Old Play in Manhattan, Jan. 28, 1946

The Winter's Tale (by William Shakespeare; produced by The Theatre Guild) dates from that final period of Shakespeare's when reality—even real people—had seemingly begun to bore him. His plays became such stuff as dreams are made on—fantastic, capricious, inconsecutive, at times nightmarish. Shakespeare's brain begot such villains and monsters as Iachimo in Cymbeline, Caliban in The Tempest, Leontes in The Winter's Tale. But terror and tragedy took shape only to melt away at last in benign late-afternoon sunlight.

For more than half the way The Winter's Tale is harsh, high-busted melodrama. On flimsy grounds King Leontes of Sicilia (Henry Daniell) inflames his...

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