses, excusing himselfe
TO THE RIGHT HO
norable George Clifford Earle of Cumber
land, Robert Greene wisheth increase
of honour and vertue.
The Rascians (right honorable) when by long gazing against the Sunne, they become halfe blinde, recouer their sightes by looking on the blacke Loade stone. Vnicornes being glutted with brousing on roots of Licquoris, sharpen their stomacks with crushing bitter grasse.
Alexander vouchsafed as well to smile at the croked picture of Vulcan, as to wonder at the curious counterfeite of Venus. The minde is sometimes delighted as much with small trifles as with sumptuous triumphs, and as wel pleased with hearing of Pans homely fancies, as of Hercules renowmed laboures.
Syllie Baucis could not serue Iupiter in a siluer plate, but in a woodden dish. Al that honour Esculapius, decke not his shrine with Iewels. Apollo giues Oracles as wel to the poore man for his mite, as to the rich man for his treasure. The stone Echites is not so much liked for the colour, as for vertue, and giftes are not to be measured by the worth, but by the will. Mison that vnskilfull Painter of Greece, aduentured to giue vnto Darius the shielde of Pallas, so roughlie shadowed, as he smiled more at the follie of the man, then at the imperfection of his arte. So I present vnto your honour the triumph of time, so rudelie finished, as I feare your honour wil rather frowne at my impudencie, then laugh at my ignorancie: But I hope my willing minde shal excuse my slender skill, and your honours curtesie shadowe my rashnes.
The Historie of
Among al the Passions wherewith humane mindes are perplexed, there is none that so galleth with restlesse despight, as that infectious soare of Iealousie: for all other griefes are eyther to bee appeased with sensible perswasions, to be cured with wholesome counsel, to be relieved in want, or by tract of time to be worne out, (Iealousie only excepted) which is so sawsed with suspitious doubtes, and pinching mistrust, that whoso seekes by friendly counsaile to rase out this hellish passion, it foorthwith suspecteth that he geueth this aduise to couer his owne guiltinesse. Yea, who so is payned with this restlesse torment doubteth all, dystrusteth him-selfe, is alwayes frosen with feare, and fired with suspition, hauing that wherein consisteth all his ioy, to be the breeder of his miserie. Yea, it is such a heauy enemy to that holy estate of matrimony, sowing betweene the married couple
In the Countrey of Bohemia there raygned a King called Pandosto, whose fortunate successe in warres against his foes, and bountifull curtesie towardes his friendes in peace, made him to be greatly feared and loued of all men. This Pandosto had to Wife a Ladie called Bellaria, by birth royall, learned by education, faire by nature, by vertues famous, so that it was hard to iudge whether her beautie, fortune, or vertue, wanne the greatest
Ah Franion, treason is loued of many, but the traitor hated of all: vniust offences may for a time escape without danger, but neuer without reuenge, thou art seruant to a king, and must obey at commaund: yet Franion, against law and conscience, it is not good to resist a tyrant with armes, nor to please an vniust king with obedience. What shalt thou do? Folly refuseth
Franion hauing muttered out these or such like words, seeing either he must dye with a cleare minde, or liue with a spotted conscience: he was so [tln 455–66] combered with diuers cogitations that hee could take no rest, vntill at last he determined to breake the matter to Egistus, but fearing that the king should either suspect or heare of such matters, he concealed the deuise till oportunitie would permit him to reueale it. Lingring thus in doubtfull feare, in an euening he went to Egistus lodging, and desirous to breake with him of certaine affaires that touched the king, after all were commaunded out of the chamber: Franion made manifest the whole conspiracie, which Pandosto had deuised against him, desiring Egistus not to accompt him a traytor for bewraying his maisters counsell, but to thinke that he did it for conscience, hoping that although his maister inflamed with rage, or incensed by some sinister reportes, or slaunderous
But Pandosto, whose reason was suppressed with rage, and whose vnbridled folly was incensed with furie: seeing Franion had bewrayed his secrets, and that Egistus might wel be rayled on, but not reuenged: [tln 901–8] determined to wreake all his wrath on poore Bellaria, he therfore caused a generall Proclamation to be made through all his Realme, that the Queene and Egistus had by the helpe of Franion not only committed most incestuous adulterie, but also had conspired the Kings death: Wherupon the Traitor Franion was fled away with Egistus, and Bellaria was most iustly imprisoned. This Proclamation being once [tln 1280] blazed through the countrey [tln 1164–5], although the vertuous disposition of the Queene did halfe discredit the contents: yet [tln 583] the sodaine and speedie passage of Egistus, and the secret departure of Franion induced them (the circumstances throughly considered) to thinke that both the Proclamation was true, and the King greatly iniured: yet [tln 734–71] they pitied her case, as sorowful that so good a Ladie should be crossed with such aduerse Fortune. But the King, whose restlesse rage would admit no pity, thought that although he might sufficiently requite his wiues falshood with the bitter plague of [tln 648] pinching penurie, yet his minde should neuer be glutted with reuenge, till he might haue fit time and oportunitie to repay the treacherie of
Remaining thus resolute in this determination, Bellaria continuing still in prison, and hearing the contents of the Proclamation, knowing that her mind was neuer touched with
But Pandosto was so enflamed with rage, and infected with Iealousie as he would not vouchsafe to heare her nor admit any iust excuse, so that she was faine to make a vertue of her neede, and with patience to beare these heauie iniuries. As thus she lay crossed with calamities (a great cause to increase her griefe) she found her selfe quicke with childe: which assoone as she felt stir in her bodie, she burst foorth into bitter teares, exclaiming against fortune in these tearmes.
Alas Bellaria, how infortunate art thou because fortunat, better hadst thou bene borne a begger than a Prince: so shouldest thou haue bridled Fortune with want, where now she sporteth her selfe with thy plentie. Ah happy life where poore thoughts, and meane desires liue in secure content, not fearing Fortune because too low for
The Iaylor pitying these her heauy passions, thinking that if the king knew she were with child, he would somwhat appease his furie, and release her from prison went in all hast, and certified Pandosto what the effect of Bellarias complaint was: who no sooner heard the Iaylour say she was with child, but as one possessed with a phrensie, he rose vp in a rage, swearing that she and the bastard brat she was withal, should dy, if the gods themselues said no: thinking assuredly by computation of time, that Egistus, and not he, was father to the child. This suspitious thought galled a fresh this halfe healed sore, in so much as he could take no rest, vntil he might mitigate his choler with a iust reuenge, which happened presently after. For Bellaria was brought to bed of a faire and beautiful daughter, which no sooner Pandosto heard, but [tln 1016–17, 1062] he determined that both Bellaria and the yong infant should be burnt with fire. [tln 1077–83] His Nobles hearing of the Kings cruel sentence, sought by perswasions to diuert him from this bloody determination: [tln 980] laying before his face the innocencie of the child, and the vertuous disposition of his wife, how she had continually loued and honored him so tenderly, that without due proof he could not, nor ought not to appeach her of that crime. And if she had faulted, yet it were more honorable to pardon with mercy, then to punish with extremity, and more Kingly, to be commended of pity, than accused of [tln 1293] rigor. And as
Alas sweete infortunate babe, scarse borne before enuied by fortune: would the day of thy birth had bin the tearme of thy life, then shouldest thou haue made an end to care, and preuented thy fathers rigor. Thy faults cannot yet deserue such hatefull reuenge, thy dayes are too short for so sharpe a doome, but thy vntimely death must pay thy mothers debtes, and her guiltlesse crime must be thy gastly curse. And shalt thou sweete babe be committed to fortune? When thou art alreadie spighted by fortune: shall the seas be thy harbour, and the hard boate thy cradle? Shall thy tender mouth in steede of sweete kisses, be nipped with bitter stormes? Shalt thou haue [tln 1496–7] the whistling winds for thy Lullabie, and the salt sea fome in steed of [tln 1277–80] sweet milke? Alas, what destinies would assigne such hard hap? What father would be so cruell? Or what gods wil not reuenge such rigor? Let me kisse thy lips (sweet infant) and wet thy tender cheekes with my teares, and put this chaine
Suspition is no proofe: Iealousie is an vnequall iudge: Bellaria is chast: Egistus blameless: Franion a true subiect: Pandosto treacherous: his babe an innocent, and the King shal liue without an heire: if [tln 1313–16, 3378] that which is lost be not founde.
As soone as they had taken out this scroule, the Priest of the God commaunded them that [tln 1168–70, 1304–10] they should not presume to read it, before they came in the presence of Pandosto: vnlesse they would incurre the displeasure of Apollo. The Bohemian Lords carefully obeying his commaund, taking their leaue of the Priest, with great reuerence departed out of the Temple, and went to their ships, and assoone as wind would permit them, sailed toward
[tln 1202–6] If the deuine powers bee priuy to humane actions (as no doubt they are) I hope my patience shall make fortune blushe, and my vnspotted life shall staine spightfull
Bellaria had no sooner sayd, but the King commaunded that one of his Dukes should reade the contentes of the scroule: which after the commons had heard, they gaue a great showt, reioysing and clapping their hands that the Queene was cleare of that false accusation: but [cf. the contrasting tln 1321–2] the King whose conscience was a witnesse against him of his witlesse furie, and false suspected Iealousie, was so ashamed of his rashe folly, that he intreated his nobles to perswade Bellaria to forgiue, and forget these iniuries: promising not onely to shew himselfe a loyall and louing husband, but also to reconcile himselfe to Egistus, and Franion: reuealing then before them all the cause of their secrete flighte, and how treacherously hee thought to haue practised his death, [cf. tln 1347–8] if the good minde of his Cupbearer had not preuented his purpose. As thus he was relating the whole matter, [tln 1326–7] there was worde brought him that his young sonne Garinter was sodainly dead, which newes so soone as Bellaria heard, surcharged before with
[tln 1366–85] O miserable Pandosto, what surer witnesse then conscience? What thoughts more sower then suspition? What plague more bad then Iealousie? Vnnaturall actions offend the Gods, more than men, and causelesse crueltie neuer scapes without re-
¶The Epitaph.Here lyes entombde Bellaria faire,Falsly accused to be vnchaste:Cleared by Apollos sacred doome,Yet slaine by Iealousie at last.What ere thou be, that passest by,Cursse him that causde this Queene to die.
Who being tossed with Winde, and Waue, floated two whole daies without succour, readie at euery puffe to bee drowned in the Sea, till at last [tln 1443–5, 1491, 1525–36] the Tempest ceassed, and the little boate was driuen with the tyde [tln 1437, 1440] into the Coast of Sycilia, where sticking vppon the sandes, it rested. [tln 1486] Fortune minding to be wanton, willing to shewe that as she hath wrinckles on her browes: so shee hath dimples in her cheekes: thought after so many sower lookes, to lend a fayned smile, and after a puffing storme, to bring a pretty calme: shee began thus to dally. It fortuned a poore mercenary Sheepheard, that dwelled in Sycilia, who got his liuing by other mens flockes, missed [tln 1507] one of his sheepe, and thinking it had strayed into the couert, that was hard by, sought very diligently to find that which he could not see, fearing either that [tln 1508] the Wolues, or Eagles had vndone him (for hee was so poore, as a sheepe was halfe his substaunce) wandered downe toward the Sea cliffes, to see if perchaunce the sheepe was browsing on [tln 1509–10] the sea Iuy, whereon they greatly doe feede, but not finding her there, as he was ready to returne to his flocke, hee heard a childe crie: but knowing there was no house nere, he thought he had mistaken the sound, and that it was the bleatyng of his Sheepe. Wherefore looking more narrowely, as he cast his eye to the Sea, he spyed a little boate, from whence as he attentiuely listened, he might heare the cry to come: standing a good while in a maze, at last he went to the shoare, and wading to the boate, as he looked in, he saw the little babe lying al alone, ready to die for hunger and colde, wrapped in a Mantle of Scarlet, richely imbrodered with Golde, and hauing a chayne about the necke. The Sheepeheard, who before had neuer seene so faire a Babe, nor so [tln 3043] riche Iewels, [tln 1512] thought assuredly, that it was some little God, and began with great deuocion to knock on his breast. The Babe, who wrythed with the head, to seeke for the pap, began againe to cry a fresh, whereby the poore man knew that it
Dorastus, thy youth warneth me to preuent the worst, and mine age to prouide the best. Oportunities neglected, are signes of folly: actions measured by time, are seldome bitten with repentance: thou art young, and I olde: age hath taught me that, which thy youth cannot yet conceiue.
I therefore will counsell thee as a father, hoping thou wilt obey as a childe. Thou seest my white hayres are blossomes for the graue, and thy freshe colour fruite for time and fortune, so that it behooueth me to thinke how to dye, and for thee to care how to liue. My crowne I must leaue by death, and thou enioy my Kingdome by succession, wherein I hope thy vertue and prowesse shall bee such, as though my subiectes want my person, yet they shall see in thee my perfection. That nothing either may faile to satisfie thy minde, or increase thy dignities: the onely care I haue, is to see thee well marryed before I die, and thou become olde.
Dorastus who from his infancy, delighted rather to die with Mars in the Fielde, then to dally with Venus in the Chamber: fearing to displease his father, and yet not willing to be wed, made him this reuerent answere.
Sir, there is no greater bond than duetie, nor no straiter law then nature: disobedience in youth is often galled with despight in age. The commaund of the father ought to be a constraint to the childe: so parentes willes are laws, so they passe not all lawes: may it please your Grace therefore to appoint whome I shall loue, rather then by deniall I should be appeached of disobedience: I rest content to loue, though it bee the only thing I hate.
Egistus hearing his sonne to flie so farre from the marke, began to be somewhat chollericke, and therefore made him his hasty aunswere.
Egistus pausing here a while, looking when his son should make him answere, and seeing that he stoode still as one in a trance, he shooke him vp thus sharply.
Well Dorastus take heede, the tree Alpya wasteth not with fire, but withereth with the dewe: that which loue nourisheth not, perisheth with hate: if thou like Euphania, thou breedest my content, and in louing her thou shalt haue my loue, otherwise; and with that hee flung from his sonne in a rage, leauing him a sorrowfull man, in that he had by deniall displeased his Father, and halfe angrie with him selfe that hee coulde not yeelde to that passion, whereto both reason and his Father perswaded him: but see how fortune is plumed with times feathers, and how shee can minister strange causes to breede straunge effectes.
It happened not long after this, that there was [tln 1795] a meeting of all the Farmers Daughters in Sycilia, whither Fawnia was also bidden as the [tln 1709, 1802, 1873] mistres of the feast, who hauing attired
Fawnia (who all this while had marked the princely ges-
Dorastus (who all this while rode with a flea in his eare) coulde not by any meanes forget the sweete fauour of Fawnia, but rested so bewitched with her wit and beauty, as hee could take no rest. He felt fancy to giue the assault, and his wounded mind readie to yeeld as vanquished: yet he began with diuers considerations to suppresse this frantick affection, calling to minde, that Fawnia was a shepheard, one not worthy to bee looked at of a Prince, much lesse to bee loued of such a potentate, thinking what a discredite it were to himself, and what a griefe it would be to his father, blaming fortune and accusing his owne follie, that shoulde bee so fond as but once to cast a glaunce at such a country slut. As thus he was raging against him selfe, Loue, fearing if shee dallied long, to loose her champion, stept more nigh, and gaue him such a fresh wounde as it pearst him at the heart, that he was faine to yeeld, maugre his face, and to forsake the companie and gette him to his chamber: where being solemnly set, hee burst into these passionate tearmes.
Ah Dorastus, art thou alone? No not alone, while thou art tired with these vnacquainted passions. Yeld to fancy, thou canst not by thy fathers counsaile, but in a frenzie thou art by iust destinies. Thy father were content, if thou couldest loue, and thou therefore discontent, because thou doest loue. O deuine Loue, feared of men because honoured of the Gods, not to be suppressed by wisdome, because not to be comprehen-
How now Dorastus, why doest thou blaze that with praises, which thou hast cause to blaspheme with curses? Yet why should they curse Loue, that are in Loue?
Blush Dorastus at thy fortune, thy choice, thy loue: thy thoughts cannot be vttered without shame, nor thy affections without discredit. Ah Fawnia, sweete Fawnia, thy beautie Fawnia. Shamest not thou Dorastus to name one vnfitte for thy birth, thy dignities, thy Kingdomes? Dye Dorastus, Dorastus die, better hadst thou perish with high desires, then liue in base thoughts. Yea but, beautie must be obeyed, because it is beauty, yet framed of the Gods to feede the eye, not to fetter the heart.
Ah but he that striueth against Loue, shooteth with them of Scyrum against the winde, and with the Cockeatrice pecketh against the steele. I will therefore obey, because I must obey, Fawnia, yea Fawnia shal be my fortune, in spight of fortune. [tln 1826–36] The Gods aboue disdain not to loue women beneath. Phoebus liked Sibilla, Iupiter Io, and why not I then Fawnia, one something inferiour to these in birth, but farre superiour to them in beautie, borne to be a Shepheard, but worthy to be a Goddesse.
Ah Dorastus, wilt thou so forget thy selfe as to suffer affection to suppresse wisedome, and Loue to violate thine honour?
Infortunate Fawnia, and therefore infortunate because Fawnia, thy [tln 2263] shepherds hooke sheweth thy poore state, thy proud desires an aspiring mind: the one declareth thy want, the other thy pride. No bastard hauke must soare so hie as the Hobbie, no Fowle gaze against the Sunne but the Eagle, actions wrought against nature reape despight, and thoughts aboue Fortune disdaine.
Fawnia, thou art a shepheard, daughter to poore Porrus: if thou rest content with this, thou art like to stande, if thou climbe thou art sure to fal. The Herb Anita growing higher then sixe ynches becommeth a weede. Nylus flowing more then twelue cubits procureth a dearth. Daring affections that passe measure, are cut shorte by time or fortune: suppresse then Fawnia those thoughts which thou mayest shame to expresse. But ah Fawnia, loue is a Lord, who will commaund by power, and constraine by force.
Dorastus, ah Dorastus is the man I loue, the woorse is thy hap, and the lesse cause hast thou to hope. Will Eagles catch at flyes, will Cedars stoupe to brambles, or mighty Princes looke at such homely trulles. No, no, thinke this, Dorastus disdaine is greater then thy desire, hee is a Prince respecting his honor, thou a beggars brat forgetting thy calling. Cease then not onely to say, but to thinke to loue Dorastus, and dissemble thy loue Fawnia, for better it were to dye with griefe, then to liue with shame: yet in despight of loue I will sigh, to see if I can sigh out loue. Fawnia somewhat appeasing her griefes with these pithie perswasions, began after her wonted maner to walke about her sheepe, and to keepe them from straying into the corne, suppressing her affection with the due consideration of her base estate, and with the impossibilities of her loue, thinking it were frenzy, not fancy, to couet that which
But Dorastus was more impatient in his passions: for loue so fiercely assayled him, that neither companie, nor musicke could mittigate his martirdome, but did rather far the more increase his maladie: shame would not let him craue counsaile in this case, nor feare of his Fathers displeasure reueyle it to any secrete friend: but hee was faine to make a Secretarie of himselfe, and to participate his thoughtes with his owne troubled mind. Lingring thus awhile in doubtfull suspence, at last stealing secretely from the court without either men or Page, hee went to see if hee coulde espie Fawnia walking abroade in the field: but as one hauing a great deale more skill to retriue the partridge with his spaniels, then to hunt after such a straunge pray, he sought, but was little the better: which crosse lucke draue him into a great choler, that he began both to accuse loue and fortune. But as he was readie to retire, he sawe Fawnia sitting all alone vnder the side of a hill, making a garland of such homely flowers as the fields did afoord. This sight so reuiued his spirites that he drewe nigh, with more iudgement to take a view of her singular perfection, which hee found to bee such, as in that countrey attyre shee stained al the courtlie Dames of Sicilia. While thus he stoode gazing with pearcing lookes on her surpassing beautie, Fawnia cast her eye aside, and spyed Dorastus, which
Faire maide (quoth he) either your want is great, or a shepheards life very sweete, that your delight is in such country labors. I can not conceiue what pleasure you should take, vnlesse you meane to imitate the nymphes, being your selfe
Sir, what richer state then content, or what sweeter life then quiet, we shepheards are not borne to honor, nor beholding vnto beautie, the lesse care we haue to feare fame or fortune: we count our attire braue inough if warme inough, and our foode
This wittie answer of Fawnia so inflamed Dorastus fancy, as he commended him selfe for making so good a choyce, thinking, [tln 2449–53] if her birth were aunswerable to her wit and beauty, that she were a fitte mate for the most famous Prince in the worlde. He therefore beganne to sifte her more narrowely on this manner.
Fawnia, I see thou art content with Country labours, because thou knowest not Courtly pleasures: I commend thy wit, and pitty thy want: but wilt thou leaue thy Fathers Cottage, and serue a Courtlie Mistresse.
Sir (quoth she) beggers ought not to striue against fortune, nor to gaze after honour, least either their fall be greater, or they become blinde. I am borne to toile for the Court, not in the Court, my nature vnfit for their nurture, better liue then in meane degree, than in high disdaine.
Well saide, Fawnia (quoth Dorastus) I gesse at thy thoughtes, thou art in loue with some Countrey Shep-
No sir (quoth she) shepheards cannot loue, that are so simple, and maides may not loue that are so young.
Nay therefore (quoth Dorastus) maides must loue, because they are young, for Cupid is a child, and Venus, though olde, is painted with fresh coloures.
I graunt (quoth she) age may be painted with new shadowes, and youth may haue imperfect affections: but what arte concealeth in one, ignorance reuealeth in the other. Dorastus seeing Fawnia helde him so harde, thought it was vaine so long to beate about the bush: therefore he thought to haue giuen her a fresh charge: but he was so preuented by certaine of his men, who missing their maister, came posting to seeke him: seeing that he was gone foorth all alone, yet before they drewe so nie that they might heare their talke, he vsed these speeches.
Why Fawnia, perhappes I loue thee, and then thou must needes yeelde, for thou knowest I can commaunde and constraine. Trueth sir (quoth she) but not to loue: for constrained loue is force, not loue: and know this sir, mine honesty is such, as I hadde rather dye then be a Concubine euen to a King, and my birth is so base as I am vnfitte to bee a wife to a poore farmer. Why then (quoth he) thou canst not loue Dorastus? Yes saide Fawnia, when Dorastus becomes a shepheard, and with that the presence of his men broke off their parle, so that he went with them to the palace, and left Fawnia sitting still on the hill side, who seeing that the night drewe on, shifted her fouldes, and busied her selfe about other worke to driue away such fond fancies as began to trouble her braine. But all this could not preuaile, for the beautie of Dorastus had made such a deepe impression in her heart, as it could not be worne out without cracking, so that she was forced to blame her owne folly in this wise.
Ah Fawnia, why doest thou gaze against the Sunne, or catch at the Winde: starres are to be looked at with the eye, not reacht at with the hande: thoughts are to be measured by Fortunes, not by desires: falles come not by sitting low, but by climing too hie: what then shall al feare to fal, because some
A decoy-bird]. Sit downe then in sorrow, ceasse to loue, and content thy selfe, that Dorastus will vouchsafe to flatter Fawnia, though not to fancy Fawnia. Heigh ho: Ah foole, it were seemelier for thee to whistle as a Shepheard, then to sigh as a louer, and with that she ceassed from these perplexed passions, folding her sheepe, and hying home to her poore Cottage. But such was the incessant sorrow of Dorastus to thinke on the witte and beautie of Fawnia, and to see how fond hee was being a Prince: and how froward she was being a beggar, that
like an old man . . .] to finde out the mistres of his affection: but as he went by the way, seeing himselfe clad in such vnseemely ragges, he began to smile at his owne folly, and to reproue his fondnesse in these tearmes.anxiouslyperhaps
Well said Dorastus, thou keepest a right decorum, base desires and homely attires: thy thoughtes are fit for none but a shepheard, and thy apparell such as only become a shepheard. A strang change from a Prince to a pesant? What is it? thy wretched fortune or thy wilful folly? Is it thy cursed destinies? Or thy crooked desires, that appointeth thee this penance? Ah Dorastus thou canst but loue, and vnlesse thou loue, thou art like to perish for loue. Yet fond foole, choose flowers, not weedes: Diamondes, not peables: Ladies which may honour thee, not shepheards which may disgrace thee. Venus is painted in silkes, not in ragges: and Cupid treadeth on disdaine, when he reacheth at dignitie. [tln 1826–36] And yet Dorastus shame not at thy shepheards weede: the heauenly Godes haue sometime earthly thoughtes: [tln 1828–32] Neptune became a Ram, Iupiter a Bul, Apollo a shepheard: they Gods, and yet in loue: and thou a man appointed to loue.
Deuising thus with himselfe, hee drew nigh to the place where Fawnia was keeping her shepe, who casting her eye aside, and seeing such a manerly shepheard, perfectly limmed, and comming with so good a pace, she began halfe to forget Dorastus, and to fauor this prety shepheard, whom she thought shee might both loue and obtaine: but as shee was in these thoughts, she perceiued then, it was the yong prince Dorastus, wherfore she rose vp, and reuerently saluted him. Dorastus taking her by the hand, repaied her curtesie with a sweete kisse, and praying her to sit downe by him, he began thus to lay the batterie.
If thou maruell Fawnia at my strange attyre, thou wouldest more muse at my vnaccustomed thoughtes: the one disgraceth but my outward shape, the other disturbeth my inward sences. I loue Fawnia, and therefore what loue liketh I cannot mislike. Fawnia thou hast promised to loue, and I
Trueth, quoth Fawnia, but all that weare Cooles [cowls] are not Monkes: painted Eagles are pictures, not Eagles, Zeusis Grapes were like Grapes, yet shadowes: rich clothing make not princes: nor homely attyre beggers: shepheards are not called shepheardes, because they were [wear] hookes and bagges: but that they are borne poore, and liue to keepe sheepe, so this attire hath not made Dorastus a shepherd, but to seeme like a shepherd.
Well Fawnia, answered Dorastus: were I a shepherd, I could not but like thee, and being a prince I am forst to loue thee. Take heed Fawnia, be not proud of beauties painting, for it is a flower that fadeth in the blossome. Those which disdayne in youth are despised in age: Beauties shadowes are trickt vp with times colours, which being set to drie in the sunne are stained with the sunne, scarce pleasing the sight ere they beginne not to be worth the sight, not much vnlike the herbe Ephemeron, which flourisheth in the morning and is withered before the sunne setting: if my desire were against lawe, thou mightest iustly deny me by reason, but I loue thee Fawnia, not to misuse thee as a Concubine, but to vse thee as my wife: I can promise no more, and meane to performe no lesse.
Fawnia hearing this solemne protestation of Dorastus, could no longer withstand the assault, but yeelded vp the forte in these friendly tearmes.
Ah Dorastus, I shame to expresse that thou forcest me with thy sugred speeche to confesse: my base birth causeth the one, and thy high dignities the other. Beggars thoughts ought not to reach so far as Kings, and yet my desires reach as high as Princes, I dare not say Dorastus, I loue thee, be-
Dorastus hearing this freendly conclusion of Fawnia embraced her in his armes, swearing that neither distance, time, nor aduerse fortune should diminish his affection: but that in despight of the destinies he would remaine loyall vnto death. Hauing thus plight their troath each to other, seeing they could not haue the full fruition of their loue in Sycilia for that [tln 1817–20, 1838–49] Egistus consent woulde neuer bee graunted to so meane a match, Dorastus determined assone as time and oportunitie would giue them leaue, to prouide a great masse of money, and many rich and costly iewels, for the easier cariage, and then [tln 2351 ff.] to transporte them selues and their treasure into Italy, where they should leade a contented life, vntil such time as either he could be reconciled to his Father, or els by succession
I am afraid wife, that my daughter Fawnia hath made her selfe so fine, that she will buy repentance too deare. I heare newes, which if they be true, some will wish they had not proued true. It is tould me by my neighbours, that Dorastus the Kinges sonne begins to looke at our daughter Fawnia: which if it be so, I will not geue her a halfepeny
He met by chaunce in his way Capnio, who trudging as fast as he could with a little coffer vnder his arme to the ship, and spying Porrus whome he knewe to be Fawnias Father, going towardes the Pallace, being a wylie fellow, began to doubt the worst, and therefore crost him the way, and askt him whither he was going so earely this morning.
Porrus (who knew by his face that he was one of the Court) meaning simply, told him that the Kings son Dorastus dealt hardly with him; for he had but one Daughter who was a little beautifull, and that his neighboures told him the young
Capnio (who straight way smelt the whole matter) began to soothe him in his talke, and said, that Dorastus dealt not like a Prince to spoyle any poore manes daughter in that sort: he therefore would doe the best for him he could, because he knew he was an honest man. But (quoth Capnio) you lose your labour in going to the Pallace, for [tln 2642–5] the King meanes this day to take the aire of the Sea, and to goe aboord of a shippe that lies in the hauen. I am going before, you see, to prouide all things in redinesse, and if you will follow my counsaile, turne back with me to the hauen, where I will set you in such a fitte place as you may speake to the King at your pleasure. Porrus giuing credit to Capnios smooth tale, gaue him a thousand thanks for his friendly aduise, and went with him to the hauen, making all the way his complaintes of Dorastus, yet concealing secretlie the chaine and the Iewels. Assone as they were come to the Sea side, the marriners seeing Capnio, came a land with their cockboate, who still dissembling the matter, demaunded of Porrus if he would go see the ship? who vnwilling and fearing the worst, because he was not well acquainted with Capnio, made his excuse that he could not brooke the Sea, therefore would not trouble him.
Capnio seeing that by faire meanes hee could not get him aboord, commaunded the mariners that by violence they should carrie him into the shippe, who like sturdy knaues hoisted the poore shepheard on their backes, and bearing him to the boate, lanched from the land.
Porrus seeing himselfe so cunningly betraied durst not crie out, for hee sawe it would not preuaile, but began to intreate Capnio and the mariners to be good to him, and to pittie his estate, hee was but a poore man that liued by his labour: they laughing to see the shepheard so afraide, made as much haste as they could, and set him aboorde. Porrus was no sooner in the shippe, but he saw Dorastus walking with Fawnia, yet he scarse knew her: for she had attired her selfe in riche apparell, which
Dorastus praised greatly his mans deuise, and allowed of his counsaile; but Fawnia, (who stil feared Porrus, as her father) began to blush for shame, that by her meanes he should either incure daunger or displeasure.
The old shephard hearing this hard sentence, that he should on such a sodaine be caried from his Wife, his country, and kinsfolke, into a forraine Lande amongst straungers, began with bitter teares to make his complaint, and on his knees to intreate Dorastus, that pardoning his vnaduised folly he would giue him leaue to goe home: swearing that hee would keepe all thinges as secret as they could wish. But these protestations could not preuaile, although Fawnia intreated Dorastus very earnestly, but the mariners hoisting their maine sailes waied ankers, and hailed into the deepe, where we leaue them to the fauour of the wind and seas, and returne to Egistus.
Who hauing appointed this day to hunt in one of his Forrests, called for his sonne Dorastus to go sport himselfe, because hee saw that of late hee began to loure; but his men made answer that hee was gone abroade none knew whither, except he were gone to the groue to walke all alone, as his custome was to doe euery day.
The King willing to waken him out of his dumpes, sent one of his men to goe seeke him, but in vaine, for at last he returned, but finde him he could not, so that the King went himselfe to goe see the sport; where passing away the day, returning at night from hunting, hee asked for his sonne, but he could not be heard of, which draue the King into a great choler: whereupon most of his Noblemen and other Courtiers poasted abroad to seek him, but they could not heare of him through all Sicilia, onely they missed Capnio his man which againe
Two or three daies being passed, and no newes heard of Dorastus, Egistus began to feare that he was deuoured with some wilde beastes, and vpon that made out a great troupe of men to go seeke him; who coasted through all the Country, and searched in euerie daungerous and secrete place, vntill at last they mette with a Fisherman that was sitting in a little couert hard by the sea side mending his nettes, when Dorastus and Fawnia tooke shipping: who being examined if he either knewe or heard where the Kings Sonne was, without any secrecie at all reuealed the whole matter, how he was sayled two dayes past, had in his company his man Capnio, Porrus and his faire Daughter Fawnia. This heauie newes was presently caryed to the King, who halfe dead for sorrow commaunded Porrus wife to be sent for: she being come to the Pallace, after due examination, confessed that her neighbours had oft told her that the Kings Sonne was too familier with Fawnia, her Daughter: whereuppon, her husband fearing the worst, about two dayes past (hearing the King should goe an hunting) rose earely in the morning and went to make his complaint, but since she neither hearde of him, nor saw him. Egistus perceiuing the womans vnfeyned simplicity, let her depart without incurring further displeasure, conceiuing
But his sonne Dorastus little regarded either father, countrie, or Kingdome in respect of his Lady Fawnia, for fortune smyling on this young nouice, lent him so lucky a gale of winde, for the space of a day and a night, that the maryners lay and slept vpon the hatches; but on the next morning about the breake of the day, the aire began to be ouercast, the winds to rise, the seas to swel, yea presently [tln 2408] there arose such a fearfull tempest, as the ship was in danger to be swallowed vp with euery sea, the maine mast with the violence of the wind was thrown
Dorastus hearing that they were arriued at some harbour, sweetly kissed Fawnia, and bad her be of good cheare: when they tolde him that the port belonged vnto the cheife Cittie of Bohemia where Pandosto kept his Court, Dorastus began to be sad, knowing that his Father hated no man so much as Pandosto, and that the King himself had sought secretly to betray Egistus: this considered, he was halfe afraid to goe on land, but that Capnio counselled him to chaunge his name and his countrey, vntil such time as they could get some other barke to transport them into Italy. Dorastus liking this deuise made his case priuy to the Marriners, rewarding them bountifully for their paines, and charging them to saye that he was a Gentleman of Trapalonia called Meleagrus. The shipmen willing to shew what friendship they could to Dorastus, promised to be as secret as they could, or hee might wish, and vppon this they landed in a little village a mile distant from the Citie, where after they had rested a day, thinking to make prouision for their mariage, the fame of Fawnias beauty was spread throughout all the Citie, so that it came to the eares of Pandosto, who then [tln 2240] being about the age of fifty, had notwithstanding yong and freshe affections: so that he desired greatly to see Fawnia, and to bring this matter the better to passe, hearing they had but one man, and how they rested at a very homely house, he caused them to be apprehended as spies, and sent a dozen of his garde to take them: who being come to their lodging, tolde them the Kings message. Dorastus no
Pandosto amased at the singular perfection of Fawnia, stood halfe astonished, viewing her beauty, so that he had almost forgot himselfe what hee had to doe: at last with stearne countenance he demaunded their names, and of what countrey they were, and what caused them to land in Bohemia. Sir (quoth Dorastus) know that my name Meleagrus is,
Meleagrus, I feare this smooth tale hath but small trueth, and that thou couerest a foule skin with faire paintings. No doubt this Ladie by her grace and beauty is of her degree more meete for a mighty Prince, then for a simple knight, and thou like a periured traitour hast bereft her of her parents, to their present griefe, and her insuing sorrow. Till therefore I heare more of her parentage and of thy calling, I wil stay you both here in Bohemia.
Dorastus, in whome rested nothing but Kingly valor, was not able to suffer the reproches of Pandosto, but that he made him this answer.
It is not meete for a King, without due proofe to appeach any man of ill behauiour, nor vpon suspition to inferre beleefe: straungers ought to bee entertained with courtesie, not to bee intreated with crueltie, least being forced by want to put vp iniuries, the Gods reuenge their cause with rigor.
Pandosto hearing Dorastus vtter these wordes, [tln 2998] commaunded that he should straight be committed to prison, vntill such
Hauing thus hardly handled the supposed Trapalonians, [tln 2724] Pandosto contrarie to his aged yeares
How art thou pestred Pandosto with fresh affections, and vnfitte fancies, wishing to possesse with an vnwilling mynde, and in
Tush, hot desires turne oftentimes to colde disdaine: Loue is brittle, where appetite, not reason, beares the sway. Kinges thoughtes ought not to climbe so high as the heauens, but to looke no lower then honour: better it is to pecke at the starres with the young Eagles, then to prey on dead carkasses with the Vulture: tis more honourable for Pandosto to dye by concealing Loue, then to enioy such vnfitte Loue. Dooth Pandosto then loue? Yea. Whome? A maid vnknowne, yea and perhapps, immodest, stragled out of her owne countrie: beautifull, but not therefore chast: comely in bodie, but perhappes crooked in minde. Cease then Pandosto, to looke at Fawnia, much lesse to loue her: be not ouertaken with a womans beauty, whose eyes are framed by arte to inamour, whose hearte is framed by nature to inchaunt, whose false teares knowe their true times, and whose sweete wordes pearce deeper then sharpe swordes. Here Pandosto ceased from his talke, but not from his loue: for although he sought by reason, and wisedome
Fawnia, I commend thy beauty and wit, and now pittie thy distresse and want: but if you wilt forsake Sir Meleagrus, whose pouerty, though a Knight, is not able to maintaine an estate aunswerable to thy beauty, and yeld thy consent to Pandosto, I wil both increase thee with dignities and riches. No sir, answered Fawnia: Meleagrus is a knight that hath wonne me by loue, and none but he shal [tln 404] weare me: his sinister mischance shall not diminishe my affection, but rather increase my good will. Thinke not though your Grace hath imprisoned him without cause, that feare shall make mee yeeld my consent: I had rather be Meleagrus wife, and a beggar, then liue in plenty, and be Pandostos Concubine. Pandosto, hearing the assured aunswere of Fawnia, would, notwithstanding, prosecute his suite to the vttermost: seeking with faire words and great promises to scale the fort of her chastitie, swearing that if she would graunt to his desire, Meleagrus should not only be set at libertie, but honored in his courte amongst his Nobles: but these alluring baytes could not intise her minde from the loue of her newe betrothed mate Meleagrus: which Pandosto seeing, he left her alone for that time to consider more of the demaund. Fawnia, being alone by her selfe, began to enter into these solitarie meditations.
Ah, infortunate Fawnia, thou seest to desire aboue fortune is to striue against the Gods and Fortune. Who gazeth at the sunne weakeneth his sight: they which stare at the skie, fall oft into deepe pits: haddest thou rested content to haue been a shepheard, thou neededst not to haue feared mischaunce. Better had it bene for thee, by sitting lowe, to haue had quiet, then by climing high to haue fallen into miserie. But alas, I feare not mine owne daunger, but Dorastus displeasure. Ah sweete Dorastus, thou art a Prince, but now a prisoner, by too much
Ah vnfortunate wretch, borne to mishappe, now thy folly hath his desert: Art thou not worthie for thy base minde to haue bad fortune? could the destinies fauour thee, which hast forgot thine honor and dignities? Wil not the Gods plague him with despight that payneth his father with disobedience? Oh Gods, if any fauour or iustice be left, plague me, but fauour poore Fawnia, and shrowd her from the tirannies of wretched Pandosto, but let my death free her from mishap, and then, welcome death! Dorastus payned with these heauie passions, sorrowed and sighed, but in vaine, for which he vsed the more patience. But againe to Pandosto, who broyling at the heat of vnlawfull lust coulde take no rest but still felte his minde disquieted with his new loue, so that his nobles and subiectes marueyled greatly at this sudaine alteration, not being able to coniecture the cause of this his continued care. Pandosto, thinking euery hower a yeare til he had talked once againe with Fawnia, sent for her secretly into his chamber, whither though Fawnia vnwillingly comming, Pandosto entertained her very courteously, vsing these familiar speaches, which Fawnia answered as shortly in this wise.
Pandosto, [tln 2446–7] the body is subiect to victories, but the mind not to be subdued by conquest: honesty is to be preferred before honour, and a dramme of faith weigheth downe a tunne of gold. I haue promised Meleagrus to loue, and will performe no lesse.
Fawnia, I know thou art not so vnwise in thy choice, as to refuse the offer of a King, nor so ingrateful as to dispise a good turne: thou art now in that place where I may commaunde, and yet thou seest I intreate. My power is such as I may compell by force, and yet I sue by prayers: Yeelde Fawnia thy loue to him which burneth in thy loue. Meleagrus shall be set free, thy countrymen discharged: and thou both loued and honoured.
I see, Pandosto, where lust ruleth it is a miserable thing to be a virgin, but know this, that I will alwaies preferre fame before life, and rather choose death then dishonour.
Pandosto seeing that there was in Fawnia a determinate courage to loue Meleagrus, and a resolution without feare to hate him, flong away from her in a rage: swearing if in shorte time she would not be wonne with reason: he would forget all courtesie, and compel her to graunt by rigour: but [tln 2287] these threatning wordes no whit dismayed Fawnia; but that she still both dispighted and dispised Pandosto. While thus these two louers stroue, the one to winne loue the other to liue in hate: Egistus heard certaine newes by Merchauntes of Bohemia,
Thou disdainfull vassal, thou [tln 1691–2] currish kite, assigned by the destinies to base fortune, and yet with an aspiring minde gazing after honour: [tln 2265–70, 2278–85] how durst thou presume, being a beggar, to match with a Prince? By thy alluring lookes to inchant the sonne of a King to leaue his owne countrie to fulfill thy disordinate lusts? O despightfull minde, a proud heart in a beggar is not vnlike to a great fire in a smal cottage, which warmeth not the house, but burneth it: assure thy selfe that thou shalt die, and [tln 2263–5] thou old doating foole, whose follie hath bene such, as to suffer thy daughter to reach aboue thy fortune, looke for no other meede, but the like punishment. But Capnio, thou which hast betrayed the King, and has consented to the vnlawfull lust of thy Lord and maister, I know not how iustly I may plague thee: death is too easie a punishment for thy falsehood, and to liue (if not in extreme miserie) were not to shew thee equitie. I therefore award that thou shall haue thine eyes put out, and
Pandosto, and ye noble Embassadours
For so it happened that I being a poore shepheard in Sicilia, liuing by keeping other
Pandosto would scarce suffer him to tell out his tale, but that he enquired the time of the yeere, the manner of the boate, and other circumstaunces, which when he found agreeing to his count, he sodainelie leapt from his seate, and kissed Fawnia, wetting her tender cheeks with his teares, and crying [tln 3061] my daughter Fawnia, ah sweete
Fawnia was not more ioyfull that she had found such a Father, then Dorastus was glad he should get such a wife. The
Eighteene daies being past in these princely sports, Pandosto, willing to recompence old Porrus, of a shepheard made him a Knight: which done, prouiding a sufficient Nauie to receiue him and his retinue, accompanied with Dorastus, Fawnia, and the Sicilian Embassadours, he sailed towards Sicilia, where he was most princelie entertained by Egistus; who hearing this comicall euent, reioyced greatly at his sonnes good happe, and without delay (to the perpetuall ioy of the two yong Louers) celebrated the marriage: which was no sooner ended, but Pandosto (calling to mind how first he betraied his friend Egistus, how his iealousie was the cause of Bellarias death, that contrarie to the law of nature hee had lusted after his owne Daughter) moued with these desperate thoughts, he fell into a melancholie fit, and to close vp the Comedie with a Tragicall stratageme, hee slewe himselfe, whose death being many daies bewailed of Fawnia, Dorastus, and his deere friend Egistus, Dorastus taking his leaue of his father, went with his wife and the dead corps into Bohemia, where after they were sumptuouslie intombed,
Shakespeare’s Use of Pandosto
Gollancz (ed. 1894, 41:viii) summarizes the
notable refinements due to the dramatist[:] . . . (i.) in the novel Hermione’s prototype actually dies upon hearing of the death of her son; (ii.) her husband destroys himself, after becoming enamoured of his unknown daughter; (iii.) the characters of Paulina, Autolycus, and Antigonus are entirely Shakespeare’s; (iv.) Hermione’s character is ennobled throughout; Shakespeare admits no To vi., Mopsa is an exception.
incautiousness on her part, no unqueenly condescension in meeting the charge [of infidelity]; (v.) Bohemia takes the place of Sicily, and vice versa . . . ; finally, (vi.) the names are changed throughout.
Upton (1746, pp. 40–1) finds Sh. culpable for the major error of basing a play on Pandosto and for minor errors of execution. To explain, he invokes the Aristotelian defects of poetry—one
arises from itself, <per se,> the other is accidental: <per accidens:> for if it chuses subjects for imitation, out of its power and reach, the fault is from itself; <per se,> but when it chooses ignorantly, the fault is accidental. The defect per se is
the  making choice of such a story as the Winter’s Tale, &c. . . . The [defect per accidens] is where Shakespeare, not heeding geography, calls Delphi an isle. Warburton (ed. 1747, 3:277) despises the source but praises the play: it is
written in the very spirit of its author. . . . This was necessary to observe in mere justice to the Play, as the meanness of the fable, and the extravagant conduct of it, had misled some of great name [Dryden and Pope] into a wrong judgment of its merit; which, as far as it regards sentiment and character, is scarce inferior to any in the whole collection.
Lennox (1753, 2:75–87), however, is of just the opposite opinion:
If we compare the Conduct of the Incidents in the Play with the paltry Story on which it is founded, we shall find the Original much less absurd and ridiculous. . . . The King’s Jealousy is the Foundation of all the Adventures that followed, but extravagant as its Consequences are in both, yet the Rise and Progress of this terrible Passion is better accounted for in the Novel than the Play. She recounts the incidents in Pandosto leading to the onset of the King’s jealousy, concluding (p. 76):
This Account . . . does not absolutely clash with Probability. She summarizes the action of WT to line 116 approximately. (P. 77):
Polixenes complies at her [Hermione’s] Request [to extend his visit], and certainly he must be a very ill bred Monarch had he done otherwise.
All [their] Conversation passes in the Presence of Leontes, who from hence takes Occasion to be jealous, and passes in an Instant from the greatest Confidence, Security, and Friendship imaginable, to the last Extremity of Jealousy and Rage. What wonderful Contrivance is here? To the play’s disadvantage, a comparison of a half dozen more incidents follows, concluding with (p. 85)
The Novel makes the Wife of the jealous King die through Affliction for the Loss of her Son; Shakespear seems to have preserved her alive for the sake of her representing her own Statue in the last Scene; a mean and absurd Contrivance; for how can it be imagined that Hermione, a virtuous and affectionate Wife, would conceal herself during sixteen Years in a solitary House, though she was sensible that her repentant Husband was all that Time con-suming away with Grief and Remorse for her Death; . . . how ridiculous also in a great Queen, on so interresting [sic] an Occasion, to submit to such Buffoonery as standing on a Pedestal, motionless, her Eyes fixed, and at last to be conjured down by this magical Command of Paulina [quotes 3306–11]. . . .  His Winter’s Tale is greatly inferior to the old paltry Story that furnished him with the Subject of it.
Capell (1783, 3:233–4) disagrees with Lennox, as one might expect:
This miserable story [Pandosto]—writ in the days of Euphuism, as appears from the style of it—is not so exactly followed by Shakespeare as some have conceited; Bellaria (his [Greene’s] Hermione) does not come to life again, but dies in good earnest when her son dies; and Pandosto, (his Leontes) when all is over, his daughter found again, and marry’d to her lover, falls into a melancholy, and kills himself. These are the principal differences between him and the story-writer with respect to the fable: the language it is dress’d in, (some expressions excepted, which  are of small importance) the characters, the sentiments, are all his own; and he has also enrich’d it with the following additional characters,—Antigonus, and his wife Paulina; the shepherd’s son, & his mistresses; Autolicus, and some others. For the rest,—the story he chose to follow is adher’d to a little too closely, and (namely) without sufficient attention to one capital absurdity respecting the scene of it: some excuse may be made for him, that will be found in another place [see n. 1440]. Among others disagreeing with Lennox is Eschenburg (ed. 1801, 5:210), who defends Sh.’s depiction of the quirks of human nature; the playwright, he says, demonstrates quite profoundly how easily the ember of jealousy may burst into an all-consuming flame.
A more detailed analysis of Sh.’s debt is made by Skottowe (1824, 2:290–300).
The novel marks the growth of this passion [jealousy] in the king; in the play it is instantaneous and uncontrollable. . . . With the forlorn hope of saving the infant’s [Perdita’s] life, Anti-gonus . . . consents to carry it to a desert place . . . and there leave it. . . . In the novel, the king exposes the child in an open boat to the mercy of the wind and waves. . . . Greene’s tyrant resolves to burn both the mother and the child; but the queen’s demand for an open trial is warmly seconded by the nobility, and the king prudently consents to send six of his nobility to the Isle of Delphos. . . . In [WT], the embassy originates with Leontes himself. . . .  If not a more natural, Shakspeare has certainly substituted a more agreeable conclusion to his drama. Indeed, few scenes of greater interest, and none managed with a more consummate knowledge of stage effect, are to be met with  than that which closes the Winter’s Tale. With the exception of this striking scene, Shakspeare has done little towards the improvement of the story he worked from; but he was more successful in his delineation of its principal characters.
Other critics also regard the novel somewhat more favorably than Capell had done. Dyce (ed. Dramatic Works of Greene, 1831, 1:liii), for example:
To those who may read the novel for the first time, having a previous acquaintance with the play of Shakespeare . . . the former will appear cold and uninteresting on a recollection of the marvellous truth and reality of the latter. But Pandosto is far from a contemptible production: if portions of it are disfigured by bad taste and coarseness of feeling, there are also portions composed in a very pleasing and affecting manner.
Ulrici (1839; tr. 1846, p. 265), however:
Shakspeare has contrived out of a tasteless, affected romance, of at most passing interest, to make a truthful and immortal drama. Collier (, 1:i–iii), similarly:
Let any person well acquainted with The Winter’s Tale read the novel of Pandosto, . . . and he will be struck at once with the vast pre-eminence of Shakespeare, and with the admirable manner in which he has converted materials supplied by another to his own use. The bare outline of the story (with the exception of Shakespeare’s miraculous conclusion) is nearly the same in both; but this is all they have in common, and Shakspeare may be said to have scarcely adopted a single hint for his descriptions, [ii] or a line for his dialogue; while in point of passion and sentiment Greene is cold, formal, and artificial: the very opposite of every thing in Shakespeare. . . . [iii] Nothing can well be more lame, unsatisfactory, and even offensive than the winding up of Greene’s novel, where he makes Pandosto first fall desperately and grossly in love with his own daughter, and then, without any adequate motive, commit suicide. . . . Shakespeare . . . saw at once how the preceding incidents might be converted to a great dramatic and moral purpose, the most pathetic and the most beautiful.
Knight (ed. 1841, 2:337–9): In Pandosto
the story of the preservation of the deserted infant is prettily told [quotes
It fortuned . . . necke (C4)]. Although the circumstances of the child’s exposure are different, Shakspere adopts the shepherd’s discovery pretty literally. . . . The infant in the novel is taken to the shepherd’s home, and is brought up by his wife and himself under the name of Fawnia. In a narrative the lapse of sixteen years may occur without any violation of propriety. The shepherd of Greene . . . would sing to the child and dance it on his knee; then, a few lines onward, the little Fawnia is seven years old; and, very shortly, [quotes
when she came . . . parentage here]. These changes, we see, are gradual. But in a drama, whose action depends upon a manifest lapse of time, there must be a sudden transition. Shakspere is perfectly aware of the difficulty; and he diminishes it by the introduction of Time as a Chorus. . . .
 Shakspere has exhibited his consummate art in opening the fourth act with Polixenes and Camillo, of whom we have lost sight since the end of the first. Had . . . he brought Autolycus, and Florizel, and Perdita, at once upon the scene . . . the continuity of action would have been destroyed; and the commencement of the fourth act would have appeared as the commencement of a new play. . . . Autolycus and the Clown prepare us for Perdita. . . . There perhaps never was such a union of perfect simplicity and perfect grace as in the character of Perdita. What an exquisite idea of her mere personal appearance is presented in Florizel’s [1956–8]. Greene, in describing the beauties of his shepherdess, deals only in generalities [quotes
It happened . . . hard fortune (here)]. But Greene was unequal to conceive the grace of mind which distinguishes Perdita:—[339; quotes 1803–7]. Contrast this with Greene [quotes
Fawnia poore soule . . . King (here), stressing
hoping in time to be aduaunced]. Here we see a vulgar ambition, rather than a deep affection. Fawnia, in the hour of discovery and danger, was quite incapable of exhibiting the feminine dignity of Perdita [quotes 2287–95]. This is something higher than the sentiment of a
queen of curds and cream.
In the novel we have no trace of the interruption by the father of the princely lover, in the disguise of a guest at the shepherd’s cottage [2260 ff.]. Dorastus and Fawnia flee from the country without the knowledge of the king. The ship in which they embark is thrown by a storm upon the coast of Bohemia. Messengers are despatched in search of the lovers; and they arrive in Bohemia with the request of Egistus that the companions in the flight of Dorastus shall be put to death. The secret of Fawnia’s birth is discovered by the shepherd; and her father recognises her. But the previous circumstances exhibit as much grossness of conception on the part of the novelist [Knight probably alludes to Pandosto’s attraction to Fawnia, here.], as the different management of the catastrophe shows the matchless skill and taste of the dramatist. We forgive Leontes for his early folly and wickedness; for during sixteen years has his remorse been bitter and his affection constant.
As Skottowe had noticed, Greene sets the infant Fawnia adrift in an open boat, whereas Sh. employs Antigonus to abandon Perdita in Bohemia. Collier (ed. 1842, 3:426) offers an ingenious, although defective, explanation of the change: In
The Tempest he [Sh.] had previously . . . represented Prospero and Miranda turned adrift at sea in the same manner as Greene had stated his heroine to be disposed of [and so] Shakespeare . . . varied from the original narrative, in order to avoid an objectionable similarity. The defect is that WT was written before Tmp. (see here), although the idea that Tmp. in some form may have antedated WT also occurs to Muir (1957, p. 241; see below). White (ed. 1857, 5:270), alternatively:
Shakespeare knew—none better—that the dramatic value of an impression produced upon the eye is much greater than that of one produced upon the ear; and on his stage Greene’s disposition of the royal babe could not be represented, while that adopted by him could.
Hudson (ed. 1852, 4:6–13):
Greene . . . had indeed much more of learning than of judgment in the use and application thereof; it having been seemingly impossible for him to write without overloading his pages with classical allusion, or  to hit upon any thought so trite and commonplace but that he must run it through a series of aphoristic sentences twisted out of Greek and Roman lore. . . . Like all the surviving works of Greene, Pandosto is greatly charged with learned impertinence, and in the annoyance thence resulting one is apt to overlook the real merit of the performance. It is better than Lodge’s Rosalynd [the source of AYL] for this reason, if for no other, that it is shorter. . . .  In the novel Paulina and the Clown are wanting altogether, and Capnio yields but a slight hint, if indeed it be so much, towards the part of Autolycus. And, besides the great addition of life and matter in these persons, the play has several other judicious departures from the novel. In Leontes all the revolting features of Pandosto, save his jealousy and the headstrong insolence and tyranny consequent thereon, are purged away; so that while the latter has neither intellect nor generosity to redeem his character, jealousy being the least of his faults, the other has a liberal stock of both. And in Bellaria the Poet had little more than a bare framework of incident wherein to set the noble, lofty womanhood of Hermione,—a conception far, far above the reach of such a mind as Greene’s. In the matter of the painted statue Shakespeare, so far as we know, was altogether without a model. . . . Hermione’s character . . . is the shaping and informing power of the whole drama . . . the prolific germ out of which the entire work is evolved.
White (ed. 1857, 5:271–2), in comparing the two characters, agrees with Lennox (p. 656):
Greene gives Pandosto more cause for his jealousy than Shakespeare gives to Leontes. For in the tale Bellaria, though entirely innocent, uses Egistus
so familiarly, that her countenance bewraied how her minde was affected towardes him: oftentimes comming her selfe into his bed chamber, to see that nothing should be amis to mislike him [here]; and also
there grew such a secret vniting of their affections, that the one could not well be without the company of the other [here]. It  may possibly have been Shakespeare’s intention to make its sudden birth and its extravagance characteristic traits of Leontes’ jealousy; but this difference between the play and the novel seems rather due to a necessity for the compression of the latter.
Gervinus (1863, 2:467–8):
Shakespeare has done with this narrative, as he usually did with his bad originals, he has done away with some indelicacy in the matter, and some unnatural things in the form; he has given a better foundation to the characters and course of events; but to impart an intrinsic value to the subject as a whole, to bring a double action into unity, and to give the play the character of a regular drama by mere arrangements of matter and alteration of motive, was not possible. The wildness of the fiction, the improbability and contingency of the events, the gap in the time . . . could not be repaired by any art. Shakespeare, therefore, began upon his theme in quite an opposite direction. He increased still more the marvellous and miraculous in the given subject, he disregarded more and more the requirements of the real and probable, and treated time, place, and circumstances with the utmost arbitrariness. . . .  The scenic effect, the excellent characterization of certain personages, the beauty of the language of the play were acknowledged [by early critics], but the poet was continually upbraided for those very marvels, which we think he did not introduce as any thing else.
Wigston (1884, p. 3):
In borrowing Greene’s story, he [Sh.] took it on account of its title [see here], in relation to its subject matter,—disharmony and separation, followed by reconciliation and heavenly harmony as in Cymbeline and Pericles,—the exposure of an infant and its re-discovery through time.
Morley (ed. 1887, pp. 8–9):
To change a real to a supposed death, required invention of means of concealment, and this requirement was met by the creation of the character of Paulina. . . . Shakespeare gives . . . a husband to Paulina, Antigonus, who is of gentle heart, though he obeys the evil bidding of the king, and the infant is committed to the waves, surrounded by the tenderest care until the hour of its exposure upon a coast not found by chance, but chosen at the bidding of a dream. This done, the poet gets rid of the men who are no longer wanted in the story, and who would be in the way if they lived and returned to Sicily. He gives emphasis at the same time to the peril of the child by destroying the ship and its crew in a storm at sea, and giving Antigonus to a wild beast on land,
so that all the instruments which aided to expose the child were  even then lost when it was found [3079–81]. In the following scenes dramatic life could not have been put into the telling of the tale without the addition of the shepherd’s son. His wife, who is in Greene’s tale, could not have been used for the purposes served by Shakespeare’s invention of the clownish son and of the rogue Autolycus. Greene uses the shepherd’s wife as a means for bringing about the solution of the plot, and had the shepherd carried off by force upon the ship of the offended king. Shakespeare removes several improbabilities, and gets rid of incidents that mar the grace of the tale, including Pandosto’s animal love for his unrecognised daughter. His changes in the manner of bringing about the solution of the plot, as far as concerns Florizel and Perdita, are mainly produced by his invention of Autolycus, the merry rogue—a cashiered courtier—who sings his songs at the sheep-shearing, fleeces the rustics, and half in hope to recover favour with the prince, sends the witnesses who can untie the knot of the tale on board the prince’s ship to Sicily. It is enough to suggest playfully that Florizel and Perdita were too full of their affairs to ask many questions of other people, and that they were sea-sick as well as love-sick. The reader who follows attentively Shakespeare’s use of Autolycus as a means of putting dramatic life into the solution of the plot without spoiling the pastoral grace and playfulness of that part of the story, will see that but for his trick in sending the bearers of the fardel to the Prince’s ship instead of to the King, Perdita must have been identified before the persons of the story were about Leontes in the close.
Snider (c. 1890, pp. 502–3):
The central fact is that Shakespeare turns Greene’s novel, which is tragic, into a comedy or mediated drama. Both Hermione (Bellaria) and Leontes (Pandosto) perish in the novel; the world of mediation is essentially unknown to Greene. The wife breaks down under her trials, when her boy Garinter (Mamillius) dies; she has not sufferance, which saves herself, her husband, her world. Still, the novelist dwells upon her purity, nay, he speaks of her patience, but it bears no fruit in his work, it is not the triumphant patience of the Poet. In like manner Leontes shows repentance in Greene’s book, but it is not that complete undoing of guilt which bridges the great chasm and brings restoration of wife, child, and world. Through these two ideas—the repentance of the husband and the long-suffering of the wife—the whole play is changed into a purgatorial discipline, with the outlook of salvation; the two characters are me-diated and brought back even into their secular existence.
Neilson (ed. 1906, p. 419):
The superb dignity of Hermione which almost lifts her above pity, the plain-spoken loyalty of Paulina, the peculiar poetic charm of the pastoral scenes of which Perdita is the centre, the humor of the rogue and the rustics, the elements, in short, which make the play delightful, are all Shakespeare’s. To Greene belongs the credit of framing an interesting romantic story, the improbabilities and surprises of which Shakespeare seems to have taken no pains to abate, but which, on the contrary, he capped by devising a closing situation, theatrically effective, indeed, but more defiant of likelihood than anything in his source.
Thomas (ed. Pandosto, 1907, pp. xi–xiii):
Greene’s style is, of course, characteristic of himself, and his pleasant conceits find no place in Shakespeare’s mature drama. The curious moralizations from natural history, the familiar use of proverbial lore, the dissertations on abstract themes, and the laboured style abounding in antithesis and alliteration combine to place Dorastus in the long line of euphuistic novels, of which Lyly was the originator. Greene is often coarse, but he has that Elizabethan gift of sweetness, which is unmistakable. The pathetic scene, in which [xii] Bellaria laments over the loss of her child [
Alas . . . fare well (here)], appealed to Shakespeare, and the lines [1496–7] are reminiscent of Greene’s words [
Shalt . . . milke? (here)].
[Sh.’s] changes . . . are due in the main to the exigencies of dramatic form. . . . Long-winded speeches and dreary monologues . . . are either omitted altogether, shortened, or converted into dialogue. . . . Action is concentrated [for] dramatic unity. . . . To dramatic causes, likewise, we owe the creation of Antigonus, Paulina, and Autolycus, in whom respectively are concentrated the nobles, ladies, and clowns of the novel. At other times, Shakespeare enlarges from a brief hint given by Greene. There is no counterpart in the novel of the pathetic scene in The Winter’s Tale, in which the [xiii] character of young Mamillius is developed. . . . In the same way, Greene’s reference to the storm at sea is expanded into Act III. sc. iii of The Winter’s Tale.
Porter & Clarke (ed. 1908, pp. 124–5):
There are events in Greene’s plot which Shakespeare altogether discards: The refusal of the prince to marry a Danish princess to suit his father, before he meets the shepherdess; the fear of the shepherd and his wife . . . lest the prince will bring shame upon their daughter. This fear is very important in Greene’s plot, for it causes them,—gossip as to the prince’s familiarity with their foster-daughter being brought to their ears,—to decide to tell the king that she is not their own child. It will be noticed that Shakespeare not only discards this, he invents the king’s presence at the betrothal in its stead, and this in the play frightens the shepherd and his son (who takes the place of the wife in Greene’s story) into confession.
Autolicus is not in Greene; but in Greene’s plot a servant of the prince, named Capnio, plays soberly the part which Autolicus plays humorously in Shakespeare’s plot by intercepting the shepherd on his way to confess to the king, and enticing him on shipboard.
In Act V. the restoration of the castaway daughter and the union of the young lovers are based on the same events as in Greene’s plot, but they are brought about by so different a manipulation of the incidents that there is scarcely anything in common save the arrival in port, in the country of the jealous king, of the eloping lovers and the old shepherd.
All that Camillo and Paulina effect in Act V. is not in Greene. Shakespeare discards an important incident in Greene’s story; i.e., the tyranny of the king on the  arrival of the lovers, which causes him to imprison the prince and try to make the shepherdess his concubine, until an embassy arrives from the prince’s father demanding that he free his son and kill the shepherdess and her father. The confession of the old shepherd then following, the king, ashamed of his action toward his own daughter, kills himself.
All that defeats such misery as this, which in Greene’s plot so mars his union of the young lovers, is due to Shakespeare.
According to Stopes (1916, pp. 32–8), the playwright reverses Greene’s emotional geography, sending the hot-blooded Leontes to Sicily, the cooler Polixenes to Bohemia: (p. 33)
Shakespeare evolves the character of Antigonus out of one of the Chief Lords . . . (p. 35) but
does not allow Antigonus to cast the babe away in a small boat, to find Bohemia. He knew that an infant could not live so long without food. So he makes Antigonus take it in a ship, where, it is to be supposed, he saw the child fed.
Pierce (ed. 1918, p. 129) similarly:
By interchanging throughout the parts of Bohemia and Sicily he [Sh.] probably meant to veil the extent of his debt to a book that was still popular, although he may have believed that the suddenness of Leontes’ jealousy would seem truer to life in a hot-blooded Sicilian than in a native of Central Europe.
Kittredge (ed. 1936, p. 432):
Some significant variations [from Pandosto] may be noted[:] Apollo is consulted at the request of the queen. The king does not blaspheme when the oracle is read in court; he repents instantly and is making public confession when word is brought that his son is dead. This news is fatal to the queen. . . . The baby is not left on the shore; it is abandoned at sea (like Prospero and Miranda in The Tempest) in a boat without sail or rudder, which comes safe to land by good fortune after a mighty storm. Antigonus and Paulina have no prototypes in the novel and Shakespeare’s Camillo combines the rôles of two of Greene’s characters. The old shepherd comes from the novel, but his son and Dorcas and Mopsa and Autolycus are all new characters. Rustic revels are mentioned in the tale, but not described. . . . The novel has a happy ending, so far as the young people are concerned, but Pandosto . . . is a tragic personage throughout. After years of mourning for his dead wife, he falls in love with Fawnia . . . , whom of course he supposes to be the shepherd’s daughter. When he learns that she is his own child . . . he is overjoyed; but after her marriage he is smitten with remorse for all his sins, falls once more
into a melancholie fit [here], and kills himself.
Pruvost (1938, p. 573): Among these [Greene’s romances] his Pandosto seems to occupy a place apart because it offers one of the first uses in England, if not the first, of a theme in which the love of children comes to restore the concord and harmony destroyed by the discords and the defects of parents. It is precisely the theme that Shakespeare handled several times toward the end of his career. Would he have done so if Greene had not written his Pandosto? It is not impossible. But since in The Winter’s Tale he dramatized Greene’s romance, one does not in the least exaggerate the influence of Greene in saying that he furnished Shakespeare the very special formula of the last plays (in Fr.).
Muir (1957, p. 241):
Shakespeare follows the earlier part of the source fairly closely. Greene described how the guard was sent to arrest Bellaria [quotes
comming . . . sonne (here)]. On this hint Shakespeare constructed the scene . . . in which Mamillius begins his interrupted tale [2.1]. But Leontes himself, not merely the guard, comes in to order Hermione’s arrest. . . . [Pandosto’s] order of events is quite satisfactory in a prose narrative, but it lacks dramatic tension. Shakespeare realized that he would spoil Hermione’s speech at the trial, in which she appeals to the oracle, if he allowed her to appeal to the oracle in a previous scene [as Bellaria does]; so he made Leontes himself decide to send a deputation to Apollo’s temple at Delphos in order to satisfy other people. The substance of the oracle is not known until it is read out at the trial, and the King immediately declares that there is no truth in it. News is brought that Mamillius has died, and we assume, as Leontes himself does, that this is a judgement from Apollo on account of his blasphemy. Hermione faints, and Pauline [sic] brings word that she is dead. Bellaria is indeed dead; but Hermione recovers, unknown to Leontes.
The only substantial passage in the novel which Shakespeare borrows with comparatively little alteration is Bellaria’s speech at the trial [quotes
If the deuine . . . Oracle (here)].
Wells (Romance, 1966, pp. 64–5, 69–70):
Pandosto is a collection of clichés, the well-worn themes and stock situations of pastoral romance. . . .  During the play we are reminded of the old-fashioned nature of the story we are watching. By a sort of alienation technique Shakespeare draws our attention to the nature of the fiction [as at 1590–4, 3070, and 3327–8]. . . . It appears not only that Shakespeare was fully aware of the unrealities of the story, but that he deliberately played upon the audience’s awareness too, inviting them to recall similar situations—even perhaps their memories of the source story itself, and also the centuries of tradition that lie behind it.
Shakespeare’s handling of Pandosto is characterized at once by extreme freedom and by a remarkable willingness to turn to account even minute details of the original. He both takes over the episodic structure and draws attention to it in the long speech of Time as chorus [1580–1611]. This emphasis seems designed to stress the romantic nature of the tale: in the non-dramatic romances, time is commonly the ally of chance and fortune in bringing about the changes of the actions. Time’s speech is pivotal to the play. Shakespeare may have got the idea for it from Greene’s subtitle, which is The Triumph of Time; and Greene’s title-page bears the tag
temporis filia veritas [
truth is the daughter of time]. Certainly Shakespeare makes of the time element a poetic complex that helps in giving the play a richness of harmony without parallel in the novel. Showing how human beings can achieve at least the illusion of having triumphed over time, Shakespeare creates that illusion for us. . . .
 In The Winter’s Tale there are no macrocosmic implications. Emphasis is placed not on the group but on individuals whose suffering we have closely followed. . . . [Leontes’s closing (3366–9)] is not in fact a high romantic climax. The emphasis is not on the lovers, but on the older generation. . . .  In his adaptation of Pandosto Shakespeare has produced a work that is far more powerful as a human document . . . not by denying the romance elements in Greene’s book but by readjusting them—sometimes adding to them, sometimes toning them down with a modified realism, and always investing them with a poetic rather than a mundane reality.
Colie (1974, p. 278 n.):
Though the statue is not in Greene’s Pandosto, there may be some hints in the source nevertheless. She quotes:
painted Eagles are pictures, not Eagles, Zeusis Grapes were like Grapes, yet shadowes: rich clothing make not princes: nor homely attyre beggers: shepheards are not called shepheardes, because they were [wear] hookes and bagges: but that they are borne poore, and liue to keepe sheepe, so this attire hath not made Dorastus a shepherd, but to seeme like a shepherd (here).
Frey (Vast Romance, 1980, pp. 56–60):
Whereas Greene couches his opening in euphuistic terms and suggests slyly that his potential critics are Frey continues with comparisons of the two authors’ handling of the mission to Delphos and of the love exchanges—(p. 59)
oftentimes most unlearned of all, Shakespeare seconds no such attitude, choosing instead to develop through Archidamus,  who represents pastoral Bohemia, the hints in his source about the superiority of rude but willing minds and art.
Perdita is much less pert and pithy in her speech than is Fawnia. But Shakespeare expands upon Greene’s hints to suggest her deeply instinctual commitment to the natural as opposed to the artificial way in all things. He concludes, (p. 60)
An aspect of Shakespeare’s method, then, is to seize upon certain parts of Pandosto—professed authorial goals, various scenes, particular characters—and to enlarge upon them, challenging from various angles their stereotypic artfulness.
Pilgrim (1983, pp. 9–10):
The great scene, in which Paulina brings the baby princess in her arms from the  prison to Leontes in the vain attempt to soften his jealous madness [2.3], is developed from Greene’s short mention of the jailor’s pity for Bellaria . . . and hope of securing her release from prison by going to the king and telling him she was with child. Still less was it necessary for Shakespeare to make Paulina not only the fearless accuser of Leontes in his jealousy but also the guide of his actions and keeper of his conscience during the period of remorse. Never, perhaps, in drama has there been so grand an extension of the Pilgrim also describes the development of Camillo from Greene’s Franion and of Leontes from Pandosto.
confidente’s [sic] role.
Donawerth (1984, pp. 124–39): In Pandosto
the oracle, an exception to the general rule, means simply what it seems to mean, and only the Princess is found. Shakespeare closely follows the wording of the oracle, except for the names; but he does change the story, with the result that the same words, unambiguous in Pandosto, are richly ambiguous in The Winter’s Tale. . . .  In Greene’s romance . . . [t]he oracle is fulfilled in one sense only: the lost daughter is found.
Bullough (1975, 8:123–32):
Shakespeare’s main departures from Greene are as follows: names and settings are changed; the king’s jealousy is speeded up, with consequent loss of probability; Leontes himself sends to consult the Oracle before his wife’s trial, and does not, like Pandosto, do so only when his wife demands it; unlike Pandosto Leontes rejects the Oracle’s verdict, and his im-mediate bereavements are seen as punishments for blasphemy. Paulina is a new character and her continuing part is original; the child is not cast adrift in a boat but taken to Bohemia by Antigonus, another new character. Shakespeare introduces a bear to kill him, and a storm to sink the ship. Polixenes is present at the shearing-feast, which, with the entertainment offered there, is also new; likewise Autolycus and his tricks. Pandosto lacks the broad humour of The Winter’s Tale, and also the discussion of ethical topics. The emotional intensity and poetic feeling of the piece are of course Shakespeare’s own. . . .  The repentance of Pandosto [for his wife’s death] is noted by Greene but not emphasized, and nothing is made of it when he meets his unknown daughter after sixteen years. Instead, he keeps her lover in prison, and tries to seduce her, then, being refused, is willing to have her killed to please Egistus. Leontes, however, aided by that embodied conscience Paulina . . . is made to suffer the torments of remorse until the last moments of the play, and, looking back over the dialogue, it is obvious that from the moment when Paulina brought news of Hermione’s supposed death [1358 ff.] the intention was to bring her back.
Shakespeare’s reasons for this drastic departure from his source were complex. He had already [dealt with recognitions in Per. and reconciliations in Cym.]. If the new play was to have such an ending [as Cym.] it would be impossible to take over Greene’s backsliding Pandosto . . . and to have him mar his daughter’s marriage either by living on or committing suicide. On the other hand, to leave Leontes in penitential misery without any recompense would be both harsh and undramatic. Above all, Shakespeare [wanted not mere entertainment] but a thought-provoking piece with strong ethical and religious overtones. . . . He now invents a variant on [the restoration of Hero in Ado], the
living statue of the desired woman.
Mackinnon (1988, p. 139):
The last significant action of Greene’s Pandosto . . . is committed by Pandosto himself, who
calling to mind all the evil he has done [
fell into a melancholie fit, and to close vp the Comedie with a Tragicall stratageme, hee slew himself] [here]. We could not ask for a clearer statement of generic purpose. However, Greene’s syntax is significantly uncertain. We are left in doubt whether the intention of the
tragical stratagem is the author’s, who would here interpolate this clause as a breezy aside to his audience, or Pandosto’s, who would then assume an attitude of frozen self-regard. Such unclarity is richly suggestive, for it invites us to speculate on Pandosto’s feelings, but must finally leave us uneasy. If Greene himself is confessing to a
stratagem, how tawdry his work must seem. It is also an error of taste to have Pandosto kill himself because the comic reconciliation the subtitle . . . promises is left incomplete. Shakespeare reverses Greene’s direction here, and closes up his tragical drama with a comical stratagem.
Adams (1989, pp. 109–10):
Though king Leontes’ abrupt, unmotivated rage in the first act of WT has been amply criticized as a deficiency in the play, not so much attention has been paid to the abrupt, unmotivated rage of king Polixenes in Act IV. In fact, Pandosto provides both monarchs with ample motivation. Bellaria . . . comes close to playing fast and loose with her royal guest; Greene slyly tempts us into thinking it likely. And Egistus’ fury with his son Dorastus flares up for reasons that Elizabethans would have found instantly familiar; the father had arranged a marriage for his son . . . and was not going to see it disrupted by an affair with a common shepherdess. But Shakespeare made no effort to provide credible motives for Leontes/Pandosto, and discarded the motive that Greene had already provided for Polixenes/Egistus. Lacking the sort of specific motivation that would distinguish them, the two [kings] meld practically indistinguishably into identical mechanisms of suspicion, sullen repression, and abrupt fury burst-ing out into fantastic threats of burning, mutilation, and bloody execution.
If the kings are twin bogeys, setting the two halves of the plot into motion, they play little part in the reconciliation. In the course of Act V, Leontes never addresses to his daughter a word that the audience can hear, nor does Polixenes say a word to his son; in fact, Leontes addresses only a brief sentence to Bohemia, perfunctorily begging pardon for his scandalous suspicions and his efforts to murder a sacred guest as well as a dear friend. [Adams apparently alludes to 3361–3. Leontes’s earlier and presumably more copious apology is reported at 3061–2.] Thus . . . the true climax of that last scene rises from the reunion of mother and daughter.
As mentioned above, most critics think that Sh. greatly improved Greene’s romance. The opinion of many is summed up by Sachs (1923, p. 84):
One can put one’s finger on the difference between commonplace talent and genius. [Pandosto] is logically correct but nevertheless leaves the reader cold. In [Sh.’s] play, however, the plot is logically absurd and yet we are deeply moved by it because it is built up on deep psychological truth. Like Lennox (see here), though, a few seem less enthusiastic about his changes. Boas (1896, pp. 519–20): Sh.’s
ending is far more satisfactory to our moral sense [than Greene’s], and the scene where the living statue steps down from the pedestal into her husband’s arms is one of the most beautiful in the dramatist’s writings. Yet the change is not altogether an artistic improvement. . . . The jealousy of Pandosto towards his queen had been the prologue to the main narrative, of which Fawnia is the centre. In the course of her tangled love-romance, the girl not only secures happiness for herself, but is made by destiny, who is the presiding genius of the story, the instrument of vengeance for her mother’s wrongs. This effective bond between the opening incidents of the tale and its later stages is lost in Shakspere’s version, where the relations between the jealous king and his wife are  lifted into the foreground of the action, and the fortunes of their daughter become a subordinate and almost entirely detached episode. Champion (1970, pp. 164–5):
The general alterations from . . . Pandosto . . . heighten the fictional tone. Bellaria, for example, is a more credible character than Hermione; her reaction to her husband’s unfounded jealousy is forthright and vocal, and their alienation builds more slowly and predictably. Then, too, the transfer of the action from one kingdom to another is less contrived in Greene. In Champion’s view, Capnio is better motivated than Camillo to accompany the lovers, the conversation of 1.1 sounds hyperbolic, and (p. 165)
one device after another confirms [WT’s] fictional tone.
Biswas (1971, pp. 154–65), similarly:
Shakespeare has modified the source-story . . . with the result that the story becomes sensational but the action lacks adequate motivation. For example, Leontes’ jealousy is unplausible, and the incidents of Antigonus being eaten up by a bear and of Hermione’s revival . . . are characteristic of romance and tragi-comedy. Even the character of Autolycus, for which Shakespeare may have derived hints from realistic portraits of London rascals,  is an item in this fantasia, for he tells absurd stories of fishes that sing ballads, while relieving the rustics of their purses, and his thievery is less a crime than the inspiration of a knavish god. . . .  He [Sh.] has introduced the love affair of Perdita and Florizel much later than the corresponding episode in Greene and it is also subordinate to the main story, with which it is imperfectly blended. Shakespeare has not borrowed the horrible suggestion of incest. . . . But he has had to pay a price for this omission, for the two parts of the play fall apart and are less well-knit than Greene’s story. . . .  Shakespeare’s manipulation of the source materials in The Sheep-shearing Scene [4.4] confirms the impression that he used the source as merely a starting point for something different . . . the opposition between Fortune and Nature, Nature and Nurture.
Smith (1897, p. 378 n.): In WT
the pastoral element borrowed from Greene’s Pandosto is so completely subordinated that we can hardly say it exists at all. Who would ever speak of Perdita as an Arcadian? In all probability Shakespeare realized how little dramatic power existed in the pastoral theme, and was too wise to risk the experiment of writing a true pastoral drama. Greg (1906, p. 411) agrees:
The shepherd scenes of that play [WT] . . . owe nothing of their treatment to pastoral tradition, nothing to convention, nothing to aught save life as it mirrored itself in the magic glass of the poet’s imagination.
Greenlaw (1916, pp. 145–7) does not:
Greene’s story is  much farther removed from true pastoral than Shakespeare’s; what has really happened is that Shakespeare has transformed a romance of adventure which patronizes the
homely pastimes of shepherds . . . into the most exquisite and satisfying pastoral in Elizabethan literature. . . . Fawnia is a Pamela of the Richardsonian type, concerned about her virtue, ambitious yet suspecting the intent of the Prince; her reputed father, a worthy predecessor of Pamela’s father, is wholly different from the old shepherd of The Winter’s Tale, for he suspects that the prince has designs upon his daughter’s virtue. . . .  Dorastus does not go to live among the shepherds in order to woo his lady, he merely puts on a shepherd’s coat when he pays his visits, changing back to his
riche apparel when the call is over. We are not surprised that after the betrothal Fawnia’s chief thought is joy to have won
the love of a Prince, hoping in time to be advaunced from the daughter of a poore farmer to be the wife of a riche King [here]. . . . How completely all this is changed by Shakespeare needs no illustration.
Herford (ed. 1904, 4:265–9): Greene’s
execution was evidently controlled by the purest spirit of romance, according to the Sidneian and Lylyan model fashionable in 1588. The Arcadia served as model for the matter, the  Euphues for the speech. In the tragic story he framed a pastoral idyll, even outbidding Sidney’s pseudo-classic mise-en-scène by permitting his injured Bohemian queen to appeal, with success, to the oracle of Delphi; while the personages throughout express their passions and their hesitancies with an oppressive appetency, like Lyly’s, for the symmetries of speech and the analogies of nature. . . .  It is plain that Shakespeare did not attempt to efface the marks of the ; see n. 3104–5. On Herford’s last point, Harp (1978, p. 296), however:
old tale in his [source] materials; at certain points he even heightens them. He repeats with perfect gravity Greene’s geographical and historical eccentricities, and caps the oracle of Delphos and the coast of Bohemia with a sculptor, Giulio Romano
For more on the credibility of old tales, see n. 3037–9.
Old tales in Shakespeare generally means old wives’ tales, that is, lies. . . . But . . . some of the characters . . . are also aware of the improbability of the events in which they participate, and it is this very improbability that forces them to the astonishing conclusion that old tales may . . . help reveal the true nature of experience.
Moorman (ed. 1912, p. xxvii):
The pastoral convention, to which Sidney and Spenser had in their day rendered full and frequent obeisance, and to which even such robust intellects as those of Ben Jonson and Cervantes paid loyal homage, had always seemed an unreal and artificial thing in the eyes of Shakespeare. He refers to Sh.’s transformation of Thomas Lodge’s pastoral Rosalynde into AYL; see Knowles (ed. AYL, 1977, pp. 490–4 and 511–27).
Bethell (1947, pp. 34–5):
Greene insisted on Bohemia’s coastline to emphasise the fact that his Bohemia was not the Bohemia of contemporary diplomatic reports but a romantic Ruritania or Arcadia where the strangest things might happen. And Shakespeare, who rejected so much of Greene’s story in adapting it to his purpose, deliberately preserved the sea-coast of Bohemia because he was especially anxious to liberate  himself from the localisation of his play world in the contemporary map of Europe.
Parrott (1949, pp. 383–4):
Shakespeare changes the whole tone of the story. It is not clear that Greene knew very well what he was doing; all he wanted was to write a romantic tale packed with situations giving occasion for his favorite long and euphuistic soliloquies. Shakespeare knew better than to
close up a [sic] comedy with a tragical stratagem [here]; in fact he seems to have planned to convert Greene’s story into a tragi-comedy where a near tragic beginning should be brought to a happy close. He retains the general outline of the novel, but he eliminates its most tragic incidents, the death of the Queen, Pandosto’s unnatural passion for his daughter, and his final suicide. . . . In  the second part of the play, to give a realistic background to a romantic tale he brings in certain comic characters, the stupid Clown, Perdita’s foster-brother, with his rustic sweethearts, and the rogue, Autolycus. There is no place for such characters in Greene’s artificial pastoral, but they are quite at home in an English rustic festival.
White (1892, p. 55):
The Winter’s Tale probably explains why Shakespeare was called the English Terence in The Scourge of Folly, [c.] 1611. White alludes to the collection of epigrams by John Davies of Hereford (1565?–1618); one is addressed
To our English Terence, Mr. Will. Shake-speare. After summarizing Terence’s Andria, however, White concludes that the plays have virtually nothing in common except a generic resemblance shared by Autolycus and Andria’s servant, Davus. Neilson (ed. 1906, p. 419):
For [Autolycus], and for his song in IV.iii.1 ff. [1669 ff.,] hints may have been derived from Tom Beggar in Robert Wilson’s Three Ladies of London (1584).
Bonjour (1952, p. 197): In 4.4,
the double arrival of the lovers and Polixenes . . . is natural and convincing. The fact that so human a sentiment as Camillo’s longing for his native country is so deftly used to motivate the whole proceeding is not the least of Shakespeare’s accomplishments in that matter. Moreover, there is not the slightest doubt that this rôle of Camillo’s, entirely missing in Greene, provides yet another effective link between the two centres of interest in the drama, owing to the conspicuous part he now plays in both stories, of which he is no mean agent de liaison. . . . Shakespeare’s preservation of Hermione, together with his creation of Camillo’s part in the last acts, are two main factors which give the play a unity of theme altogether lacking in Greene’s novel.
Schelling (1928, pp. 410–11):
Shakespeare’s King Leontes, when his un-reasonable jealousy and his wicked defiance of the oracle have lost him his wife and children, spends years, we are led to infer, in repentance and remains true to the memory of his unparalleled queen. This makes possible the reconciliation in the end and the joy and hope that springs from the restoration of the lost ones and Perdita’s marriage to her Prince Florizel. But it is not only in these and in several minor changes that Shakespeare betters Greene’s plot for dramatic use, but the invention and introduction of new characters. Antigonus, incomparable Paulina, Mopsa, Dorcas, the clown, and above all Autolycus—all these are Shakespeare’s invention.
Lawrence (1960; 1969, pp. 176–7): Sh.
altered his source in making the king’s jealousy break forth abruptly, in the midst of gay and playful conversation, but he has left some indecision as to how far these suspicions had already been smouldering beneath the surface. . . . Had Leontes been represented as suspicious from the start, a false idea of the affection of Polixenes and Hermione might well have been created, which it would have been difficult to efface. . . .  Sudden and unjustified suspicions were . . . common in popular story-telling. . . . Greene’s novel . . . is set in a framework of romantic commonplaces. Archaic details of the old and widespread Accused Queen motive were occasionally retained by both Shakespeare and by Greene. . . . Sudden and baseless rages are common in romance, and easily became a convention in romantic drama. We are not told why the Usurping Duke [in AYL] suddenly breaks in on Rosalind . . . and incontinently banishes her, nor why Old Capulet [in Rom.] treats his only child . . . with such violently cruel harshness, which even a crossing of his wishes does not seem to explain.
Armstrong (1969, pp. 60–1):
Nowhere else does he [Sh.] follow one source throughout, but  exchange its quite straightforward central motivation for one so improbable that it has exercised readers ever since. In Greene’s Pandosto . . . Pandosto . . . is provoked to jealousy in the most direct way imaginable: [quotes
Bellaria . . . thoughtes (here)]. Under these circumstances, it would have needed all the explanatory resources of depth psychology if Pandosto had not felt angry and jealous.
Schanzer (ed. 1969, p. 25):
In the first half of the play Leontes still bears some resemblance to his counterpart in the novel. In the second half the two characters cease to have anything in common. [Pandosto imprisons Dorastus and tries to seduce Fawnia.] When he finds her firm against all promises and threats, his love for her turns to hatred, so that he is quite ready . . . to have her put to death. Nothing could be more of a contrast with Leontes, who, after sixteen years of penance for his crimes, is shown to be all goodness, humility, and courtesy. While Pandosto’s re-enactment of it sixteen years later makes his cruel behaviour towards his queen seem something rooted in his nature, that of Leontes is made to seem a unique and short-lived aberration, a solitary fit of insane delusion during which he becomes utterly transformed, a stranger to his true self.
Mowat (1976, pp. 9–12), a minority view:
Instead of emphasizing the love between Leontes and Hermione, he [Sh.] passes over Greene’s account of
these two, linked together in perfect love [here], and has Leontes summarize his courtship in the curt lines:
Three crabbed months had sour’d themselves to death / Ere I could make thee open thy white hand / And clap thyself my love ([173–5]). The sole references to their affection are Hermione’s playful words:
Yet, good-deed, Leontes, / I love thee not a jar o’ th’ clock behind / What lady she her lord ([99–101]) and Leontes’ declaration to the court that the defendant is
one of us too much belov’d [1178–9]. In several places  where references to their love would seem natural, Shakespeare omits them. In the introductory scene, for instance, the picture drawn of the fortunate Leontes includes no mention of a wife. Yet, in Pandosto, it is largely the ideal love between Pandosto and Bellaria that makes Fortune envious, and causes her to turn her wheel, and darken
their bright sun of prosperity with the misty clouds of mishap and misery [p. here]. Again, in the trial scene, where Hermione is listing the joys of her past life, she speaks tenderly of her children, but, of Leontes, she recalls only that she once had his
favor . . . . Throughout the
tragic section of The Winter’s Tale, Leontes’ character is in keeping with the pettiness of his passion. . . .  Pandosto, before jealousy overtook him, was a courageous warrior and a generous lord. Leontes, in contrast, is a frightened man, afraid to take open revenge on Polixenes [quotes 921–2]. He will instead revenge himself on his helpless wife.
Perdita and Florizel
Schanzer (ed. 1969, pp. 26–7):
The transformation of the novel’s young lovers is less profound than that of Pandosto, but still far-reaching. . . . Dorastus is ashamed of his love for the shepherdess Fawnia and tries his utmost to resist it. Like his father (and Polixenes) he sees it as dishonourable, disgraceful, calamitous. Only because he finds his love stronger than his sense of
honour does he finally yield to it and, after Fawnia refuses to become his mistress, offer to make her his wife. Nothing could be further removed from Florizel’s exaltation of Perdita above any princess, his total unconcern about her social station, his declaration that [quotes
I was . . . alike (2287–91)].
Fawnia’s thoughts, when she finds herself in love with the Prince, also dwell mainly on the difference of rank between them. Where for Perdita
the difference forges dread  because it threatens the continuance of their relationship, Fawnia sees her love for the Prince as a violation of the order of nature, and therefore likely to have dire consequences. As she is preoccupied with social  rank, what pleases her most about the projected marriage to Dorastus is the thought of one day becoming queen. Hence it does not come as a surprise that when, at the end of the novel, she discovers the man who has been treating her and her lover in the most villainous fashion to be her father, we are told (apparently without the least touch of irony):
Fawnia was not more joyful that she had found such a father than Dorastus was glad he should get such a wife [here]. We are worlds away from Perdita. . . . Much as he has done with Leontes, Shakespeare has made the young lovers far more attractive and lovable than are their counterparts in Pandosto.
Robert Greene’s Cony-Catching Pamphlets
Sh. drew details of Autolycus’s bilking of the Clown (1718 ff.), and perhaps his picking and cutting of the festival purses under the cover of song (2481 ff.), from one, possibly two, of Robert Greene’s cony-catching pamphlets. Sh. was clearly indebted to The Second Part; The Thirde may have provided some suggestions. See also nn. 1718 and 2567–9.
and last Part of Conny-catching.
There walked in the midle walke [of St. Paul’s] a plaine Country farmer, a man of good wealth, who had a well lined purse . . . which a crue of foists [pickpockets] hauing perceiued, their hearts were set on fire to haue it, & euery one had a fling at him, but all in vaine, for he kept his hand close in his pocket, and his purse fast in his fist. . . . At last one of the crue . . . walkt directly before him and next him three or foure turnes, at last standing still, he cried alas honest man helpe me, I am not well, & with that sunck downe suddenly in a sown, the pore Farmer seeing a proper yong Gentleman (as hee thought) fall dead afore him, stept to him, helde him in his armes, rubd him & chaft him: at this there gathered a great multitude of people about him, and the whilest the Foiste drewe the farmers purse and away: by that the other thought the feat was done, he began to come something to himselfe againe, and so halfe staggering, stumbled out of Paules, and went after the crue where they had appointed to meet, and their boasted of his wit and experience.
and last Part of Conny-
. . . Com to Gracious street, wher this villanous pranke was performed. A roging mate, & such another with him, were there got vpon a stal singing of balets which belike was som prety toy, for very many gathered about to heare it, & diuers buying, as their affections serued, drew to their purses & paid the singers for them. The slye mate and his fellowes, who were dispersed among them that stoode to heare the songes: well noted where euerie man that bought, put vp his purse againe, and to such as would not buy, counterfeit warning was sundrie times giuen by the rogue and his associate, to beware of the cut pursse, and looke to their pursses, which made them often feel where their pursses were, either in sleeue, hose, or at girdle, to know whether they were safe or no. Thus the craftie copesmates were acquainted with what they most desired, and as they were scattered, by shouldering, thrusting, feigning to let fall something, and other wilie tricks fit for their purpose: heere one lost his purse, there another had his pocket pickt, and to say all in briefe, at one instant, vpon the complaint of one or two that sawe their pursses were gone, eight more in the same companie, found themselues in like predicament.
Francis Sabie’s Poems
That Sh. may also have been indebted to an offspring of Pandosto was suggested and more or less dismissed by Chambers (1930, 1:489–90):
There is not much to suggest that Shakespeare used a derivative from Greene in Francis Sabie’s Fisherman’s Tale (1595). Sabie actually wrote two poems based on Greene’s work, The Fissher-mans Tale and a second part, Flora’s Fortune. The first was entered, on 21 November 1594, to the stationer Richard Jones as
a booke intituled, the fisher mans tale conteyninge the storye of Cassander a Gretian knight (Arber, 1875–94, 2:666). The second part, although it has new signatures and an entirely reset title page, does not seem to have been entered; Jones perhaps trusted that one fee would cover both parts. Also in 1595, Jones entered and published Pans Pipe, three pastorall eglogues, to which
The printer hath annexed the Fisher-mans tale. Although Flora’s Fortune is unmentioned, RSTC believes the two parts
were intended to be issued as sections of Pans Pipe.
The stories told by these poems may be summarized as follows.
The Fissher-mans Tale
Driven ashore by a storm, a fisherman discovers a small stone building strangely decorated with pictures of sea gods; it is evidently a mysterious temple. An apparently aged man, who seems more divine than mortal, welcomes him, and in response to the fisherman’s inquiry, tells his tale. He is Cassander, also a fisherman. He is of noble birth, however, and once sought fame through deeds of arms. After distinguishing himself in the Holy Land and elsewhere, he served the ruler of Bohemia, who led forty thousand men against the Turkish lord who had abducted Bohemia’s beautiful daughter. Cassander’s extraordinary deeds in battle win the day and the daughter, but Cassander modestly declines grateful Bohemia’s offer of his crown and her hand. He departs, having demonstrated that neither wealth nor station interests him.
After many adventures Cassander comes at last to Arcadia, where, among a troop of fair shepherdesses, he sees one whose beauty exceeds Venus’s and whose modesty Diana’s. As she looks at him, she too is affected, and her color comes and goes. Modesty requires the entranced Cassander to depart, but he inquires about her of an aged herdsman.
She is, he replies,
supposed the daughter of old Thirsis, and she herself doth know no less. Actually, however, the old man reveals, Thirsis found her as a baby, wrapped in a scarlet mantle and lying in a boat. Because of her astonishing beauty, many men now want her, but she rejects them all.
Cassander’s attempts to persuade himself not to love her are fruitless. Can it be that Cassander the Grecian Conqueror is infatuated with a shepherd’s trull? It can, for Apollo, Mars, and mighty Jove himself have been love’s victims. So Cassander disposes of his steed and his weapons and buys country russet and a flock of sheep, content with his lowly estate if he can but see his love. Unknown to him, his love is equally infatuated and also despairing, for how could such a flock-attending drudge as she hope for a famous knight, one perhaps as false as he is fair?
They meet one day while tending their sheep. Mistaking him for a stranger shepherd, she is so attracted that she quite forgets her love for Cassander. He points out that if she grazes her flock alone, she exposes herself to lions and bears and wolves and many other hazards. He offers to marry her so that she can leave behind the dangers and discomforts of single life. When she demurs, he reveals that he is the knight she recently met who now has set aside his fame and dignity to woo her, because Love levels differences in rank. He is eloquent, and she gives him her hand and heart.
Thirsis, having discovered their intimacy, berates her for loving a stranger who will surely desert her when her beauty fades. Henceforth, he will graze the flock and she will remain at home, out of Cassander’s sight. Cassander is frantic when, rather than Flora, a hostile and uncommunicative Thirsis appears in the fields. Disguised as a beggar, Cassander cries for alms at Thirsis’s door, and Flora recognizes him. She needs immediate help; tomorrow she weds Coridon. Stripping off his disguise, Cassander hurries to the port and arranges passage to Greece. That night he comes for Flora and would have escaped with her undetected had not his horse neighed as they mounted. Awakened, Thirsis pursues them. They manage to board, and Thirsis rages from the shore until Cassander, fearing that his angry words will provoke intervention, forces him into the ship. What is about to happen suddenly strikes Thirsis: he will be taken away from his dear old wife, tossed about on the sea, and finally his bones will lie in some vicious foreign land. He begs to be let go, but the ship puts to sea with him aboard.
Envious Fortune frowns. A storm strikes, the wind and sea go mad, rigging snaps, sails are blown to shreds, the ship splits on the rocks. Cassander tries to rescue Flora, but only he reaches the rock upon which the stone temple stands. Here he has been ever since, sometimes believing that Flora and Thirsis survived, sometimes not, but if he could be reunited with her, his white hairs, bent limbs, and ashen complexion would vanish and his youth would return.
Parted from Cassander, Flora and Thirsis are rescued by a passing ship. After visiting the isle of Delphos, they return to the Greek mainland, where they resume their former life.
The poem now looks backward to Flora’s parents. King Palemon of Greece marries the beautiful Julina, a German princess. After the death of his father-in-law, Palemon goes to Germany to claim its crown; he leaves Julina in the care of Eristo,
a grave and senile man, whose integrity is undoubted. Before long, however, Eristo dotes upon the lovely queen and tries to seduce her. In a rage at her indignant refusal, he writes to Palemon that he has seen Julina playing Venus’s games with Lord Alpinor and that they conspire to murder him and take the crown of Greece. Eristo has Alpinor jailed and murdered, reported a suicide.
Raging, Palemon returns to Greece and, on Eristo’s testimony, condemns Julina to a pitchy dungeon until Apollo or Themis, the goddess of law and justice, confirms her treachery. By this time, Julina is great with child—Alpinor’s, Palemon believes. Alone in her cell, she brings forth a daughter sweet, whom Palemon orders to be set adrift. The queen kisses her little girl, consigns her to the gods’ mercy, and sends with her, wrapped in a robe and a scarlet mantle, a ring, a golden chain, and a purse of golden coins. The wherry boat is thrust off, and the babe floats upon the sea.
At Themis’s temple the Greek peers sent to learn the goddess’s judgment receive a sealed scroll, which they deliver to Palemon. Julina is brought to hear what Palemon is sure will be the goddess’s condemnation of her. Instead the goddess proclaims her chaste and adds that if Destiny helps not, Palemon shall die issueless. The nobles unbind the queen, whom maltreatment has made a pale and grisly ghost, assuring her that Palemon repents. It is too late, however; exhausted with grief, she dies. Palemon’s life becomes perpetual grief.
The baby’s boat makes its way into the Humber, an Arcadian river, where it comes to rest in the bulrushes. Thirsis, a poor hired herdsman, finds the child and the rich things sent with her by the queen. His wife, Mopsa, delighted with their miraculous wealth, agrees to keep their discovery a secret lest the king come and take it all away. She pretends to her neighbors that the baby is her own. Thirsis buys a flock and soon grows rich; Flora, raised to be a shepherdess, grows in beauty and has many suitors, all of whom she scorns.
At this point the plot of The Fissher-mans Tale is summarized and then continued. Cassander lives upon his craggy rock, and Flora and Thirsis, from whom Cassander was separated by the storm, having visited Delos, resume their lives as shepherds in Greece, the land of Flora’s father, Palemon. At length Cassander is rescued by a passing ship and brought to Greece also, where, all unknown to him, Flora has caught the eye of young Dryano, the son of the false Eristo who caused her mother’s death. Thinking to command the love of the shepherd wench, Dryano sends his servant for her, but Flora scornfully rejects the proposition, not only because she is virtuous but also because she knows exactly who Dryano is and what his father did to Queen Julina. Perhaps she should have anticipated Dryano’s response to her rejection of him: he has both Flora and Thirsis brought before the king on judgment day. His curiosity having prompted him also to be present, Cassander hears them accused of treason, condemned on Dryano’s perjured testimony, and sentenced by Palemon to death. Although he does not recognize her, Cassander, heavyhearted, watches as Flora is bound to the stake and Thirsis is hauled to the gibbet. Expecting to die, Thirsis reveals everything—his finding Flora in the boat, the token with her, her elopement with Cassander, his pursuit, the shipwreck and separation from Cassander, their return to Greece. As he listens, Cassander’s frosty locks become golden and his pallid face a healthy red. Palemon’s heart leaps as he recognizes the tokens and his daughter, and on her prompting, he has the villains hanged
before sweet Flora’s face. Cassander embraces Flora. Even Homer
with his quaint Pernassus verse could not express half the joys of old Palemon and indeed all the company.
According to Honigmann (1955), Chambers underestimated Sh.’s debt to Sabie, for some passages of WT are closer to The Fissher-mans Tale and to Flora’s Fortune than to Pandosto. The resemblances are italicized:
the heauenly Godes haue sometime earthly thoughtes: Neptune became a Ram, Iupiter a Bul, Apollo a shepheard: they Gods, and yet in loue: and thou a man appointed to loue.(Pan. sig. E3)Loue conquers all things: it hath conqueredApollo once, it made him be a swaine.Yea mightie Mars in armes inuincible,It forced hath to lay aside his speare,Loue made the sea-god take a Wesils shape,Yea mighty Ioue, whose rage makes earth to shake,Loue made to take the snow-white shape of Bull:
the Goddes themselues
(Humbling their Deities to loue) haue taken
The shapes of Beasts vpon them. Iupiter,
Became a Bull, and bellow’d: the greene Neptune
A Ram, and bleated: and the Fire-roab’d-God
Golden Apollo, a poore humble Swaine
As I seeme now.
the aire began to be ouercast, the winds to rise, the seas to swel, yea presently there arose such a fearfull tempest, as the ship was in danger to be swallowed vp with euery sea, the maine mast with the violence of the wind was thrown ouer boord, the sayles were torne, the tacklings went in sunder, the storme raging still so furiously that poore Fawnia was almost dead for feare, but that she was greatly comforted with the presence of Dorastus. The tempest continued three dayes, al which time the Mariners euerie minute looked for death, and the aire was so darkned with cloudes that the Maister could not tell by his compasse in what Coast they were.(Pan. sigs. F3–F3v)But see what chanc’d, a sudden storme arose,Skies looked blacke, clouds ouerwhelmd the skies, . . .. . . as once when angrie IunoSude to the wind-god for Aeneas bane,Seas sweld, ropes crackt, sayles rent, shipmen cride out,Ay me, poore wretch, my little fleeting barke,Leapt like a feather, tost with blastes of wind:One while it seemde the loftie skies to touch,Straightwaies I thought it went to Plutoes lake, . . .. . . Feare not I say, these waues and blustering winds. . . the frothy seas.
the skies looke grimly,
And threaten present blusters. In my conscience
The heauens with that we haue in hand, are angry . . .
Looke to thy barke . . .
Oh, the most pitteous cry of the poore soules, sometimes to see ’em, and not to see ’em: Now the Shippe boaring the Moone with her maine Mast, and anon swallowed with yest and froth.
(c)Pandosto lacks this passage.He straightway charg’d him take the bastard brat,Throw’t in a boat, and let it flote on seas . . .Thrise kist she her sweet babe, and dew’d the faceWith her Chrystalline pearl-resembling teares,Impatient, thrise of sorrow she fel downe . . .The ruthfull mother when she saw it goe,Cride out and scrikt, renting her yellow haire . . .Her eies which once like glittering Diamonds were,Now bleared were with fountaines of her teares.
I neuer saw a vessell of like sorrow(WT 1463–79)
So fill’d, and so becomming: in pure white Robes
Like very sanctity she did approach
My Cabine where I lay: thrice bow’d before me,
And (gasping to begin some speech) her eyes
Became two spouts; the furie spent, anon
Did this breake from her. Good Antigonus,
Since Fate (against thy better disposition)
Hath made thy person for the Thrower-out
Of my poore babe, according to thine oath,
Places remote enough are in Bohemia,
There weepe, and leaue it crying: and for the babe
Is counted lost for euer, Perdita
I prethee call’t: For this vngentle businesse
Put on thee, by my Lord, thou ne’re shalt see
Thy Wife Paulina more: and so, with shriekes
She melted into Ayre.
Apollo with a loude voice saide(Pan. sig. C2)these thundering voyces sent
And the eare-deaff’ning Voyce o’th’Oracle,
Kin to Ioues Thunder, so surpriz’d my Sence,
That I was nothing.
(e)The following minor coincidences: Two messengers sent to Apollo’s temple (WT 798–802, FF sig. D4v), six (Pan. sig. C2); the oracle is consulted before Perdita’s birth in WT and FF but after in Pan.;
the title(Honigmann, 1955, p. 29).
The Winter’s Talereminds one of
The Fisherman’s Tale: indeed Sabie observes that he wrote his book to
expell . . . the acoustomed tediousnes of colde winters nightes[FF sig. A2v], an apology Shakespeare may echo in 
(f)The following resemblances of WT to Sabie; there are no corresponding passages in Pandosto:
I should leaue grasing, were I of your flocke,(WT 1922–3)
And onely liue by gazing.Good Lord, how long could I haue found in heart,T’aue gazed on her mind-reioycing shape.Whole dayes, whole yeares, my life I could haue spentIn vewing her.
Fy (daughter) when my old wife liu’d: vpon(WT 1860–9)
This day, she was both Pantler, Butler, Cooke,
Both Dame and Seruant: Welcom’d all: seru’d all, . . .
her face o’fire
With labour, and the thing she tooke to quench it
She would to each one sip. You are retyred,
As if you were a feasted one: and not
The Hostesse of the meeting: . . .My mother oft hath told me in a rage,That I liue like a Lady vnto her,I (saith she) care for all things which be done,I serue the Swine, I giue the Pulhens meat:I fret, I chide, I neuer am at rest,And thou doest nought but walke the pleasant fieldes . . .
I (an old Turtle)
Will wing me to some wither’d bough, and there
My Mate (that’s neuer to be found againe)
Lament, till I am lost.And as a Turtle Doue, when she hath lostHer louing mate, so seem’d he to lament . . .
Some of the Sabie-Shakespeare parallels could be explained away as natural to their contexts and therefore independent inventions, e.g. (b), (c); others are drawn from different contexts in The Fisherman’s Tale and The Winter’s Tale, e.g. (b), (f, iii). Nevertheless, enough of these parallels can be traced to make it seem quite probable that Shakespeare had read [both parts of] The Fisherman’s Tale—for, after all, they would have been equally natural to the context in Pandosto, where analogous material is lacking.
A few of the collocations apparently derived from Sabie could have come directly from Pandosto:
- (a) taken The shapes of resembles vnder the shape of (Pan. A4v).
- (b) sky, barke, and maine mast are closely associated (Pan. F3–F3v)
- (f,i) Dorastus is
glad now to gaze on a poore shepheard(Pan. D3).
may have been encouraged by The Fisherman’s Tale to develop its vignettes of rustic life, for Cassander disguises himself as a real English shepherd, buyssheepe and cotes[C4v], and sets up as a newcomer to the district before wooing the maiden. Later he disguises himself as a crippled beggar to visit Flora’s house, and receives alms. Obviously Cassander enjoys his deceit. Is this the germ of Autolycus?
Possible Sources, Analogues, and Imitations
Amadis de Grecia and Other Romances
Southey (1807, 1:xliv–xlv):
One of the Spanish Romances has had the singular fortune to be imitated by the three greatest writers of Elizabeth’s age. In Amadis of Greece [Feliciano de Silva’s continuation of Amadis of Gaul] may be found the Zelmane of the Arcadia, the Masque of Cupid of the Faery [xlv] Queen, and the Florizel of the Winter’s Tale. These resemblances are not imaginary (Florizel indeed is there with the same name)—any person who will examine will be convinced beyond a doubt that Sidney, Spenser, and Shakespere, each of them imitated this book. Thomas (1922, pp. 21–2):
Southey had in mind those scenes in which Prince Florizel, O’Connor (1970, p. 214):
obscured with a swain’s wearing, woos Perdita, just as his namesake in Amadis de Grecia turns shepherd  to court the temporary shepherdess Silvia. . . . The pastoral scenes in question [were] taken over . . . from [Pandosto] but as in these scenes Greene was clearly inspired by Feliciano de Silva, Shakespeare incurs at least a second-hand indebtedness to Amadis de Grecia.
René Pruvost . . . believes that the story of Florisel and Silvie in Book IX of Amadis provided Greene with the nucleus for his tale: Note:
The books of Amadis gave him the theme of a little princess born in prison and brought up as a shepherdess, who later is wooed by a prince disguised as a shepherd [Pruvost (1938, p. 301)]. [This] might explain Shakespeare’s use of the name Florizel and show Southey right once more.
As Mary Patchell points out (The Palmerin Romances in Elizabethan Prose Fiction [New York: Columbia UP, 1947], p. 114), Shakespeare may have derived the name directly from the Amadis.
As in As You Like It there are traces of the Charlemagne romances[see R. Knowles ed. AYL, 1977, p. 501], so I think in this drama there are evidences of Shakespeare’s familiarity with those of Amadis. Florizel, as Don Florisel, is the hero of the ninth book of the Amadis series, believed to have been written by Don Feliciano de Silva, and originally published at Burgos in 1535. . . . No English version of it is known, but . . . there may be an abstract of his adventures in The Treasury of Amadis of Fraunce, London, 1567. [Amadis, 1572?, is an anthology of orations, each preceded by a headnote describing the occasion and identifying the characters involved. Dom Florisell is mentioned several times (e.g., on 2E2 and 2E3).] . . . It is by no means improbable, however, that Shakespeare knew the story in the French version of Charles Colet, Champenois (1564). . . . There is no mention of Don Florisel in Greene’s book, but he has taken the name of one of his characters (Garinter) from it [Amadis of Fraunce, presumably]. . . . La bella Perdida [occurs in] the original Amadis. Jusserand (in Lee, ed. 1907, pp. xxiii–xxiv) believes that book 8 of Amadis also contributed:
Not only are the facts similar in the novel and the romance, but . . . the tone and manner (with an abundance of speeches, dialogues, and monologues, [xxiv] a conspicuous verbosity throughout) offer also striking resemblances.
An imprisoned princess, having given birth to a beautiful daughter, entrusts the child to a faithful servant and his wife, who take it to Alexandria. There she is raised to be a shepherdess; she is called Sylvia. Like Fawnia, she is wooed by rich suitors in whom she has no interest, but one day Prince Florizel sees her and falls in love. Because she will marry only a shepherd as she herself is, Florizel adopts shepherd’s garb, in which he woos her. After this, the stories diverge.
Honigmann (1955, pp. 31–3): WT
may owe more to the novel than the name Florizel. Of particular interest are the similarities between the action connected with the statue of Hermione [5.3] and a story [Amadis 9:18–21, quoted from the ed. of Christophle Plantin, Anvers, 1561] of which I give a summary. . . .
Manatiles, King of Epirus, had an only son, Arpilior, who loved Princess Galatée. Manatiles also fell in love with Galatée and killed his wife in order to be able to marry her. One day, finding that Arpilior and Galatée loved each other, Manatiles almost killed his son in his jealousy, father and son being parted by courtiers. There lived at that time
vn fort sçauant homme, a magician who, to calm the king and to save the lovers,
s’auisa de dresser vn ymage si bien ressemblant au jeune Prince, qu’il ne lui restoit que la parole [
decided to have an image made so much like the young prince that only speech was lacking; cf. WT 3108–9], and another
image [effigy, statue] of Galatée. These images were beheaded, the prince, the princess and the king coming at a different hour each day to visit the images, Manatiles thinking Arpilior and Galatée both dead, the prince and princess thinking each other dead, and all of them taking the images to be real corpses. Having paid their visits the prince and princess
s’en retournent chacun en leur prison, ou ils sont secretement nourris, & entent le sage homme que ceey se face tant que le Roi vivra [
each returned to his own prison, where they are secretly fed, and the wise man intends that this continue while the king lives].
This story was told to Florisel and Silvie, who stole into the palace grounds and managed to see the images:
contemplerent longuement les cors & les têtes d’icelles ymages, qui se montroyent aussi vermeilles comme si elles eussent été coupees tout fraichement [for a long time they contemplated the bodies and the heads of those images, which appeared as ruddy as if they had just been cut off; cf. WT 3240–1]. When Manatiles later visited the images, Florisel and Silvie heard him soliloquise:
O Dieu souverain, ou auoise-ie l’esprit, quand ie permis que telle cruauté fût executee en mon propre enfant. . . . Ah amour, que tu es cause de grandes malheurtés & infortunes, ne m’étoit-ce point assés d’auoir m’êchamment meudry ma femme tant preude & chaste, sans me souiller,  & contaminer mes mains de mon sang propre, priuant moy & ce tant riche Royaume de legitime heritier?
[O sovereign Lord, where was my mind when I permitted such cruelty to be visited upon my own child. . . . Ah love, who are the cause of great unhappiness and adversity, was it not enough to have wickedly murdered my wife so modest and chaste, without staining myself and dirtying my hands with my own blood, depriving myself and this very rich realm of a legitimate heir? Cf. WT 2733–9 ff.]
Manatiles decided, however, that repentance was foolish, and thought that the
execution of the two lovers was an act of justice.
When Galatée came to visit the image of Arpilior, Silvie told her that she had been enchanted, and convinced her that the image was not a real body. Florisel, Silvie and Galatée then waited for the real Arpilior to appear. When he arrived, Galatée ran to meet him,
& se ietta à son col, le tenant long tems embrassé sans pouvoir faire autre chose que pleurer & soûpirer profondement de grand joye qu’elle auoyt [and threw her arms about his neck, holding him for a long time unable to do anything but weep and sigh profoundly because of the great joy she felt; cf. WT 3322].
Arpilior, however, stood bewildered, forcing Galatée to exclaim:
ne soyés plus abusé d’vne statuë composee par art magique & deceptif, voyés la viue image de vôtre amye [don’t be deluded any longer by a statue made by deceptive magic; see the living image of your love]. But Arpilior
pensoyt que ce fût quelque fantôme: parquoy demoura tout rauy, & ne sçauoit bonnement que dire ou faire [thought that she was a ghost because she had indeed died, and he hardly knew what to say or do; cf. WT 3209–10]. — Then Galatée
le print par la main . . . (et Arpilior) reconnoissant sa fidele amye, l’embrassa amyablement, & baisa par plusieurs fois [took him by the hand . . . (and Arpilior) recognizing his faithful love, embraced her fervently, and kissed her again and again; cf. WT 3315–21]. Later Florisel killed Manatiles, Arpilior married Galatée, and the magician was rewarded for preserving them.
Lastly the magician threw a spell on the garden in which the images had been kept, filling it with statues of the heroes and heroines of the Amadis stories. Florisel entered the magic garden and was overjoyed to see the statues
& pensa par plusieurs fois monter sus le trône, pour les aller embrasser, estimant que ce n’étoyt faintise ni enchantement, ains chose vraye [and thought several times to mount the throne in order to embrace them, believing that this was neither fantasy nor enchantment but the real thing; cf. WT 3280–1].
At first sight the resemblances to The Winter’s Tale are not very startling. Manatiles, a jealous tyrant, kills his wife and tries to kill his only child and heir. The heir (Arpilior) is miraculously preserved by the friendly magician (who corresponds to Paulina in Winter’s Tale); and so on. It is the magician’s use of statues, and specifically Arpilior’s reactions when he finds that Galatée is really alive, which seems to have the more immediate bearing on The Winter’s Tale. The repetition that Paulina can make the statue move by magic—[3230, 3293–5, 3302–3, 3319]—could be partly due to the fact that Paulina’s role may be modelled on that of the magician. Similarly the statement that Paulina [
hath priuately, twice or thrice a day, euer since the death of Hermione, visited that remoued House (3113–14)], the
house being her own home , seems less peculiar—why should the wife of a nobleman live in a
removed house, and
visit her own home?—when we recall that the magician kept Arpilior and Galatée secretly in prisons. . . .  If Shakespeare took the name Florisel from [Amadis 9] there is some likelihood that he had met with Arpilior and Galatée.
Besides the possibility that
la bella Perdida suggested
Perdita to Shakespeare, as Browne believed [see above, here], a prophecy quoted in the chapter immediately following the end of Manatiles [9:22] could have had the same result:
Quiconques cherchera Armide, peut entrer franchement, mais la saillie a deus extrêmes de la gaigner ou pedre, iusques à ce que les perdus soyent trouués par la perduë [Whoever will seek Armide may enter freely, but the undertaking has two extremes of gain or loss, until the lost things are found by the lost one].
Here there is an arresting resemblance to [1315–16], which Shakespeare transcribed from Pandosto [see here]. In The Winter’s Tale
that which is lost is Leontes’ daughter: the allusion to
la perduë in a similar context in Amadis may have moved Shakespeare to give Leontes’ daughter her name (la perduë = Perdita).
Honigmann’s argument may have been unknown to O’Connor (1970, p. 158):
There is not a shred of evidence that Shakespeare ever read so much as a book of Amadis; any apparent influence was derived through Pandosto (see also O’Connor, p. 214).
Bullough (1975, 8:119–22) believes that in addition to Amadis, Greene—hence Sh. indirectly—was influenced by another popular romance, The Mirrour of Knighthood. The complete Mirrour consists of four parts: part 1 (3 books) was written by Diego Ortuñez de Calahorra; part 2 (2 books), by Pedro de la Sierra; and parts 3 and 4 (2 books each), by Marcos Martinez. All were translated into English and published between 1578 and 1597.
The name of the young prince Garinter comes from the Ninth Book. . . .  Both the lost princess reared by shepherds and the amorous prince disguising himself as a shepherd appear in The Second Part . . . (1583). In Chapter XVI two newly born children are stolen by the Giant Galtenor from the chamber of the Empress Claridiana (f. 87r), and suckled very healthily by a lady and a lioness. The boy is called Claridiano, the girl Rosalvira. At the age of six they are taken by the Giant on his travels in a chariot drawn by griffins. Rosalvira wanders off one day and is found by a shepherd, who (like  Greene’s Porrus) consults his wife. . . . They bring up the child as a shepherdess. In Chapter XX Prince Claridiano, enamoured of an unknown Pastora (shepherdess) . . . goes among the King’s shepherds,
in his hands a shepheards crooke. Also he carried with him a little lute. . . . He attracts the fair Pastora by his music.
According to Starnes (1945, pp. 1044–6),
for this bizarre incident [the death of Antigonus], Shakespeare seems to have been recalling part of a story in The Golden Ass of Apuleius, book 7—from which, Starnes finds, Sh. also drew material for TGV. He summarizes as follows (p. 1045):
Shepherds, seeking a stray cow, find an ass, ridden by a stranger, and try to take the beast to the rightful owner—the cruel boy [who earlier had been appointed the ass’s driver]. They find the boy’s body Starnes comments,
rent and torne in peeces and his members dispersed in divers places, which, Lucius says,
I well knew was done by the cruell Beare. . . . Then they gathered together the peeces of his body and buried them [trans. Adlington, rev. Gaselee, Loeb Classical Lib., p. 339].
In both accounts [WT’s and Asse’s] are shepherds searching for a stray sheep (cow); they are surprised by finding what they are not looking for (an infant, an ass); then they discover the mangled body of a man, partly eaten by a bear; and they resolve to bury what remained of the body. The similarities in characters, in incident, in the bizarre quality of the episode, in the order of details, and in the feeling produced that Antigonus and the cruel boy met a deserved fate can hardly be explained as coincidence.
Another scene in the play seems also to reflect Shakespeare’s recollection of . . . Apuleius. . . . Autolycus, trying to frighten the shepherd, exclaims, With these details, Starnes compares the methods proposed by the thieves to torture Charite and the ass:
the curses he shall have, the torture he shall feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster [2651–2]. For his own purposes, the rogue elaborates his description of the suffering which the shepherd and his son shall endure. (A) He has a son who shall be flayed alive; (B) then
nointed over with honey, set on the head of a wasp’s nest; then stand till he be three (C) quarters and a dram dead . . . then raw as he is, and in the hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall be set against a brick-wall, the sun looking  with a southward eye upon him, where he is to behold him with flies blown to death [2665–72].
the fourth said she should be flead alive [6:143, and] (C)
Then let us lay this stuffed ass upon a great stone against the broiling heate of the Sunne, so they shall both sustain all the punishments which you have ordained [6:143, and] an account of a master’s ingenious torture of his wicked servant— . . . (B)
First, after that he (the master) had put off all his (the servant’s) apparell, he annointed his body with honey, and then bound him sure to a fig-tree, where in a rotten stock a great number of Pismares . . . had builded their neasts,—the Pismares after they had felt the sweetnesse of the honey, came upon his body, and by little and little (in continuance of time) devoured all his flesh, in such sort, that there remained on the tree but his bare bones
Tobin (1984, pp. 151–2):
The description of the
statue of Hermione . . . is itself Apuleian and the attribution of it to Julio Romano additionally so. . . . The action of [5.3 follows] that of Lucius’ meeting with his aunt, Byrrhena, in Book II.
Lucius, newly arrived in Hipata, accidentally meets his aunt Byrrhena who invites him to her house where there is much sculpture so finely carved that She shows him beautifully wrought pieces, and then
Art (is) envying Nature.
lectures Lucius on the dangers of witchcraft as practiced by Pamphile, an event that Tobin believes is related to Paulina’s
you’le thinke (Which I protest against) I am assisted By wicked Powers (3293–5). Tobin finds other thematic parallels of a similar type, as well as the appearance in both works of such words as house, marble, marvel, and wicked.
Lothian (1930) tries
to show that Shakespeare was very probably familiar with the five comedies of Aretino and
his one tragedy, the Orazia, either at first hand, through his own knowledge of Italian, or indirectly through some friendly interpreter. In 1588, four of the comedies—Marescalco, Talanta, Cortigiana, and Hipocrito—had been published in Italian in London. Lothian finds the following resemblances to WT: First,
the use of Autolycus as a vendor of knick-knacks and ballads (p. 419). Cortigiana 1.4 has a ballad-monger and Marescalco 3.1, a huckster (who is depicted as a Jew). They have in common with Autolycus only their professions and the crying of their wares, although Furfante in the former does sell alle belle historie. The second similarity is that the term three-pile(d), de tertio pelo in Marescalco, occurs in WT (1681–2), LLL 5.1.407 (2339), and MM 1.2.32 (128) [and MM 4.3.10 (2087)]. As for the third similarity (p. 424),
it seems . . . just possible that, in running rapidly through a somewhat uninteresting passage of Marescalco, Shakespeare’s careless reading left him with the impression that Julio Romano was a sculptor and that he was, like Titian, In the passage (5.3), which is in Italian, Romano and a marble monument are mentioned in adjoining sentences but not otherwise connected. According to Lothian, the 1588 version is as follows:
Pedant. Sì pittoribus, un Titiano emulus naturae. Immo magister, sarà certo fra Sebastiano de Venitia divinissimo. Et forse Julio Romano curie, et de lo Urbinate Raphaello allumno. Et ne la marmorarea facultate, che dovea dir prima (benchè non è anchora decisa la preminentia sua). Un mezo Michel Angelo, un Jacopo Sansavino speculum Florentie. (5.3, p. 40v).
In modern Italian (ed. G. B. De Sanctis):
Pedante. Si pictoribus, un Tiziano emulus naturæ immo magister, sarà certo Fra Sebastiano de Venetia divinissimo. E forse Julio Romanæ curiæ, e de lo Urbinate Rafaello alumno. E ne la marmorea facultate, che dovea dir prima (benché non è ancora decisa la preminenzia sua), un mezzo Michel Angelo, un Jacopo Sansovino, speculum Florentiæ. [For more on Sh.’s knowledge of Italian, see nn. 2665–7 and 3104–5, as well as Praz (1958, pp. 164–7) and Muir (1977, p. 6).]
In English (trans. Bruce Penman):
Pedant. Si pictoribus [As for painters], well, in that case he will be a Titian emulus naturae immo magister [a rival of nature, or rather its master], he will certainly be a fra Sebastiano, the inspired painter of Venice. Or perhaps he’ll be a Giulio Romano of the Pope’s court, and the pupil of Raphael of Urbino. And in sculpture, which I should have mentioned first (though its preeminence is not yet fully decided), he may be half a Michelangelo, or a Jacopo Sansovino, speculum Florentiae [mirror of Florence].
Fripp (1938, 2:741–3): In WT
we are in the puritan atmosphere of Cymbeline and The Tempest. There are references to Judas Iscariot , Jacob and Esau , the Lord’s Prayer [
trespas . . . euill . . . forgiue (2730–2)],
amendment of life [as in Matt. 3:1 (3162)], and probably to Elijah [1118–19] and Christ before Pilate [867–8; cf. Matt. 27:12]. Biblical language and thought are frequent—
hold my peace,
verily (repeated again and again),
false as water, sin to strike an anointed king, slander
sharper than a
sword, Jove’s better
guiding spirit for a
harden the heart,
first-fruits of the body, the
sins of youth forgiven,
grow in grace,
the life to come,
bring thee on thy way,
name put in the Book of Virtue,
a merry heart,
lift up your countenance,
flesh and blood, stoned to death, the Queen
well in death,
Heaven’s spies, a world ransomed or destroyed. Dorcas is a Biblical name. Once or twice there is a concession to Catholicism [326–7 and 3235–6]; and the Clown, after the manner of the foolish, gibes at the Puritan who
sings psalms to hornpipes .
Regarding lines 130–52,
the best, and only contemporary, commentary on this passage is Romans v.12 and 14, in the Geneva Version of 1587, with its marginalia:
Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death went over all men (From Adam, in whom all have sinned, both guiltiness and death came upon all), in whom all men have sinned (By Sin is meant that disease which is ours by inheritance, and men commonly call it Original Sin). Death reigned even over them also that sinned not (The very infants, which neither could ever know nor transgress that natural law, are notwithstanding, dead as well as Adam). The last note replaces in the older editions:
He meaneth young babes, which neither had the knowledge of the Law, of Nature, nor any motion of concupiscence.
Daphnis and Chloe
Wolff (1912, pp. 452–5) asserts that a predecessor of Pandosto may also have contributed to WT:
Shakespeare seems to have desired to employ . . . normal causation and human motive wherever possible, instead of chance. This desire would render him dissatisfied with Greene’s easy fashion of letting mere Fortune cast the child on the coast of the very country where reigns the unjustly suspected friend of her father,—the country where that friend’s son will afterward fall in love with this very child grown to girlhood. . . . For the purpose . . . of getting the child exposed in Bohemia and nowhere else, he [Sh.] invented Antigonus. Leontes commissions Antigonus to expose it somewhere [1105 ff.], and Antigonus’s own belief in Hermione’s guilt—together with the request of Hermione’s phantom . . . —leads him to expose it in Bohemia, the country of the child’s supposed father [1483–8]. . . . Once invented, however, Antigonus must be killed as soon as he has performed his task of exposing Perdita. Moreover, the Shepherd must be got to the beach to discover her. Sh. finds both problems solved in Longus’s pastoral romance Daphnis and Chloe, translated from Jacques Amyot’s French version by Angell Daye in 1587 (RSTC 6400). In that work, the noise of
the young Methymnaeans’ hunting . . . frightens the sheep and goats from their upland pastures down to the shore. Sh., Wolff says,
borrowed this hunt, and . . . used it both to send the bear that devours Antigonus, and at the same time to frighten the sheep away from the hills so that the shepherd must seek them along the shore and there find the child. In Daphnis and Chloe, however, neither a bear nor a character corresponding to Antigonus appears. Instead, to
the griefe of the Methiniens, . . . beeing at their sport, and hauing fastned their boat with a strong oziar [willow] band, the goates of Daphnis by their euill attendaunce and keeping has browzed the same in sunder and set the boat adrift (F3v). No bear, no Antigonus, probably no influence.
Bullough (1975, 8:131–2):
It is possible that Shakespeare took a hint for the presence of Polixenes at the feast [4.4] and his behaviour, at first kindly and then forbidding, from John Day’s comedy Humour out of Breath played by the Children of the King’s Revels in 1607 or 1608, and published in 1608. In this play Octavio Duke of Venice advises his sons Francisco and Hippolito to turn from war to love. . . . Accordingly they dress as shepherds. . . . Their father accompanies them in disguise. . . . He wants them to have experience but not to make bad matches. However, they woo daughters of Octavio’s enemy the exiled Anthonio Duke of Mantua, Hermia and Lucida,  who are poorly dressed and fishing with rod and line. Both fathers are against their children marrying beneath them, but when Anthonio knows who the young men are he agrees. In IV.i Octavio throws off his disguise and forbids the marriages, rather like Polixenes.
Sh. did not know this Middle Dutch play, but Salingar (1974, p. 49) thinks Greene
knew some variant form of it. Iwasaki (1984, pp. 23–7) treats it as an example of the Calumniated Wife story, to which type WT also belongs. In Esmoreit the Queen of Sicily is imprisoned for infanticide, the false charge being brought by her husband’s ambitious cousin, who disposes of her baby by selling it to the astrologer of the King of Damascus. The astrologer hopes to forestall an astral prediction that the King’s son of Sicily will be his master’s bane if great care is not taken. The child is raised as a Saracen by the princess Damiette. Eighteen years later, the two are in love, but before they are betrothed, Esmoreit wants to discover who he is. Wearing his swaddling band about his forehead, he arrives in Sicily, where from her window the queen recognizes the cloth, for in her own needlework it bears her husband’s arms. Her innocence is vindicated, Esmoreit is recognized by the king, Damiette and the astrologer arrive in time for the wedding, the villainous cousin is hanged, and the Saracens, including Esmoreit, are converted. The play’s similarity to WT, as one can see, is not close.
Lloyd (in Singer, ed. 1856, 4:131–3):
The Alcestis of Euripides, both in treatment and incident, has many points of analogy with The Winter’s Tale. . . .  The ancient critics noted it [Alcestis] as partaking rather of comedy than tragedy, as it starts from trouble and misfortune, and concludes with general satisfaction; and having regard to the tenor of some portions, the proper effect of comedy was thought to approximate to the satirick tone. Admetus, fated to die, is by favour of Apollo permitted to prolong his life by furnishing Death with a voluntary substitute. He urges the duty upon his aged parents, who repudiate the proposal with very marked reflections on its unreasonableness, and on his coolness in the proposition, but they fail to bring home to him this view of his conduct; and when his wife Alcestis becomes the volunteer, he grieves her fate as he would at an inevitable blow, is inconsolable at his bereavement, would fain accompany her, but, wrapped up in blind selfishness, never once contrasts her conduct, which he so much admires, with his own. His position is placed before him most forcibly by his father, but he can only see his father’s selfishness not his own, and drives on in dark obstinacy upon the path that must end in his being undeceived to humiliation the most degrading.
No word of reproach passes the lips of Alcestis; but her parting appeal to him, to spare her children the unhappiness of a stepmother, speaks expressively. If she says a word to set forth her sacrifice and the contrast of her self-devotion to the coldness of others, it is to urge a claim to this consideration for those she leaves behind, and she places them solemnly in his hands upon formal declaration of the stipulation. There is no mistaking in the comparative coldness of her adieu to him, a sense of the forfeiture he has incurred of that respect without which love lives not. She dies on the stage like Hermione, and her sorrowing husband forthwith prepares her solemn funeral, rejecting his father’s contribution, as he regards him as the impersonation of cowardice and selfishness. It is when he returns from the entombment, and stands before the doors of his widowed household, that his nobler heart recovers, and he passionately avows that too late he learns his wife has the nobler and better fate; he has forfeited happiness and fame together, his dwelling must henceforth be unbearable, and elsewhere he can only hope for the vituperation he utterly deserves. The Chorus comfort him, and urge the reparation of funeral honour. In the meanwhile Hercules brings back Alcestis veiled, rescued by his arm from the already closed clutches of Thanatos, hateful to God and man. Hercules pretends that his companion is a prize won in games, and offering to leave her with Admetus and even referring to renewed wedlock, draws from him expressions soothing to his  revived queen, as those that Paulina draws from the penitent Leontes. Yet, like Leontes gazing at the statue, he looks till the force of resemblance raises him to the highest pitch of agitation. At length, by gradation like that in Shakespeare’s play, the form of his wife in unveiled, and he recognizes her and falls on her neck. But she stands speechless; the purifications due to the infernal gods must first be performed, and a three days’ interval elapse before he may hear her voice; and thus in her silent presence the play concludes.
The elevated dignity and majesty thus expressed in the figure of Alcestis, the vindication of the self-devoted womanhood from the selfish neglect of a stronger power but an inferior nature is admirably realized, and is parallel to the reparation accorded to Hermione, who suffers with dignity as well as patience, and preserves herself not from consideration for a husband who has forfeited his nobler title, but for the sake of a daughter lost, but promised by the oracle to be found. The silence of Alcestis is not more satisfactory and expressive than the circumstance that, in the single short speech of Hermione, her words recognize and address alone her recovered daughter. She extends her hand to Leontes, and when he embraces her in joyful astonishment, full forgiveness is sealed by her frank embrace and entire reconciliation.
She hangs upon [sic] his neck ; but it is when the recovered Perdita kneels that her mother’s voice is heard again, and then, as if in the same awe of the powers of death from whom Hermione and Perdita seem, like Alcestis, to have been recovered, the scene hastily closes and the play is at an end.
Porter (1891, pp. 279–80):
In both stories [WT and Euripides’s Alcestis], a likeness of the lamented wife . . . is proposed as a consolation [to the bereaved husband]. The suggestion of the body without the soul is plain. Leontes and Admetos, too, are both to be tempted to disregard an overweening sorrow for their wives, and the voice of accusing impurity they recognize is to be overwhelmed, so that they may love again . . . for the good of the state. . . . Paulina is the Herakles of
The Winter’s Tale, and she scourges Leontes to his honor, till he says [2792–6, 2808–9]. Then, since Paulina can work wonders as well as Herakles, and  since Leontes, too, can be faithful to the death, she can address him, as Herakles addresses Admetos, to
the true eye, true body of the true live wife.
P. A. C. (1892, pp. 516–17):
In Greene and in Shakespeare the King wishes the Queen’s death because he is uncomfortable so long as she lives, and he prefers his comfort to aught else, taking it as his conjugal right and royal prerogative. See [900, 1141–2]. The Queen, understanding this, says, [My Life stands in the leuell of your Dreames (1258)]. To [him] she says, [can Life be no commoditie] when love [The crowne and comfort of my Life] is gone [1272–4]. So Alkestis [would not live on, torn away from thee, . . . wherefore spared I not] to die for him [The gifts of youth still mine, wherein I joyed (ed. Way, 287–9)].  Admetos’ image of his wife, that he would have made by the cunning hands of artists [348–9] is possibly a prototype of the statue of the Queen. . . . Compare, also, Herakles’ trial of Admetos [1008–1120?] with Paulina’s trial of Leontes [5.1]; and Herakles’ restoration of the unknown Alkestis to her husband  with Paulina’s bringing the statue of the Queen to life.
Porter & Clarke (ed. 1908, 34:120–1):
It is not known that any English adaptation . . . was at that time extant of the
Alkestis; but there is no need to suppose, if Shakespeare’s creative instincts were bent, in the remodelling of this play, toward Euripides’ treatment of the conquest of death, that he would be barred from getting all the suggestion he needed, even if there really were no English translation of it published, from the edition of Euripides published in 1602. . . .  [The plays] were all translated into Latin, with the Greek text opposite.
Gollancz (ed. 1894, 41:viii): Toward her turn thine eyes,
O ye immortal gods! what can I say
This is no phantom but your own true wife. Art sure she is no ghost from the nether world? You did not think a sorcerer was your guest.
The Greek element in Shakespeare’s list of names [of WT’s characters] is striking, and should perhaps be considered in connexion with the Alcestis motif of the closing scene of the play. He provides the following translation:
And say if she resembleth not thy wife.
Rest happy now, and all thy pains forget.
At this unhoped, unlooked for miracle?
Do I in truth behold my wife, or doth
Some phantom of delight o’erpower my sense?
Toward her turn thine eyes,
O ye immortal gods! what can I say
This is no phantom but your own true wife.
Art sure she is no ghost from the nether world?
You did not think a sorcerer was your guest.
Thomas (ed. Pandosto, 1907, pp. xvi–xvii):
It is in regard to the story of the queen that Shakespeare differs most from Greene, by introducing an Alcestis motif. . . . It is not impossible that Shakespeare read the play in a literal Latin version, such as [H.] Stephens’ [Tragœdiæ selectæ Æschyli . . . Sophoclis, Euripidis (Geneva, 1567)]. Alcestis and Hermione have been several times compared (see Velz, 1968), but there is no evidence that Sh. directly knew any version of Euripides’s play. As Thomas notes, however, the story of Admetus and Alcest is told in A Petite Pallace of Pettie His Pleasure (1576).
Driver (1960, pp. 197–8):
If Euripides thought Admetus possessed any internal guilt, he did not dramatize it. Instead, he dramatized the story of a man and wife bound by an external necessity, from which they are released only by an external benevolence. The only internalization is that of the feelings in a situation from which there seems to be no escape. The state of Admetus and Alcestis at the end is therefore not essentially different from that at the beginning. They are released from an imprisonment, but they are not reconciled to anything. This means there is an inherent balance in the  work, of which the highly theatrical agons with their frequent use of stichomythia are excellent expressions. . . . However much we may enjoy it technically or because of its emotion, it can never represent to us what the tragi-comedies of Shakespeare do, which utilize the forms of the stage to body forth the images of man’s internal history, with its furor, its disseverances, and its reconciliation.
Nuttall (1972, p. 220):
The objective similarity of certain passages (especially Alcestis, 1121–50, and The Winter’s Tale, [3030–130]) is beyond dispute. The Alcestis is early Euripides (438 b.c.) but, with its comic episodes and solemn-happy ending, it anticipates the manner of the late romantic tragedies. And it is the manner which is important. There is a sense in which the correspondences between the Alcestis and The Winter’s Tale are in any case the less striking in virtue of the fact that the story of the Alcestis is the story of The Winter’s Tale. But the congruity of atmosphere between late Shakespeare and late Euripides has a more persistent, if less tangible, interest. If we read, not as source-hunters but as critics, we shall see that late Euripides is like Shakespeare as no other dramatist is.
Collier (1843, 1:8): Sh.
had also an eye to [George] Gascoigne’s [and Francis Kinwelmershe’s] paraphrase of the Phœnissæ of Euripides, presented at Gray’s Inn in 1566, and printed in Gascoigne’s Works, 1573, 1575, 1587. In Pandosto the child is set adrift in a boat without sail or rudder, whereas in Jocasta, Gascoigne’s version of Phœnissæ, the infant Oedipus, abandoned because of the prophecy that he will destroy his father, is rescued and raised by a shepherd. Wells (1988, p. lix):
This is the full extent of the analog and the situation is of course commonplace.
Burton (1988, pp. 176–9):
The separation of family members and their eventual reunion forms the basic pattern of events which, being shared by a distinct body of Middle English romances and The Winter’s Tale, links them together. In each work the pattern unfolds in four distinct phases . . . : A woman is separated from the father of her child or children.  . . . The child or children are reared away from home. . . . A long time lapse ensues, during which the child or children grow up. . . . The family is reunited. Using the system of classification devised by Stith Thompson in The Folktale (1946), Burton finds that (p. 178)
the principal motifs as they appear in The Winter’s Tale are as follows. Hermione, a wife and mother, is persecuted (S410) by being slandered as an adultress (K2112). Her child, Perdita, is driven out by a hostile relative (S322) and abandoned (S301). She is reared by a herdsman (S351.2). The eventual reunion of father and daughter is accidental (N732). Burton also discovers (p. 179) a number of subordinate motifs: difference of social rank between lovers (T91.6); cruel fathers and husbands (S11; S62); episodes of trickery—Hermione’s feigning death (K1860), Florizel’s disguising himself as a shepherd, and Polixenes’s posing as a swain (K1816.6; K1816.9); tokens of royalty left with an abandoned child (S334); and prophecies (M300), including Antigonus’s dream (D1812.3.3).
So, as the play itself acknowledges, The Winter’s Tale is indeed like
an old tale [3038, 3070, 3328].
Thomas (ed. Pandosto, 1907, p. xviii):
Edward [i.e., Emanuel] Ford’s long-forgotten romance, The famous and pleasant History of Parismus, the valiant and renowned Prince of Bohemia , bears little enough resemblance to either Dorastus or The Winter’s Tale, but it is interesting to discover therein certain of the motives employed by both Greene and Shakespeare. These include a royal child raised in the wilderness, a coastal Bohemia, and a bear with a taste for human flesh. A second part entitled Parismenos appeared in 1598, and both parts were reprinted several times. An ursine excerpt from the second part is printed by Bullough (1975, 8:203–4).
The Golden Age, the first of Thomas Heywood’s five Ages plays, is dated 1609–11, thus possibly earlier than WT; Schanzer (1960, p. 23), however, believes it likely that
Heywood was the borrower. Schanzer describes (pp. 21–2) the material in question:
In the Golden Age there is one scene which it is difficult to read without being reminded of The Winter’s Tale. . . . Saturn’s mother, Vesta, comes to him to plead for the life of the child to which his wife, the Queen, has just given birth, and which he is bound by oath to destroy ([Pearson ed.] p. 13 ff.). Though there are few, if any, close verbal echoes, this scene brings forcibly to mind that in which Paulina visits Leontes with the new-born child to plead for its mother. It is above all a similarity of  dramatic situation and incident: the outspoken woman pleading with the King, accusing him of tyranny, his angry outbursts, his wavering mind [quotes 1084], his repentance, followed by his determination to lead a life of penance and sorrow. Among the more detailed resemblances one may compare the Queen’s
Sweet Lad, I would thy father saw thee smile, | Thy beauty and thy pretty Infancy, | Would molifie his heart wer’t hew’d from flint (p. 16) with Paulina’s [865–6]; and Vesta’s
Tyrant, I will (p. 15 . . . ) with Paulina’s . Contiguous with this scene, in the one case immediately preceding, in the other directly following upon it, we have in both plays the description of Apollo’s oracle at Delphos. In the Golden Age we find
After our Ceremonious Rites perform’d, | And Sacrifice ended with reuerence, | A murmuring thunder hurried through the Temple (p. 13; [italics supplied]). That the italicized words also occur in the corresponding account in The Winter’s Tale (III.i [1146–58]) means little by itself, for they are just the words one would expect in any description of the oracle. It is their juxtaposition with the scene discussed above which makes the resemblance significant.
Greene’s Friar Bacon
Parrott (1949, p. 88):
The realism of the scene at Harlston Fair in Friar Bacon is a forerunner of the sheep-shearing feast in The Winter’s Tale. See also n. 1981.
The Jealous Duke
sad doggrel—which appears in Thomas Jordan, A Royal Arbor of Loyal Poesie , pp. 46–51 (sigs. 2C3v–2D2)—was brought to light by Collier (1836, pp. 41–2) and printed in a modernized version by Collier (1866, 3:123–7). Although it probably condenses Pandosto or Sabie’s poems (see here), it could conceivably descend from WT. Here the shepherdess, actually the daughter of the Duke of Parma, meets the handsome prince.
The jealous Duke, and the injur’d Dutchess: A story.
Tune, The Dream.
At sixteen years of age she was
The prettiest Nimph
That trod on grass;
Once a day when she did keep
(As she suppos’d) Her fathers sheep,
A Gentleman which her fair face lookt upon,
Was strucken straight in love,
And ’twas the Duke of Padua’s Son;
Who from that hour would every day come to see
His Mistress whom he lov’d like life,
Though of a low degree.
Much love there was betwixt them both,
Till they contracted were by oath,
Which when his father came to know,
Then did begin
The Lovers woe;
For with extream outragious words he begun
To bid him leave her,
Or he’d never own him as a son;
The Prince did vow his love he ne’re would withdraw
Although he lost his father,
And the Crown of Padua.
As Halliwell (ed. 1859, 8:269) notes, a living statue is found in Richard Flecknoe’s Erminia (1661)—a play that, according to Langbaine (1691, p. 201), was never acted. In 1.5 a prince assumes the
form of Mars’s Statue and speaks to the chaste heroine, whose resistance to his advances has turned him, he says, to frozen marble.
Porter & Clarke (ed. 1908, 34:121):
The statue scene as given in Lyly’s Woman in the Moon [1.1] was doubtless known to Shakespeare, and suggested to him his very different treatment. . . . Lyly’s statue that came to life was made by Nature, attended by her handmaidens Concord and Discord, and she created it at the request of shepherds who craved a mate like themselves The eds. quote this stage direction:
but of a purer mould.
They draw the Curtains from before Natures shop, where stands an Image clad and some vnclad, they bring forth the cloathed image (Works, ed. Bond, 3:243). Concord, a maiden accompanying Nature, embraces the image, which comes to life as Pandora.
Moorman (ed. 1912, pp. xxx–xxxi):
The famous Pygmalion and Galatea legend [in Ovid’s Metamorphoses] presents a certain parallel. The story was, of course, well known in Elizabethan England, and as recently as 1598 it had been made the theme of a narrative poem by Marston, entitled The Metamorphosis of Pygmalion’s Image. Kittredge (ed. 1936, p. 432):
A poet who wrote Venus and Adonis in 1593 (or earlier) did not need to ask Lyly or Marston in 1611 to lead him to the story of Pygmalion in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (x, 243 ff.). Green (1870, p. 109 n.) had previously observed that
the ivory statue changed into a woman, which Ovid describes, . . . is a description of kindred excellence to that of Shakespeare. Bullough (1975, 8:232) calls attention to the desire of both Pygmalion and Leontes (3281) to kiss their images. For more on Ovid, see below (here).
Lancaster (1932) finds living statues in several French plays, including Durval’s Agarite (1633 or 1634) and Alexandre Hardy>’s Inceste supposé (1595–1631), lost but known, to some extent, from the stage decorator’s notebook and from a play by La Caze from what seems to be the same source, L’Inceste supposé (c. 1638). Lancaster suggests that the presently unknown story underlying these plays also furnished Sh. with the idea of Hermione’s statue.
Dismissing this notion with the brevity it perhaps deserves, Taylor (1938, pp. 82–5) argues that Sh. follows Pandosto to about the middle of the third act of WT, where he decides to let Hermione live rather than die as does Bellaria.
From this point . . . Greene’s story can be of no use to Shakspere so far as the Hermione story is concerned. . . . The restoration to life of a  heroine who had been struck down under almost identically the same circumstances, and in almost identically the same way, he had already handled successfully in Much Ado with the aid of [its source,] the Bandello story [ He suggests, in addition, (p. 85) that Hermione’s apparent resuscitation may derive from A Larum for London, or The Siege of Antwerp (c. 1594–1600), a play performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
Timbreo and Fenicia, Novella 22 in La Prima Parte de la Novelle del Bandello (Lucca, 1554)]. . . . Hence Much Ado . . . has to be thought of as a source of The Winter’s Tale.
Either as actor in the play or producer or merely as one financially interested, Shakspere could hardly fail to be impressed by the remarkable device of the Duke of Alva, being carried as dead through the streets, but once inside the walls coming to life. The other play of decided significance in this connection . . . is The Tryall of Chevalerie (see below).
Medieval stories about living statues are surveyed by Baum (1919).
El Marmol de Felisardo
Morley ed. (1887):
It has been said [by Caro (1879) and Boyle (1885)] that it [Pandosto] was founded on a story of the treatment of his wife by a Duke Masovius Zemovitus [see The suggestion was made by Schack (1854, 2:338): In its plot, Marmol clearly shows a relationship with WT; since the latter is descended primarily from Dorastus and Fawnia, it must be presumed that this novel too availed itself of an unknown older story from which Lope also drew (in Ger.).
Siemowitsch, below] of which there is an account by Tcharikovski, Archbishop of Gnesen, in the second volume of Sommersberg’s Rerum Silesiarum Scriptores. It has been suggested also that some Latin version of that story had been seen by Lope de Vega as well as by Robert Greene, and that thus points of resemblance between Greene’s Pandosto and Lope de Vega’s El Marmol de Felisardo may have arisen.
Furness (ed. 1898, p. 323), adding that Klein (1874, 10:494)
affirms that there is a remarkable similarity between the two dramas, summarizes Lope’s play:
Felisardo, who passes as the son of noble parents, and is a student, wins the love of Elisa, the daughter of an Alcalde, and, at last, the consent of her father to their marriage. It turns out, however, that Felisardo is a natural son of the king, who, by the death of his lawful heir, is obliged either to recall Felisardo or to die heirless. Accordingly the King sends an Admiral to bring the young man to Court. It now appears that Elisa has a twin brother, Celio; and the resemblance of these twins to each other is so exact that when the Alcalde wished to fit out Celio as a page to the Court, he takes Elisa by mistake, and dispatches her, dressed in boy’s clothes, as a page to Felisardo. A marriage is arranged between Felisardo and the daughter of the Admiral, but the young prince will not listen to it, and, on the advice of his merry servant, Tristan, feigns himself in love with a marble statue in the garden, and to such an extreme did he carry this feigned fascination that at last, to save him from dropping into his tomb, the King consented that he should wed the statue. Of course, Elisa was dressed up as the statue; whereupon the King was obliged to keep his word and sanction the marriage. Furness adds,
In Johnsonian phrase,
let us hear no more of El Marmol de Felisardo as a source of The Winter’s Tale.
Spens (1922, p. 87):
Mucedorus himself, a Prince disguised as a Shepherd, reminds us of Prince Florizel [and] has not Mouse the clown much in common both with the Clown . . . and with Autolycus? This popular play was published in 1598 and reprinted in 1606; an augmented version appeared in 1610 and often thereafter. It features a bear that does a comic turn with a clown named Mouse. For more on this subject and dramatic bears in general, see n. 1500.
Bullough (1975, 8:128):
A parallel use of imagery has been noted between Mucedorus [ed. Tucker Brooke, 1908] I.i.47,
My minde is grafted on a humbler stocke, and WT [
1903–4]. Shakespeare may have remembered the grafting-image and the ambiguous phrase in Mucedorus when working on the art-nature theme in relation to the Prince’s love for the shepherdess Perdita. . . . Mouse . . . has much in common with the Clown [in WT]. Maybe the same actor played both parts.
Lamb (1989, pp. 70–2):
Autolycus’s name, obtrusively Ovidian among traditional pastoral names like Dorcas and Mopsa, calls attention to itself and to its source. His description of himself as a Lamb also finds Paulina connected with Ovid
snapper up of unconsidered trifles because he was
littered under Mercury [1692–4] derives unmistakably from the moral commentaries on Ovid’s Autolycus from book 11 of the Metamorphoses. Fathered by Mercury upon a mortal woman at almost the same time that Apollo engendered his
twin brother Philammon, Autolycus . . . appropriately represents  false art. While the art of his brother Philammon, who
in musicke arte excelled farre all other, / As well in singing as in play [Golding tr., Ovid, 1567; 1965, lines 365–6], delighted without deception as befitted the son of Apollo, Autolycus inherited his father’s unscrupulous nature [quotes lines 360–3].
 through the submerged myth of Pygmalion. For more on Autolycus and Ovid, see n. 3385.
Seeing, 1986, pp. 79–91), noting that
winter’s tale is mentioned twice in the induction to The Old Wives Tale (see nn. 0, 627), finds other resemblances:
the prominence of references to the passing of the seasons, the appearance of a figure representing Time in the middle of the play, . . . the theme of resurrection [and] more important . . . the sudden shifts of focus in presenting what is proclaimed to be a very unlikely story, and especially the movement between narration and performance. Additional connections with Peele are apparent, Edwards observes: in The Arraignment of Paris (ed. Benbow, 1.3), the goddess Flora prepares for the entry of Pallas, Juno, and Venus by creating a second flowery spring much in Perdita’s manner; (p. 80)
framing techniques . . . to suggest different layers and levels in the fiction occur in The Arraignment, The Battle of Alcazar, and David and Bathsabe. In WT (p. 86)
Time is the concealed presenter, . . . the tale-teller. Or rather, the tale-teller adopts the guise of Time. . . . He has two subordinates who do some tale-telling for him, the Clown and the Third Gentleman, the first inarticulate in describing the shipwreck and the death of Antigonus (1530–43), the second overarticulate in describing the meeting of the kings and the exchange of information that follows (as at 3090–100). (P. 87):
The first episode is entirely new material . . . ; the second a re-working of Greene. . . . To create these incidents and to have them related in a particular way is a single act of free artistic choice.
The arresting coincidence of the bear and the shipwreck is required in order to destroy all the evidence of witnesses to the abandoning of Perdita. . . . This destruction of witnesses is necessary only because Shakespeare has provided the witnesses. . . . Shakespeare seems to have set up the problem in order to produce its far-fetched solution. Similarly the pell-mell of greeting and discoveries [in 3056–63] is entirely Shakespeare’s choice. The point is that Sh., in these instances and in others, emphasizes by narration the absurdity of the fiction at the same time that he makes convincing by performance incidents of equal or greater improbability. (P. 91)
The play consists basically of three extended actions: calumny and rejection; love in the younger generation; reunion and restoration. Each of these actions is brilliantly realised before us. But they are brought before us as make-believe, and their status insisted on by those parts of the story that are narrated rather than performed. They are moments in a most improbable tale, moments that a supreme dramatic artist has chosen to make real and convincing. It is not in any way a new thing for Shakespeare to demonstrate how
we are mocked by art.
Hales (1876; 1884, p. 109) asserts that
all these [WT’s] names, except perhaps Dorcas and Leontes, are found in Plutarch’s Lives. Plutarch actually contains quite a few of the names that appear in WT: Cleomines, Dion, Hermione (as the name of the city on the east coast of the Peloponnesus; see n. 3377 for the person), Leontes (see n. 3371), and Autolycus (see n. 3385). Polyxemus, Camillus, and Paulinius also occur in Plutarch.
The Proserpina Myth
That the myth of Proserpina or Persephone was on Sh.’s mind when he wrote WT is evident from 1930–2. As Golding’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1567; 1965, 5:485–708) tells the story, Proserpina, the beautiful daughter of Jove and Ceres, is gathering flowers when Dis, god of the Underworld, spies her, loves her, and carries her off to his domain. As Ceres seeks her through land and sea,
the worlde did want, for famine fell upon it. Ceres at last learns that Proserpina, though
Not meerie [merry], is nevertheless
a Queene, . . . of great God Dis the stately Feere [fere, consort]. She appeals to Jove. Although sympathetic, he points out that Dis, his brother and equal in power, is a son-in-law not to be despised. Nevertheless, Proserpina can be rescued if she has eaten nothing while in the Underworld, but this possibility vanishes when it is discovered that she has sucked the juice of seven pomegranate seeds. Even so, Jove effects a compromise:
And now the Goddesse Proserpine indifferently doth reigne Above and underneath the Earth, and so doth she remaine One halfe yeare with hir mother and the resdue with hir Feere (701–3)—and thus summer and winter came into being.
For correspondences between the myth and WT, see n. 1930–43. Honigmann (1955, p. 35) quotes Leonard Digges’s translation of Claudian’s Rape of Proserpine (1617) on the significance of the myth:
By the person of Ceres is signified Tillage. By Proserpine, the seedes which are sowed, by Pluto [Dis], the earth that receiues them. . . . By the sixe Moneths that Proserpine remained in Hell, are vnderstood, the sixe, in which the seede is vnderground . . . by the other sixe that shee is with her Mother, is set downe, when the corne is ripe. Honigmann adds (pp. 36–8) regarding 2416–19:
Kindness and unkindness are equivalents of summer and winter, as throughout the play, and unkindness is chidden to hell because hell stands for . . . the winter months of unkindness; while the verb grow continues the allusion. [At 2330–1] can we doubt that Perdita=Proserpine=the seed in the earth? . . .  When Hermione, who still loved Leontes when they were reunited [quotes 3322], declared, in her only speech after her
return to life, that she preserved herself in order to see her daughter again, not mentioning any wish to see her husband, it seems that Shakespeare at this point was thinking of her primarily as Ceres (who had lost her daughter) rather than as Hermione (who loves her husband as well as her daughter). . . .  Perhaps . . . the switch [in WT of Greene’s two countries and their kings] was not due to heedlessness and geographical ignorance but to the desire to reinforce the Proserpine-Perdita parallel with Ceres-Hermione a Queen of Sicily as in the myth.
As indicated above (here), for the conceit of the foist performed at St. Paul’s, Sh. relied mainly on Greene’s Second Part of Conny-catching. Hazlitt (1875, 1:4:10), however: When he created Autolycus, Sh. may have
had in his recollection that extraordinarily curious production of Thomas Newberry, The Book of Dives Pragmaticus, 1563. In it, Dives,
the great Marchant man (sig. A1), offers wares to all sorts of people, from popes, cardinals, and kings to reapers and mowers and players and minstrels; the purpose was to acquaint
Seruauntes and Chyldren with a vocabulary of objects in common use. Dives has no connection with Autolycus, however, except that he, too, is a pedlar.
Bullough (1975, 8:125–6):
In Sidney’s Arcadia (1590 version, from which Shakespeare took the Edmund–Gloster story in Lear) there are several resemblances to details in The Winter’s Tale. Pyrocles, disguised as the Amazon Zelmane, finds his friend Musidorus disguised as a shepherd. . . . Zelmane is invited by King Basilius to watch some Pastorals enacted in a natural theatre (Ch. 19). Musidorus gets admission too, calling himself Dorus. Zelmane is just speaking to his beloved Philoclea,
when sodainely there came out of a wood a monstrous Lion, with a she-Beare not far from him, of litle less fiercenes. Zelmane cuts off the lion’s head and presents it to Philoclea. Musidorus slays  the bear and presents one of its paws to his love, Pamela, who tells how he killed the beast and how the foolish Dametas played the coward most comically. After this they have Pastorals in the evening by torchlight, and Dametas acts as director. Analogous to The Winter’s Tale are the mingling of a disguised prince with shepherds, the sudden appearance of a bear, arousing terror and laughter in quick succession, the Pastoral festivity with dancing and singing, its first sports including a leaping dance of shepherds in honour of Pan and his Satyrs.
Similarities between aspects of WT and Sh.’s earlier plays have frequently been noted—for example, by Schanzer (ed. 1969, pp. 12–13):
In dramatizing the
resurrection of Hermione, he [Sh.] evidently drew on memories of two of his own previous plays, Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles. The plot-parallels between The Winter’s Tale and Much Ado About Nothing are the more extensive: in both plays the husband (or bridegroom) publicly accuses his wife (or bride) of unchastity; she falls into a swoon and is believed to be dead by all who are present; but she recovers, and is secretly hidden away, while her husband (or bridegroom) continues to believe her to be dead. He discovers her innocence, repents of his actions, devises an epitaph for her tomb setting forth the cause of her death, and vows to visit that tomb as an act of penance (daily in The Winter’s Tale, once a year in Much Ado About Nothing). He promises—and here Shakespeare drew on memories of Bandello’s novella [22 (1554)], his source for Much Ado About Nothing,  rather than on the play itself—that when he marries again he will only take a wife chosen for him (by the slandered woman’s father in the one case, her friend in the other). One further hint Shakespeare may have derived from the novella. Describing the slandered woman lying in her swoon, Bandello remarks that she resembled a marble statue rather than a live woman. This may have suggested the idea of making Hermione pose as her own statue. . . .
In the shaping of the statue-scene memories of the finale of Pericles played a major part. In both plays a queen is believed to be dead. . . . But she returns to life and remains in seclusion for many years. . . . The final scene depicts her reunion, after this long gap of time, with husband and daughter, who had both firmly believed her to be dead. In both plays this scene breathes a similar atmosphere of ceremonious solemnity turning to wonder and joy; in both the daughter kneels before her mother, who calls her
Mackail (1911, p. 215): Just as Tmp. is the by-product of AYL and Mac., WT is the by-product of Oth. and Ado.
Siemowitsch (or Semovit or Ziemowit)
Herford (ed. 1904, 4:265) summarizes the findings of Caro (1879) and Boyle (1885):
The germ of the romance [Pandosto] was probably an actual incident in the fourteenth-century annals of Poland and Bohemia. A king, Siemowitsch, conceived suspicions of his wife, a lady of the Bohemian court, threw her into prison, where she bore a son, then caused her to be strangled, and the child sent away. The child was finally restored to Siemowitsch, who died, deeply repentant, in 1381—the year in which Anne of Bohemia, a kinswoman of the murdered wife, gave her hand to Richard II. The lively intercourse with Bohemia which ensued upon that marriage may well have set the tradition of this bit of criminal history afloat in England. . . . A faint trace of the original locality perhaps survives in Greene’s Bohemian king and court. A more detailed summary of Caro’s article is given by Furness (ed. 1898, pp. 322–3); see also El Marmol de Felisardo, above. Caro’s study appears to be a continuation of an article published in the Magazin für die Literatur des Auslandes in 1863.
Grey (1754, 1:244–62):
Several things in this play seem to resemble Spenser’s story of Melibee, Pastorella, and Sir Calidore. He quotes FQ 6.12:3–9, the story of Sir Bellamour’s marriage to Claribel, the birth of Pastorella, the baby’s abandonment, and her discovery by the shepherd, whose honest wife nurses her. With Florizel’s praise of Perdita (1798–1802), Grey compares Calidore’s first meeting with Pastorella (6.9.9, 11); Perdita’s allusion to Florizel’s déclassé costume (