About Shakespeare’s Works

Because of my plan of reading some Shakespeare’s plays, here some guide about his works that may helpful.

Before the publication of the First Folio in 1623, twenty-two of the thirty-eight plays in Shakespeare’s canon had appeared in quarto format: The Troublesome Reign of King John (1591), Richard II, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, Henry VI, Parts 2 and 3, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labours Lost, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Titus Andronicus, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Lear, Hamlet, Pericles, Othello, Troilus and Cressida, and The Two Noble Kinsmen.

All but Othello (1622) and The Two Noble Kinsmen (1634), were published prior to the date of Shakespeare’s retirement from the theatre in about 1611. It is unlikely that Shakespeare was involved directly with the printing of any of his plays, although it should be noted that two of his poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were almost certainly printed under his direct supervision.

Quarto – A quarto is a book in which eight pages are printed on a single sheet which is folded twice to form four leaves. The average quarto contains about one hundred pages, and is about 6 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches in size.

Folio – A folio is a book in which each sheet is folded over only once through the middle, forming two leaves (or four pages). The First Folio has 454 leaves, approximately 8 1/2 x 13 3/8 inches in size.

Source : http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/shakespeareinprint.html

More about quarto and folio.

More about First Quarto , List of Shakespeare Plays in Quarto and First Folio.

The contents of First Folio.

The 36 plays that appeared in the First Folio (1623):


1 The Tempest
2 The Two Gentlemen of Verona
3 The Merry Wives of Windsor
4 Measure for Measure
5 The Comedy of Errors
6 Much Ado About Nothing
7 Love’s Labour’s Lost
8 A Midsummer Night’s Dream
9 The Merchant of Venice
10 As You Like It
11 The Taming of the Shrew
12 All’s Well That Ends Well
13 Twelfth Night
14 The Winter’s Tale


15 King John
16 Richard II
17 Henry IV, Part 1
18 Henry IV, Part 2
19 Henry V
20 Henry VI, Part 1
21 Henry VI, Part 2
22 Henry VI, Part 3
23 Richard III
24 Henry VIII


25 Troilus and Cressida (also categorized as comedy)
26 Coriolanus
27 Titus Andronicus
28 Romeo and Juliet
29 Timon of Athens
30 Julius Caesar
31 Macbeth
32 Hamlet
33 King Lear
34 Othello
35 Antony and Cleopatra
36 Cymbeline

Shakespeare’s bio on Wiki.


5 responses to “About Shakespeare’s Works

  1. Am reading (almost finish) A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I don’t quite enjoy comedy I think. For next time, maybe I’ll choose a history or tragedy. Any suggestion?

    • Give a try for King Lear (I read it several years ago but haven’t finished yet), it was enjoyable so far. Haven’t read others, my reading lists are Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar. I think you may enjoy history also, can’t give better suggestions.

  2. Pingback: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare « Bacaan B.Zee

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