Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is an under-appreciated play about jealousy and sexual obsession. King Leontes, for no apparent reason, becomes murderously jealous of his wife, Hermione, and best friend, Polixenes. It echoes Othello and King Lear in that we witness a man’s descent into madness. Act I poses the question: why do people do seemingly irrational things?

Vocabulary words from all 5 acts of the play still in use today are provided, as well as a response journal question and a rubric with which to score it.

Pinched for time? These videos have much of what a secondary teacher would need to begin planning a curriculum around this play. The Winter’s Tale may not be suitable for children younger than 14 due to its many sexual references.

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© Daniel Sato