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The Works

William Shakespeare was staggeringly prolific; during his career he probably wrote more than 40 plays. The complete text of 38 of these have survived to the present day.

They are presented here with the shortest synopses imaginable, approximate modern-day ratings, fictional quotes, and the posters that Elizabethan theatre owners would have made if they'd had access to modern print technology. We also have 25 exclusive video clips of the Royal Shakespeare Company in action.

We have used the very latest evidence for the dating of the plays, much of which has been published since 2000. Many dates have been proposed for his plays but we think that those adopted here are the most likely based on present knowledge. The exact dates and order of his early plays remain a mystery.

Plays in chronological order...

[1590 - 1599] [1599 - 1613]

The Two Gentlemen of Verona poster"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" ( 1590 )

A tale of men behaving very badly indeed...
Titus Andronicus poster"Titus Andronicus" ( 1590 )

An eye for an eye, a tongue for a hand, a hand for a head...
Henry VI Part 2 poster"Henry VI Part 2" ( 1590 )

A dark power is rising over England...
Henry VI Part 3 poster"Henry VI Part 3" ( 1590 )

Out of chaos comes forth darkness...
The Taming of the Shrew poster"The Taming of the Shrew" ( 1590 )

You'll believe night is day!
Henry VI Part 1 poster"Henry VI Part 1" ( 1592 )

Henry: The Next Generation...
Richard III poster"Richard III" ( 1592 )

As one line ends, so another shall begin. In blood...
The Comedy of Errors poster"The Comedy of Errors" ( 1594 )

Laugh? You'll nearly die...
Love's Labour's Lost poster"Love's Labour's Lost" ( 1594 )

A comedy from the Western Front of the Sex War...
Romeo and Juliet poster"Romeo and Juliet" ( 1594 )

What's in a name..?
A Midsummer Night's Dream poster"A Midsummer Night's Dream" ( 1595 )

In a world between life and legend, an object of desire has many forms....
King John poster"King John" ( 1595 )

It is a time of war (again)...
Richard II poster"Richard II" ( 1595 )

His hold on power is weak, his enemies many...
Henry IV Part 1"Henry IV Part 1" ( 1596 )

As rebellion rages through the land a King must look to his miscreant son for aid...
The Merry Wives of Windsor poster"The Merry Wives of Windsor" ( 1597 )

They're merry, they're married, and they live in Windsor...
Henry IV Part 2 poster"Henry IV Part 2" ( 1597 )

They're back one more time with feeling...
The Merchant of Venice poster"The Merchant of Venice" ( 1597 )

Shylock shall have his pound of flesh...
Much Ado About Nothing poster"Much Ado About Nothing" ( 1598 )

The path of true love is rarely smooth...
Henry V poster"Henry V" ( 1599 )

One king to rule them all...

[1590 - 1599] [1599 - 1613]

Plays alphabetically

"A Midsummer Night's Dream"
"A Winter's Tale"
"All's Well That Ends Well"
"Anthony and Cleopatra"
"As You Like It"
"Hamlet: Prince of Denmark"
"Henry IV Part 1"
"Henry IV Part 2"
"Henry V"
"Henry VI Part 1"
"Henry VI Part 2"
"Henry VI Part 3"
"Henry VIII"
"Julius Caesar"
"King John"
"King Lear"
"Love's Labour's Lost"
"Measure for Measure"
"Much Ado About Nothing"
"Richard II"
"Richard III"
"Romeo and Juliet"
"The Comedy of Errors"
"The Merchant of Venice"
"The Merry Wives of Windsor"
"The Taming of the Shrew"
"The Tempest"
"The Two Gentlemen of Verona"
"The Two Noble Kinsmen"
"Timon of Athens"
"Titus Andronicus"
"Troilus and Cressida"
"Twelfth Night"
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