What was the "First Folio" of William Shakespeare?  

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The first folio is incredibly important for the study of Shakespeare and his plays as it was the first published version of the majority of his plays. It was published in 1623 and contained 36 of Shakespeare's plays. The first folio did not contain Pericles. It is believed that the first folio was put together by two of Shakespeare's fellow actors, John Hemminge and Henry Condell. The plays were classified into Histories, Comedies and Tragedies, classifications which are still broadly used today to define Shakespeare's plays. Interestingly, Shakespeare never authorised the publication of any plays. In his time, playwrites did all they can to make sure that plays did not fall into the hands of any rival group of players, who would then perform the same play and create a dent in the profits of the original group. Any plays were produced therefore before printing them. But of course, in a time where there was no copywrite, the printers would own the play and could publish it as they liked.

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