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How many plays has William Shakespeare written?Please tell correctly. Is it 37 or 38 or...

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sriakurup | Student | eNoter

Posted July 15, 2012 at 1:31 PM via web

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How many plays has William Shakespeare written?

Please tell correctly. Is it 37 or 38 or 39? Or it is none? What is the correct number of plays written?

 

Thanks for all your help

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 15, 2012 at 2:57 PM (Answer #1)

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William Shakespeare, the Bard, was an extremely prolific playwright during his time.  He wrote comedies, tragedies, and histories--37 plays total.  I organized his plays into genres for you, so you can see exactly how many he wrote in each genre and the titles.

Comedies:  Shakespearian comedies' primary purpose was humor and usually involved the antics of unmarried characters who usually end up happily married at the end of the play.

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

Tragedies-- Shakespeare's tragedies involved a hero with admirable qualities, but some sort of tragic flaw.

  1. Romeo and Juliet
  2. Macbeth
  3. King Lear
  4. Hamlet
  5. Titus Andronicus
  6. Julius Caesar
  7. Anthony and Cleopatra
  8. Othello
  9. Troilus and Cressida *sometimes considered a dark comedy
  10. Coriolanus
  11. Timon of Athens
  12. Cymbeline *sometimes considered a dark comedy

Histories-- The Histories mostly focus on English history, with the exception of Pericles. 

  1. Henry IV, Part I
  2. Henry IV, Part II
  3. Henry V
  4. Henry VI, Part I
  5. Henry VI, Part II
  6. Henry VI, Part III
  7. Henry VIII
  8. Richard II
  9. Richard III
  10. Pericles *Not included in the First Folio, but later attributed to Shakespeare, also could be considered dark comedy
  11. King John


Some also attribute Edward III to Shakespeare as well; if you included Edward III, the total number of works would be 38, but common consensus in most lists of Shakespeare's works by authoritative sources list his works as numbering 37.

Sources:

"Shakespeare's Collective Works". MIT. web. 15 Jun. 2012.

Shakespeare, William.  Complete Works of William Shakespeare. New York: Olympic, 1994.

Sources:

Kristen Lentz

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