A pastoral is a poem or play dealing with shepherds and rural life. Within the conventional treatment of pastoral themes, this rural way of life is idealized. In The Winter's Tale, the pastoral scenes, or "pastoral interlude" as it is often referred to, begins in Act III, scene iii, when the action of the play shifts from Sicilia to Bohemia. In Act IV, which begins with Time announcing that sixteen years have passed, the interlude continues through the last scene of this act. With the passage of time and the movement from the Sicilian court...
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