A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy play by William Shakespeare. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors, who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works…

More Info

Hamlet

Hamlet

William Shakespeare

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare between 1599 and 1602. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius’s brother and Prince Hamlet’s father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king’s widow and Prince Hamlet’s mother…

More Info

Cymbeline

Cymbeline

William Shakespeare

Cymbeline, also known as Cymbeline, King of Britain or The Tragedy of Cymbeline, is a play by William Shakespeare, set in Wales and based on legends concerning the early Celtic British King Cunobeline. Although listed as a tragedy in the First Folio, modern critics often classify Cymbeline as a romance. Like Othello and The Winter’s Tale, it deals with the themes of innocence and jealousy. While the precise…

More Info

Coriolanus

Coriolanus

William Shakespeare

Coriolanus is based on the life of the legendary Roman leader Caius Marcius Coriolanus. The play opens in Rome shortly after the expulsion of the Tarquin kings. There are riots in progress, after stores of grain were withheld from ordinary citizens. The rioters are particularly angry at Caius Martius, a brilliant Roman general whom they blame for the grain being taken away.

More Info

The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors

William Shakespeare

The Comedy Of Errors is one of William Shakespeare’s early plays, as well as his shortest. It tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the…

More Info

As You Like It

As You Like It

William Shakespeare

As You Like It follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle’s court, accompanied by her cousin Celia and Touchstone the court jester, to find safety and, eventually, love, in the Forest of Arden.

More Info

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night; or, What You Will is a comedy, believed to have been written around 1601–02 as a Twelfth Night’s entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play expanded on the musical interludes and riotous disorder expected of the occasion, with plot elements drawn from the short story “Of Apollonius and Silla” by Barnabe Rich, based on a story by Matteo Bandello. The first recorded performance was on 2 February…

More Info

Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens

William Shakespeare

Timon of Athens is a play about the fortunes of an Athenian named Timon (and probably influenced by the philosopher of the same name, as well), generally regarded as one of his most obscure and difficult works. Originally grouped with the tragedies, it is generally considered such, but some scholars group it with the problem plays.

More Info

The Tempest

The Tempest

William Shakespeare

The Tempest is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s lowly nature, the…

More Info

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew

William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew begins with a framing device, often referred to as the Induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken tinker named Christopher Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman himself. The nobleman then has the play performed for Sly’s diversion. The main plot depicts the courtship of Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, and Katherina, the headstrong, obdurate shrew. Initially…

More Info

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays.

More Info

The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor

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 prior to 1597. The Windsor of the play’s title is a reference to Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England, and though nominally set in the reign of Henry IV, the play makes no pretence to exist outside contemporary Elizabethan era English middle class life. It features the character Sir…

More Info

Macbeth

Macbeth

William Shakespeare

Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy, and tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced…

More Info

King John

King John

William Shakespeare

King John, a history play by William Shakespeare, dramatises the reign of John, King of England (ruled 1199–1216), son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and father of Henry III of England. It is believed to have been written in the mid-1590s but was not published until it appeared in the First Folio in 1623.

More Info

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination, and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. Although the…

More Info