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Last Updated on April 23, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 95

William Shakespeare is perhaps the world’s greatest dramatist—certainly, at the very least, the greatest to write in English. Of his thirty-seven plays, written over a career in the theater that spanned, roughly, 1588 to 1613, the most important are Romeo and Juliet (pr. c. 1595-1596); Henry IV, Parts I and II (pr. c. 1597-1598; 1598); Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (pr. c. 1600-1601); Othello, The Moor of Venice (pr. 1604); Measure for Measure (pr. 1604); King Lear (pr. c. 1605-1606); Macbeth (pr. 1606); Antony and Cleopatra (pr. c. 1606-1607); The Winter’s Tale (pr. c. 1610-1611); and The Tempest (pr. 1611).

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