The 7 Most WTF Moments in Classic Literature

The Winter’s Tale by Shakespeare: Bear eats a guy

If you’ve ever watched a TV show in your entire life, then you know characters die for shock value all the time. But how often do we get a guy being mauled by a bear for no reason other than “His usefulness in terms of the plot has run its course,” and also “Why the hell not”?

In The Winter’s Tale, Antigonus must dispense with the king’s infant daughter because the king has decided she’s illegitimate. Antigonus deposits the baby on a beach. He regrets this decision immediately (almost like leaving babies to die in desolate locations is something you shouldn’t do), but before he can change his mind, he takes a grizzly bear right to the face in what is likely the most famous stage direction of all time: “[Exit, pursued by a bear].”

Also of note: Shakespeare does nothing to set this up. We as an audience didn’t even know “sudden bear attack” was something that could happen until it did.

Topics: Books
Tags: harry potter, shakespeare, wuthering heights, 1984, great expectations, classic literature, harry potter and the deathly hallows, titus andronicus, the cask of amontillado, the winter's tale, wtf moments, what did i just read

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