Tone refers to the writer’s attitude or emotions towards a particular subject or the readers that are portrayed in his writing. Thus, the tone shows exactly how the writer feels and is essential to communicating a particular message. The tone affects how the reader interprets what is said and therefore the writer usually writes to a specific audience and is conscious of his tone.
The first three acts of Winter’s Tale carries with it a dark tone. This is done to effectively illustrate the tragic events. This tone is created due to the jealousy of Leontes which leads to many other tragic events. This dark tone reveals to the audience that Shakespeare views jealousy as being a very dark and destructive emotion.
However, from act 4 which is fast forward to a period 16 years later, the tone shifts to a more festive and joyous tone. This tone is injected through the use of comedic characters and also a new found love is introduced between Florizel and Perdita. This tone reveals that the writer has a positive attitude and views love as being blissful.
Very often mood and tone are used interchangeably because they correlate. However, mood refers the feeling or state of mind of the reader while reading a piece of literature. It is an inclination developed by the words, phraseology and devices used by a writer. Often times the things said have both latent and a manifest meaning and consequently have a parallel affect on the reader. In the first half of the play a sad mood is created through the tragic events while in the other half a more tranquil and joyous mood is created in the reader.