Internet Shakespeare Editions


Village celebrations

The "village green" here is in Ashland, Oregon, where the Green Show created by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival recreates the dance and music of Shakespeare's time. Click here to go to the section on country music.

The sheep-shearing festival in The Winter's Tale is one example of many celebrations that gave ordinary villagers respite from the cycle of work through the seasons of the year.

The stage directions read "Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses," and later "Here a dance of twelve Satyrs" (4.4). Although Shakespeare is using the conventions of the Court masque in these dance sequences, the festival scenes in this play do give some idea of village life.

Many of the comedies* end with the celebration and festivities associated with weddings.


  1. Festive comedies

    The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It all end with celebration, while the two parts of Henry IV and Twelfth Night include several scenes of singing and dancing of one kind or another