Shakespeare painting

William Shakespeare

1564–1616
Plays, poetry
Works on Greatest lists
Greatest Literature

A Midsummmer Night’s Dream (1594)

Romeo and Juliet (c.1596)

Henry IV, Part 1 (1597)

The Merchant of Venice (c.1597)

Julius Caesar (1599)

Hamlet (1601)

Othello (1604)

Macbeth (c.1606)

King Lear (c.1606)

Shakespeare's Sonnets (c.1609)

The Tempest (1611)

Greatest Plays

Richard III (1591)

The Taming of the Shrew (1591)

A Midsummmer Night’s Dream (1594)

Richard II (1597)

Romeo and Juliet (c.1596)

Love's Labour's Lost (1597)

Henry IV, Part 1 (1597)

Henry IV, Part 2 (1597)

The Merchant of Venice (c.1597)

Much Ado About Nothing (1598–1599)

As You Like It (1599)

Henry V (1599)

Julius Caesar (1599)

Hamlet (1601)

Twelfth Night (1601–1602)

Measure for Measure (1603)

Othello (1604)

Macbeth (c.1606)

King Lear (c.1606)

Coriolanus (c.1603)

The Winter's Tale (1611)

The Tempest (1611)

Henry VIII (1613)

Related commentaries
Romeo and Juliet

Possibly Shakespeare's best-known play. Everyone knows the story of star-crossed lovers who defied their families—the feuding Capulets and Montagues—and ended their lives tragically.... more

Henry IV, Part 1l

I once read all Shakespeare's historical plays in chronological order. Not in the order he wrote them, but in the order of the historical events they supposedly relate. Like many before me.... more

The Merchant of Venice

The major issue of contention whenever The Merchant of Venice comes up, of course, is the portrayal of Shylock, the Jewish money-lender, the villain of the piece for the most part. so let's.... more

Julius Caesar

This play ought to be called Brutus, since the central theme concerns that character's decision to join an assassination conspiracy and the repercussions of his action. Caesar is.... more

Hamlet

Hamlet is such a famous play—so much the great drama, the one play that everyone in the world can quote at least six words from—that we usually can't see how strange it is that this.... more

King Lear

A straightforward play really, about a dysfunctional family. People thinks it's cosmic because of that annoying storm in the middle. That's not my opinion but the summary of Jonathan.... more

Macbeth

Macbeth was actually king of Scotland for seventeen years, though you would never get this from Shakespeare's most popular play. Historians consider Macbeth and his wife to have been.... more

Othello

Interesting thing about Othello is that it concerns a man of African heritage who is victimized in a white European society, and yet racism is never the central issue. Othello, the.... more

Sonnets

Shakespeare's sonnets have been dissected and speculated upon for profound and hidden meanings for years, but I think the best way into them for a novice is to consider them as Shakespeare.... more

The Tempest

My favourite play. I'm not exactly sure why. It doesn't present many of the elements generally admired in drama. No great tragedy. Not much scintillating wit. Little realism. A fantastic... more

William Shakespeare

THE AUTHOR | THE WORKS | HISTORIES | CRITICS | PARODIES | AUTHORSHIP

Works written

Dates are estimates of the years when works were written, with date ranges indicating the variety of critics' estimates.

1588–1593

Titus Andronicus Play, first performed 1593, first published 1594

1589–1593

Two Gentlemen of Verona Play, first performed 1762, first published 1623

1589–1594

The Comedy of Errors Play, first performed 1594, first published 1623

1590

"A Lover's Complaint" Poem, published 1609 with Sonnets

1590–1592

Henry VI, Part 2 Play, first performed 1592, first published 1594

Henry VI, Part 3 Play, first performed 1592, first published 1595

The Taming of the Shrew Play, first performed 1594, first published 1594

1591–1592

Henry VI, Part 1 Play (full authorship questioned), written as prequel to what became known as Parts 2 and 3, first performed 1592, first published 1623

1592–1595

Edward III Play (authorship questioned), first performed 1590s, first published 1596

1592–1596

Richard III Play, first performed 1597, first published 1597

1593

Venus and Adonis Poetry

1593–1594

The Rape of Lucrece Poetry

1594–1595

Love's Labour's Lost Play, first performed 1597, first published 1598

A Midsummer Night's Dream Play, first performed 1xxx, first published 1623

1594–1597

King John Play, first performed unknown, first published 1623

1595

Richard II Play, first performed 1595, first published 1597

1595–1596

Romeo and Juliet Play, first performed unknown, first published 1597

1596–1597

The Merchant of Venice Play, first performed 1605, first published 1600

Henry IV, Part 1 Play, first performed 1600, first published 1598

1596–1598

Henry IV, Part 2 Play, first performed unknown, first published 1600

The Merry Wives of Windsor Play, first performed unknown, first published 1602

1598–1599

Much Ado About Nothing Play, first performed unknown, first published 1600

1599

Henry V Play, first performed 1605, first published 1600

Julius Caesar Play, first performed 1599, first published 1623

1599–1600

As You Like It Play, first performed 1603, first published 1623

1599–1601

"The Phoenix and the Turtle" Poem, first published 1601 in a poetry collection

1599–1602

Hamlet Play, first performed 1602, first published 1603

1601–1602

Twelfth Night Play, first performed 1602, first published 1623

1602

Troilus and Cressida Play, first performed unknown, first published 1609

1602–1604

Measure for Measure Play, first performed 1604, first published 1623

1602–1607

All's Well that Ends Well Play, first performed unknown, first published 1623

1603–1604

Othello Play, first performed 1604, first published 1622

1603–1606

King Lear Play, first performed 1606, first published 1608

1603–1607

Macbeth Play, first performed unknown, first published 1623

1605–1609

Timon of Athens Play (full authorship questioned), first performed unknown, firs published 1623

1606–1607

Anthony and Cleopatra Play, first performed unknown, first published 1623

1608–1609

Coriolanus Play, first performed unknown, first published 1623

1607–1610

Pericles Play (full authorship questioned), first performed unknown, first published 1623

1609

Shakespeare's Sonnets Poems, first published 1609

1609–1611

Cymbeline Play, first performed 1611, first published 1623

1610–1611

The Winter's Tale Play, first performed 1611, first published 1623

The Tempest Play, first performed 1611, first published 1623

1612–1613

Henry VIII, or All Is True Play (collaboration with John Fletcher), first performed 1613, first published 1623

Cardenio Play (collaboration with John Fletcher), first performed 1613, never published as lost

1613–1614

The Two Noble Kinsmen Play (collaboration with John Fletcher), first performed unknown, first published 1634

THE AUTHOR | THE WORKS | HISTORIES | CRITICS | PARODIES | AUTHORSHIP