The Winter's Tale


William Shakespeare

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Winter's Tale can help.

Everything you need
for every book you read.

"Sooo much more helpful than SparkNotes. The way the content is organized
and presented is seamlessly smooth, innovative, and comprehensive."
Get LitCharts A+
  • Easy-to-use guides to literature, poetry, literary terms, and more
  • Super-helpful explanations and citation info for over 30,000 important quotes
  • Unrestricted access to all 50,000+ pages of our website and mobile app
Get LitCharts A+

The Winter's Tale: Act 4, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
The allegorical figure of Father Time comes on stage, and addresses the audience. He tells the audience not to be distressed that he is now jumping sixteen years into the future. He says that Leontes grieves “the effects of his fond jealousies” and “shuts up himself.” He says that king Polixenes in Bohemia has a son named Florizell, and also tells the audience that Perdita has grown up as the shepherd’s daughter in Bohemia.
Both the allegorical Father Time character and the sixteen-year flash forward are remarkable, uncommon features for a Shakespearian play. They hint at the importance of the theme of time and aging in the play, and the play’s movement forward in time allows us to see how the characters change with age.
Youth, Age, and Time Theme Icon