Shakespeare's Plays

Shakespeare's Plays(arranged by approximate date of composition)

PlayApproximate date of compositionDate of first publicationSourcesMajor charactersGenre
Henry VI, Part II15901594 Edward Hall, Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York (1548);Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1587)King Henry VIQueen MargaretRichard Plantagenet, Duke of YorkHistory
Henry VI, Part III15901595Hall;HolinshedKing Henry VIQueen MargaretEdward, Prince of WalesRichard, Duke of GloucesterRichard Nevil, Earl of WarwickHistory
Henry VI, Part I15901623Hall;HolinshedKing Henry VILord TalbotJoan of ArcRichard Plantagenet, Duke of YorkHistory
Richard III15921597 Hall;Holinshed;Sir Thomas More, History of Richard IIIKing Richard IIIQueen ElizabethDuke of BuckinghamLady AnneGeorge, Duke of ClarenceHistory
The Comedy of Errors15921623 Plautus, Menaechmi and AmphituoAntipholus of SyracuseAntipholus of EphesusDromio of SyracuseDromio of EphesusComedy
Titus Andronicus (may have been written in collaboration with George Peele)15931594 History of Titus Andronicus (chapbook);John Gower, Appolonius of TyreTitus of AndronicusTamoraAaron the MoorTragedy
The Taming of the Shrew15931623 George Gascoigne, Supposes (1566);Earlier play The Taming of a ShawPetruchioKatherineComedy
The Two Gentlemen of Verona15941623 Jorge de Montemayor, Diana (1559?)ValentineProteusJuliusSilviaComedy
Love's Labour's Lost15941598Specific source not establishedKing of NavarrePrincess of FranceHolofernesDon Adriano de ArmadoComedy
Romeo and Juliet15941597 Arthur Brooke, The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet (1562);Matteo Bandello, Novelle (tr. by William Painter in Palace of Pleasure, 1566–67)RomeoJulietMercutioTybaltFriar LaurenceNurseTragedy
Richard II15951597 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587)King Richard IIHenry BolingbrokeEdmund of Langley, Duke of YorkHistory
A Midsummer Night's Dream15951600Specific source not establishedHermiaLysanderTheseusHelenaDemetriusOberonTitaniaPuckBottomComedy
King John15961623 Anon. play, The Troublesome Raigne of King John (1591)King JohnPhilip the BastardArthur, Duke of BritainConstanceHistory
The Merchant of Venice15961600 Giovanni Fiorentino, Il Pecarone (1558)BassanioShylockAntonioPortiaComedy
Henry IV, Part I15971598 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587) King Henry IVFalstaffHenry, Prince of Wales (Prince Hal)Henry Percy ( Hotspur )History
Henry IV, Part II15971600HolinshedKing Henry IVFalstaffHenry, Prince of WalesHistory
Much Ado about Nothing15981600 Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (1516)Prince of ArragonBeatriceBenedickClaudioHeroComedy
Henry V15981600 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587)King Henry VArchbishop of CanterburyFluellenPistolHistory
Julius Caesar15991623 Plutarch, Lives (tr. by Sir Thomas North, 1579)BrutusCassiusMarc AntonyCaesarTragedy
As You Like It15991623 Thomas Lodge, Rosalynde (1590)RosalindOrlandoTouchstoneComedy
Twelfth Night15991623 Barnabe Riche, Riche his Farewell to Militarie Profession (1581)Sir Toby BelchViolaSebastianDuke OrsinoOliviaComedy
Hamlet16001603 François de Belleforest, Histoires Tragiques (1576)HamletHoratioOpheliaLaertesClaudiusPoloniusGertrudeTragedy
The Merry Wives of Windsor16001602Specific source not establishedFalstaffMrs. PageMr. FordComedy
Troilus and Cressida16011609 Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (c.1386);William Caxton, Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye (1474)TroilusUlyssesPandarusCressidaComedy
All's Well That Ends Well16021623 William Painter, Palace of Pleasure (1566–67)BertramHelenaParollesKing of FranceComedy
Measure for Measure16041623 George Whetstone, Promos and Cassandra (1578)VincentioAngeloIsabellaClaudioMarianaComedy
Othello16041622 Giovanni Battista Giraldi ( Cinthio ), Ecatommiti (1565)OthelloDesdemonaIagoCassioTragedy
King Lear16051608 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587);Anon., The True Chronicle History of King Leir (before 1594)King LearCordeliaEarl of GloucesterEdgarEarl of KentEdmundGonerilReganDuke of AlbanyLear's FoolTragedy
Macbeth16051623HolinshedDuncanMacbethLady MacbethMalcolmMacduffTragedy
Antony and Cleopatra16061623 Plutarch, Lives (tr. 1579)Mark AntonyCleopatraOctavius CaesarTragedy
Coriolanus16071623PlutarchCoriolanusTullus AufidiusCaius MarciusMenenius AgrippaVolumniaTragedy
Timon of Athens (may have been written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton)16071623 Plutarch;Lucian, Misanthropos (2d cent. A.D.)Timon of AthensApemantusAlcibiadesFlaviusTragedy
Pericles (may have been written in collaboration with George Wilkins)16081609 John Gower, Confessio Amantis (c.1390)PericlesThaisaMarinaSimonidesLysimachusTragicomedy
Cymbeline16091623 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587);Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron (1348–53)CymbelineImogenPosthumusIachimoTragicomedy
The Winter's Tale16101623 Robert Greene, Pandosto (1588)LeontesHermionePaulinaAutolycusPerditaFlorizelPolixenesTragicomedy
The Tempest16111623Specific source not establishedProsperoMirandaFerdinandArielCalibanTragicomedy
Henry VIII (probably written in collaboration with John Fletcher)16121623 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587);John Foxe, Book of Martyrs (1563)King Henry VIIIQueen KatherineCardinal WolseyDuke of BuckinghamAnne BoleynHistory
Two Noble Kinsmen (of doubtful authorship; may have been written in collaboration with John Fletcher)16121634 Geoffrey Chaucer, The Knight's Tale in Canterbury Tales (c.1387)PalamonArciteComedy

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