play of Shakespeare

How many plays did Shakespeare write in his lifetime?

William Shakespeare is largely recognized as one of the finest playwrights in history. According to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare composed roughly 38 plays throughout his lifetime, including collaborations with other playwrights. Here is a chronological list of Shakespeare’s plays by decade:

  • Early comedies (1590-1594): The Comedy of Errors, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet
  • History plays (1594-1599): Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, and 3, Richard III, Richard II, King John, Henry V
  • Comedies (1599-1608): Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure
  • Tragedies (1608-1613): Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus
  • Romances (1613-1616): The Winter’s Tale, Cymbeline, The Tempest, Pericles, Prince of Tyre

This list is just a small sample of Shakespeare’s huge and varied collection of work. His plays have been translated into every major language and are performed all over the world. They continue to be studied and loved by audiences of all ages.

1580 – 1590The Taming of the Shrew
1590 – 1600Henry VI Part II, Henry VI Part III, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Titus Andronicus
1600 – 1610Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra
1610 – 1613The Tempest, Henry VIII

List of Shakespeare Plays

Here is a list of William Shakespeare’s plays:

  1. All’s Well That Ends Well
  2. Antony and Cleopatra
  3. As You Like It
  4. The Comedy of Errors
  5. Coriolanus
  6. Cymbeline
  7. Hamlet
  8. Henry IV, Part 1
  9. Henry IV, Part 2
  10. Henry V
  11. Henry VI, Part 1
  12. Henry VI, Part 2
  13. Henry VI, Part 3
  14. Henry VIII
  15. Julius Caesar
  16. King John
  17. King Lear
  18. Love’s Labour’s Lost
  19. Macbeth
  20. Measure for Measure
  21. The Merchant of Venice
  22. The Merry Wives of Windsor
  23. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  24. Much Ado About Nothing
  25. Othello
  26. Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  27. Richard II
  28. Richard III
  29. Romeo and Juliet
  30. The Taming of the Shrew
  31. The Tempest
  32. Timon of Athens
  33. Titus Andronicus
  34. Troilus and Cressida
  35. Twelfth Night
  36. Two Gentlemen of Verona
  37. The Winter’s Tale

Which is the most popular play of Shakespeare?

Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays that people still enjoy and see. There is some disagreement about which of Shakespeare’s plays is the most popular. However, a 2016 poll by the Royal Shakespeare Company lists these as the ten most famous plays:

  1. Hamlet
  2. Macbeth
  3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  4. Romeo and Juliet
  5. Othello
  6. King Lear
  7. The Tempest
  8. Much Ado About Nothing
  9. Twelfth Night
  10. The Merchant of Venice

It’s interesting to think about how the plays of Shakespeare have been received in different times and places. For example, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the most performed play in the world, while Hamlet is the most popular play in recent times.

Who were some famous actors who played Shakespeare’s characters?

Over time, Shakespeare’s plays have been performed by numerous renowned actors who have played his characters:

  1. Sir Ian McKellen: Sir Ian McKellen is one of the greatest actors to ever perform Shakespearean works around the world – as evidenced by his performance with esteemed companies such as Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre.
  2. Dame Judi Dench: This legendary talent won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare in Love,” yet her love of Shakespeare goes much deeper. Since then she has participated in multiple stage and screen performances of Shakespearean works.
  3. Sir Patrick Stewart: Stewart has enjoyed an extraordinary film and television career that began at the Royal Shakespeare Company during the 1960s. Since then he has performed in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on Broadway as well as being associated with Royal National Theatre productions for decades.
  4. Ralph Fiennes: Starting out with London’s Royal Shakespeare Company, Fiennes has established himself as an award-winning Shakespearean actor with an incredible body of work to his credit. In 2011 alone he brought Shakespearean plays like Coriolanus to life on film as director, producer, and star!
  5. Mark Rylance: Shakespeare fans celebrated when Mark Rylance won the 2016 Academy Award for best-supporting actor. Although his role in “Bridge of Spies” marked an unusual departure for Rylance, who is best known as the original artistic director at Shakespeare’s Globe in London as well as playing lead roles in all-male productions like “Richard III” and “Twelfth Night” – for which he earned one of three Tony Awards he has received during his distinguished career (he won one for Olivia in this latter production).
  6. Viola Davis: Davis is an American actress and producer who has won multiple awards – an Academy Award, Primetime Emmy Award, and two Tony Awards among them. She has featured prominently in numerous Shakespearean productions such as King Lear and Antony and Cleopatra.
  7. Kenneth Branagh: Kenneth Branagh is an award-winning British actor, director, and producer who is best known for starring and directing several Shakespearean films such as Henry V, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Thor. Additionally, he directed and starred in several other movies such as Murder on the Orient Express and others.
  8. Tom Hiddleston: Hiddleston is an English actor best known for playing Loki in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Additionally, he has appeared in various Shakespearean productions like Cymbeline, Othello and Coriolanus.
  9. David Tennant: Scottish actor Tennant is best known for playing the Tenth Doctor in the British television show “Doctor Who.” Additionally, he has performed in multiple Shakespearean productions such as Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and Richard II.
  10. Emma Thompson: Emma Thompson is an esteemed British actress, comedian and screenwriter renowned for winning multiple awards such as two Academy Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and BAFTA Award. In recent years she has appeared in multiple Shakespearean productions such as Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Merry Wives of Windsor to name just a few.