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Shakespeare's Late Romances

A grouping of four of William Shakespeare's latest plays, including Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Cymbeline, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. The last two are generally considered superior.

After mastering the genres of history, tragedy, comedy, and tinkering with these genres in the problem plays, Shakespeare became decidedly more experimental. The Romances share certain characteristics.

  1. A redemptive plotline with a happy ending involving the reuniting of long-separated family members.
  2. Fantastical elements, often manifest as a Greek God deus ex machina (such as Zeus in Cymbeline or Diana in Pericles).
  3. A mixture of "civilized" and "pastoral" scenes (such as the gentry and the island residents in The Tempest). This mixture can be anachronistic (such as prehistoric Britain mixing with imperial Rome in Cymbeline).