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William Shakespeare, also known as the Bard , is responsible for some of the best plays and poetry ever written in the English language. However, Shakespeare wrote plenty more than just those. Publishing in the 16th and 17th century wasn't quite what it is today, and the truth is that we don't know the exact details surrounding the plays of William Shakespeare. Let's take a look at what we do know. Most scholars agree that William Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays.

However, either because they are lost, or because of the poor documentation of the time, and the fact that authors don't sign their names in a corner of their work like painters do, no one knows exactly how many plays Shakespeare wrote for certain. It's possible that he authored or co-authored an additional five plays, but those are not included in traditional collections of Shakespearean plays.

In the 17th century, playwrights often utilized the stage as a platform for dispensing their personal opinions on the hot topics of the day. Because of this, plays had to be registered before they could be published, essentially so that they could be censored. Shakespeare never published any of his plays, so none of them were registered. Some of them were published by unauthorized publishers because there were no copyright laws at the time protecting playwrights or their work , but other than that, they were only performed until about seven years after Shakespeare's death on April 23, Pericles, Prince of Tyre is the only play attributed to Shakespeare that did not appear in the First Folio.

William Shakespeare's plays can be divided roughly into three categories: tragedies, comedies and histories.


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Although the exact dates that Shakespeare penned each of his plays can't be known, the Royal Shakespeare Company provides us with estimates indicated in parentheses below. The first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays were published in as the First Folio. Shakespeare knew how to strike a chord in the tragedy department. Two teenagers killing themselves over love lost is certainly tragic. Yet, Romeo and Juliet was merely only one of possibly 10 tragedies penned by Shakespeare:.

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It's important to note that, in the context of Shakespearean plays, "comedy" doesn't necessarily mean it's funny though it usually is. Rather, a comedy is just one with a happy ending, usually involving a wedding.

A tragedy, by contrast, is one with an unhappy ending, usually involving one or more deaths. Shakespeare filled theatres with some of these comedies:. There's no doubt Shakespeare found the royal court to be something of an enigma. He crafted tales of betrayal, love, and murder, all within the king's court. We can learn a lot about this period in time through these plays:. Additionally, Shakespeare may have authored or co-authored the following plays that were either lost or simply not positively identified as his work:.

To understand how Shakespeare's plays may have been received by his peers and audiences, scholars combine different primary sources to tell a story. Shakespeare's popularity can be best understood by taking a few different points into consideration. Each of these points tells a similar tale of Shakespeare's popularity.

Many people liked and enjoyed his plays, but like all entertainers, Shakespeare had some detractors as well. One indication of his success would be the constant production of his plays. Shakespeare was born in and died in During that time, he had at least one play, if not more, in production every year from until In fact, because the dates for events in Shakespeare's life are fuzzy due to lack of written data, some scholars have speculated that he may have had plays in production even in the late s as well.

Theaters showed performances of plays shortly after they were written. This means that Shakespeare constantly penned new material to entertain his public that eagerly attended his many performances.

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From , only an acting troupe known as Lord Chamberlain's Men , later renamed King's Men, performed Shakespeare's plays. Henry Condell was one of the 26 actors known to have been in the troupe. He co-owned the Globe Theater, with John Heminges, and helped edit and publish Shakespeare's First Folio , without the permission of Shakespeare himself. John Heminges was also one of the actors in the troupe.

Published by Penguin Classics Galway, Ireland.

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About this Item: Penguin Classics, Mass Market Paperback. Clean copy with some shelf wear and yellowing. Seller Inventory KOC More information about this seller Contact this seller 8. First printing.

Categories of Shakespeare's Plays

Square, solid copy with name in ink on blurb page, on page 73 and last page, inside covers are white, pages are tanned, green line across top page edges, heavy bottom front cover corner creases, some soil on both covers and spine. First printing is scarce. Seller Inventory play More information about this seller Contact this seller 9.

Paperback 1st Edition text. Book is in GOOD condition. Assume that used books have used access codes unless noted otherwise. May also have stickers on cover and light shelf wear. If book is ordered on Saturday it will not ship until Monday. Ships fast. Expedited shipping business days; Standard shipping business days. Ships from USA!. Seller Inventory DFW More information about this seller Contact this seller No Jacket. First Thus. Standard used condition.

Reading copy or better. Used Book. Seller Inventory Published by J. About this Item: J. Hard Cover.

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First Published. Red and black boards have light edgewear. Pages are clean, text has no markings, binding is sound. The binding is square and secure; the text is clean. No longer pristine, but remains very close to 'As New'.

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Shakespeare on the Double! Macbeth

Edited by Thomas G. First Edition []; Third Printing []. Hardback: Lacks DJ. About this Item: Soft cover. Attracive design by Bernard Partridge on the front cover of a lady with arms outstreched.


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All the edges are worn with some tears. A souvenir of the period when Stratford was without its Theatre and made use of a Cinema after the fire that destroyed the old building. Published by Tremont Theatre Company About this Item: Tremont Theatre Company, First Edition. An original theatre program in good condition, clean, with light shelf wear overall but two short edge tears and several creases, Contains advertisements for current shows, shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. Published by The Dramatic Publishing Company Published by U. From: Bookenastics Liverpool, United Kingdom.

About this Item: U. Condition: New. A paperback copy, in new condition.

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Dust Jacket Condition: Good. First Printing. Previous owner inscriptions, price-clipped dustjacket. Seller Inventory E Condition: Good-. Ex-library with Devon County Library stamp inlaid on front cover and dewi decimal reference inked on reverse of title page. Published by Cliffs Notes, Inc. About this Item: Cliffs Notes, Inc. Soft Cover. New Edition. A penel of experts provide their most intuitive explanations and interpretations of key themes, motifs metapohors, and symbolism within Shakespeare's comedy. Cliffs Notes provides tutorial guides assisting higher education students in interpreting classics of literature.

Very useful and enjoyable to read and ponder over, for students as well as educators, and those who enjoy reading and studying good literature. Softcover, bibliography, 74pp. A creased copy has been folded down the centre. A little spotting to cover. Both as described are good. Condition: Fair.