The Collected Works of William Shakespeare

  Life & Times
  The Plays


William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, is arguably the most important figure in English literature. What Dante is to Italian, what Gothe is to German, Shakespeare is to English. Still, while some have fallen into what Harold Bloom calls Bardology many others view Shakespear as the quintessential DWEM (Dead White European Male). Does Shakespeare still matter? Consider the following statement regarding Shakespeare's impact on every day English speach by journalist Bernard Levin:


> Alphabetical listing of the plays.
> Chronological listing of the plays.
> Shakespearean quotations.
> Shakespeare resources on the Internet.
> Glossary.

If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your loat property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if youo have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - shy, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that is the long and short of it, if you belive that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blod, if you li low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surly you have a tougue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinkin idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! for goodness' sake! what the dickens! but me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

Is there method in my madness or is something rotten in the stat of Denmark? To find out you will have to read Shakespear. Brevity being the soul of wit, I will simply remind you that the play's the thing...



All's Well That Ends Well
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Love's Labours Lost
Measure for Measure
The Merry Wives of Windsor
The Merchant of Venice
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Taming of the Shrew
The Tempest
Troilus and Cressida
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Winter's Tale
Henry IV, part 1
Henry IV, part 2
Henry V
Henry VI, part 1
Henry VI, part 2
Henry VI, part 3
Henry VIII
King John
Richard II
Richard III



Anthony and Cleopatra
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Romeo and Juliet
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
The Sonnets  (Sonnet Search)
A Lover's Complaint
The Passionate Pilgrim
The Phoenix and The Turtle
The Rape of Lucrece
Venus and Adonis

Funeral Elegy by W.S.

About the categories

Shakespeare's plays are often arranged in three categories: tragedy, comedy, and history. It is important to realize that the categories are not Shakespeare's. The arrangement of the plays into the three categories is a practice begun with the First Folio, which was printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death.

The original electronic source for this server is the Complete MobyTM Shakespeare, which is freely available online. It is provided by many people on the net, including Project Gutenberg. Because there are many varying "original" editions of Shakespeare's plays there may be differences between a copy of a play that you are familiar with and the version presented here.