4. Time, Tyrants and the Question of Authority: The Winter's Tale and Related Drama

  1. Helen Wilcox

Published Online: 30 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118327647.ch4

1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England

1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England

How to Cite

Wilcox, H. (ed) (2014) Time, Tyrants and the Question of Authority: The Winter's Tale and Related Drama, in 1611: Authority, Gender and the Word in Early Modern England, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118327647.ch4

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 2 JAN 2014

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405193917

Online ISBN: 9781118327647

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Keywords:

  • 1611;
  • authority;
  • Shakespeare;
  • The Winter's Tale;
  • theatrical activity;
  • time;
  • tragicomic mode;
  • tyranny

Summary

This chapter focuses on the dramatic works of 1611. A focus on the plays being performed in close succession or concurrently during this year indicates just how interconnected the theatrical companies were. An underlying concern of many texts from 1611, both dramatic and nondramatic, was the matter of kingly authority and its consequences for the rights of government. Shakespeare's first new play of 1611, The Winter's Tale, managed to combine the topical question of the authority of a ruler with precisely that tragicomic mode. When seen in the context of ongoing political uncertainties and the other plays concurrently in the minds of a 1611 audience, the concern of The Winter's Tale with tyranny and insurrection appears overwhelming. ‘Sliding’ across 16 years and crossing generations with ‘that wide gap′, the play demonstrates a sense of immediacy that renders time thematic as well as structural.