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Types of Shakespeare Plays

A Midsummer ​Night's Dream​
A Midsummer ​Night's Dream​

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare in 1595/96. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the former queen of the Amazons.

All's Well That ​Ends Well​
All's Well That ​Ends Well​

All's Well That Ends Well is a play by William Shakespeare. Some academics believe it to have been written between 1604 and 1605,. It was published in the First Folio in 1623.

Antony and ​Cleopatra​
Antony and ​Cleopatra​

Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The play was performed first circa 1607 at the Blackfriars Theatre or the Globe Theatre by the King's Men. Its first appearance in print was in the Folio of 1623.

As You Like It​
As You Like It​

Duke Senior has been usurped of his throne by his brother, Duke Frederick, and has fled to the Forest of Ardenne, where he lives like Robin Hood with a band of loyal followers. Duke Frederick allows Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, to remain at court because of her inseparable friendship with his own daughter, Celia.

Coriolanus​
Coriolanus​

Like some of Shakespeare's other plays (All's Well That Ends Well; Timon of Athens), there is no recorded performance of Coriolanus prior to the Restoration. After 1660, however, its themes made it a natural choice for times of political turmoil.

Cymbeline​
Cymbeline​

Cymbeline / ˈ s ɪ m b ɪ l iː n /, also known as Cymbeline, King of Britain, is a play by William Shakespeare set in Ancient Britain and based on legends that formed part of the Matter of Britain concerning the early Celtic British King Cunobeline.

Hamlet​
Hamlet​

Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a tragic play set in the kingdom of Denmark. The play is about revenge. Revenge on Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius who killed his brother King Hamlet, took the throne for himself and married Hamlet’s Mother. A lot of people die due to this.

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Henry IV, Part ​1​
Henry IV, Part ​1​

Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV (two plays, including Henry IV, Part 2), and Henry V.

Henry IV, Part ​2​
Henry IV, Part ​2​

Henry IV, Part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. It is the third part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II and Henry IV, Part 1 and succeeded by Henry V.

Henry V​
Henry V​

Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written near 1599. It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War.

Henry VI, Part ​1​
Henry VI, Part ​1​

Henry VI, Part 1, often referred to as 1 Henry VI, is a history play by William Shakespeare, possibly in collaboration with Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe, believed to have been written in 1591 and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England.

Henry VI, Part ​2​
Henry VI, Part ​2​

Henry VI, Part 2 (often written as 2 Henry VI) is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1591 and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England.

Henry VI, Part ​3​
Henry VI, Part ​3​

Henry VI, Part 3 (often written as 3 Henry VI) is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in 1591 and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England.

Henry VIII​
Henry VIII​

Henry VIII is a collaborative history play, written by William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, based on the life of King Henry VIII of England. An alternative title, All Is True, is recorded in contemporary documents, the title Henry VIII not appearing until the play's publication in the First Folio of 1623.

Julius Caesar​
Julius Caesar​

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a history play and tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.

King John​
King John​

King John is closely related to an anonymous history play, The Troublesome Reign of King John (c. 1589), the "masterly construction" but infelicitous expression of which led Peter Alexander to argue that Shakespeare's was the earlier play.

King Lear​
King Lear​

King Lear is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. It depicts the gradual descent into madness of the title character, after he disposes of his kingdom by giving bequests to two of his three daughters egged on by their continual flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all.

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Love's ​Labour's Lost​
Love's ​Labour's Lost​

Love's Labour's Lost features the longest scene (5.2), the longest single word 'honorificabilitudinitatibus' (5.1.39–40), and (depending on editorial choices) the longest speech (4.3.284–361) in all of Shakespeare's plays (see "Date and Text" below).

Macbeth​
Macbeth​

Shakespeare's source for the story is the account of Macbeth, King of Scotland; Macduff; and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, although the events in the play differ extensively from the history of the real Macbeth.

Measure for ​Measure​
Measure for ​Measure​

Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. Originally published in the First Folio of 1623, where it was listed as a comedy, the play's first recorded performance occurred in 1604.

Much Ado ​About Nothing​
Much Ado ​About Nothing​

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. The play was included in the First Folio, published in 1623.

Othello​
Othello​

Othello (The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603. It is based on the story Un Capitano Moro ("A Moorish Captain") by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565.

Pericles, ​Prince of Tyre​
Pericles, ​Prince of Tyre​

Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a Jacobean play written at least in part by William Shakespeare and included in modern editions of his collected works despite questions over its authorship, as it was not included in the First Folio.Whilst various arguments support that Shakespeare is the sole author of the play (notably DelVecchio and Hammond's Cambridge edition of the play), modern editors ...

Richard II​
Richard II​

The language of Richard II is more eloquent than that of the earlier history plays, and serves to set the tone and themes of the play. Shakespeare uses lengthy verses, metaphors, similes, and soliloquies to reflect Richard's character as a man who likes to analyse situations rather than act upon them.

Richard III​
Richard III​

Richard III is a historical play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written around 1593. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of King Richard III of England.

The Comedy ​of Errors​
The Comedy ​of Errors​

The Comedy of Errors (along with The Tempest) is one of only two of Shakespeare's plays to observe the Unity of Time (classical unities). It has been adapted for opera, stage, screen and musical theatre numerous times worldwide.

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The Merchant ​of Venice​
The Merchant ​of Venice​

The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice must default on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599.

The Merry ​Wives of Windsor​
The Merry ​Wives of Windsor​

The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare first published in 1602, though believed to have been written in or before 1597. The Windsor of the play's title is a reference to the town of Windsor, also the location of Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, England.

The Taming of ​the Shrew​
The Taming of ​the Shrew​

The Taming of the Shrew has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, ballet, and musical theatre; perhaps the most famous adaptations being Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate and the 1967 film of the play, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

The Tempest​
The Tempest​

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–1611, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone.

The Two ​Gentlemen of Verona​
The Two ​Gentlemen of Verona​

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1589 and 1593. It is considered by some to be Shakespeare's first play, and is often seen as showing his first tentative steps in laying out some of the themes and motifs with which he would later deal in more detail; for example, it is the first of his plays in which a heroine dresses as a boy.

The Winter's ​Tale​
The Winter's ​Tale​

The Winter's Tale is a play by William Shakespeare originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Although it was grouped among the comedies, some modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances.

Timon of ​Athens​
Timon of ​Athens​

Timon of Athens (The Life of Tymon of Athens) is a play by William Shakespeare, published in the First Folio (1623) and probably written in collaboration with another author, most likely Thomas Middleton, in about 1605–1606.

Titus ​Andronicus​
Titus ​Andronicus​

William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, directed by Richard Griffin and starring Nigel Gore as Titus, Zoya Pierson as Tamora, Kevin Butler as Aaron and Molly Lloyd as Lavinia, was released direct to video in 2000.

Troilus and ​Cressida​
Troilus and ​Cressida​

The story of Troilus and Cressida is a medieval tale that is not part of Greek mythology; Shakespeare drew on a number of sources for this plotline, in particular Chaucer's version of the tale, Troilus and Criseyde, but also John Lydgate's Troy Book and Caxton's translation of the Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye.

Twelfth Night​
Twelfth Night​

Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play centres on the twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck.

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