"The Winter's Tale" is a play in five acts by William Shakespeare, written about 1609-11 and produced at the Globe Theatre in London.
One of Shakespeare's final plays, "The Winter's Tale" is a romantic comedy with elements of tragedy. The plot was based on a work of prose fiction called "Pandosto" (1588) by Robert Greene.
The play opens with Leontes, the king of Sicilia, entertaining his old friend Polixenes, the king of Bohemia. Leontes jealously mistakes the courtesy between his wife, Hermione, and Polixenes as a sign of Hermione's adultery with him. In a fit of jealousy, he attempts to have Polixenes killed, but Polixenes escapes with Camillo, Leontes' faithful counselor, whom Leontes has sent to kill him. The pregnant Hermione is then publicly humiliated and thrown in jail, despite her protests of innocence. When the child, a girl, is born, Leontes rejects the child out of hand and gives her over to Antigonus, the husband of Hermione's attendant Paulina. The child, Perdita, is raised by shepherds for sixteen years and falls in love with the son of Leontes' old friend, Polixenes. When Perdita returns home, a statue of Hermione "comes to life", and everyone is reconciled.