Pursued by a Bear Shakespeare Troupe

Pursued by a Bear Shakespeare Troupe

Act III, Scene III of A Winter’s Tale, Antigonus utters his final words, “I am gone forever.” What the audience witnesses next is a shock, seemingly appearing from nowhere, and perfectly embodied in one simple stage direction: Exit pursued by a bear.

If you’ve never read or seen the play, you may be saying to yourself, “Well, of course, this bear was a major plot point up until this point. We’ve seen this bear before and it’s reappearing for a dramatic comeback.”

You’d be wrong.

Readers and audiences alike have been stunned and confused by this stage direction for generations, as it has no buildup, no foreshadowing, and no discernable reasoning. However, it is a moment of consequence for the show and remains one of Shakespeare’s most famous stage directions.

Pursued by a Bear Shakespeare Troupe is located in Northeast Florida that is dedicated to bringing quality Shakespeare to Florida. Shakespeare’s plays remain a focal point of literature and theatre for many reasons, but the most prevalent is thus: he exemplified the human condition in each one of his plays in ways that very few playwrights have accomplished since. His stories are set in times unfamiliar to us, they reference characters of whom we have no background knowledge, and they use language long lost to us. Even so, they tell the tales we live daily and personify emotions with which every person can identify.

Just like its namesake, the troupe hopes to bring audiences moments that are unexpect

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