Plays

William Shakespeare's plays have the reputation of being among the greatest in the English language and in Western literature. Traditionally divided into the genres of tragedy, history, and comedy, they have been translated into every major living language, in addition to being continually performed all around the world.

Among the most famous and critically acclaimed of Shakespeare's plays are Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Othello, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice and Richard III.

Many of his plays appeared in print as a series of quartos, but roughly half of them remained unpublished until 1623 when the posthumous First Folio was published. The traditional division of his plays into tragedies, comedies, and histories follows the categories used in the First Folio. However, modern criticism has labelled some of these plays "problem plays" as they elude easy categorization, or perhaps purposefully break generic conventions, and has introduced the term romances for what scholars believe to be his later comedies.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License