Shakespeare,  Show Notes

Episode 36: “A Winter’s Tale” Act 3

On The Literary Life podcast today, we join our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks to discuss Act 3 of The Winter’s Tale by Williams Shakespeare. Before jumping into Shakespeare, though, our hosts are excited to announce a new online conference coming on March 13-14, 2020. Our theme will beRe-enchanting the World: The Legacy of the Inklings. Our keynote speaker is Inklings scholar, Joseph Pearce. Go to Angelina and Thomas’ new website for all the info and to register.

After catching us up on the plot, Angelina asks Thomas to explain a little about the Oracles and Apollo and how they relate to this play. He also talks about the parallel between this play and the historical events surrounding Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Our hosts also bring out the importance of a legitimate heir to the throne in a monarchy. The idea of the consequence of an out of control imagination continue to be crucial in this act. They also talk about the sudden change in Leontes’ feelings and his repentance at the end of Act 3.

Angelina points out that the structure of the play tells us that all this death and grief is not the climax of the story. Cindy brings up the Russian feel present in A Winter’s Tale. Thomas explores the characters of the shepherds and rustics in Shakespeare’s plays. They discuss the fairy elements as well as the gospel elements of the baby and the gold being found by the shepherds.

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Commonplace Quotes:

“I think it was The Times Literary Supplement–and it had left me depressed. What struck me so forcibly, and not for the first time, was that a new book on any subject-history, philosophy, science, religion, or what have you–is always dealt with by a specialist in that subject. This may be fairest from the author’s point of view, but it conveys a disagreeable impression of watertight compartments…
It wasn’t that people can think at once confidently and oppositely about almost anything that matters-though that, too, can sometimes be a sobering reflection. It wasn’t that they disagreed. I wished they did. What was biting me was the fact that these minds never met at all.”

Owen Barfield

Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded the shift. Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can’t.

Aldous Huxley

A professor is someone who talks in someone else’s sleep.

W. H. Auden

The Winter’s Tale Show Schedule:

  • February 18: Act IV
  • February 25: Act V
  • March: Live Q&A for Patreon Fellows


by George Herbert

I BLESSE thee, Lord, because I G R O W
Among thy trees, which in a R O W
To thee both fruit and order O W.

What open force, or hidden C H A R M
Can blast my fruit, or bring me H A R M
While the inclosure is thine A R M?

Inclose me still for fear I S T A R T.
Be to me rather sharp and T A R T,
Than let me want thy hand and A R T.

When thou dost greater judgements S P A R E,
And with thy knife but prune and P A R E,
Ev’n fruitful trees more fruitfull A R E.

Such sharpness shows the sweetest F R E N D:
Such cuttings rather heal than R E N D:
And such beginnings touch their E N D.

Book List:

Further Up and Further In by Joseph Pearce

Tolkien: Man and Myth by Joseph Pearce

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

Worlds Apart by Owen Barfield

The Two Cultures by C. P. Snow

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Wolf Hall Series by Hillary Mantel

Silas Marner by George Eliot

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Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at

Find Cindy at, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

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One Comment

  • Veronica

    The idea of the storm coming from Leontes’ actions reminds me of the confusion of weather described in A Midsummer Night’s Dream which came from Oberon and Titania’s quarrel.

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