Shakespeare's Plays ( (table))

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Shakespeare's Plays ( (table))

Shakespeare's Plays

Shakespeare's Plays
(arranged by approximate date of composition)
Play Approximate date of composition Date of first publication Sources Major characters Genre
Henry VI, Part II 1590 1594 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 VI Queen Margaret Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York History
Henry VI, Part III 1590 1595 Hall; Holinshed King Henry VI Queen Margaret Edward, Prince of Wales Richard, Duke of Gloucester Richard Nevil, Earl of Warwick History
Henry VI, Part I 1590 1623 Hall; Holinshed King Henry VI Lord Talbot Joan of Arc Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York History
Richard III 1592 1597 Hall; Holinshed; Sir Thomas More, History of Richard III King Richard III Queen Elizabeth Duke of Buckingham Lady Anne George, Duke of Clarence History
The Comedy of Errors 1592 1623 Plautus, Menaechmi and Amphituo Antipholus of Syracuse Antipholus of Ephesus Dromio of Syracuse Dromio of Ephesus Comedy
Titus Andronicus(may have been written in collaboration with George Peele) 1593 1594 History of Titus Andronicus (chapbook); John Gower, Appolonius of Tyre Titus of Andronicus Tamora Aaron the Moor Tragedy
The Taming of the Shrew 1593 1623 George Gascoigne, Supposes (1566); Earlier play The Taming of a Shaw Petruchio Katherine Comedy
The Two Gentlemen of Verona 1594 1623 Jorge de Montemayor, Diana (1559?) Valentine Proteus Julius Silvia Comedy
Love's Labour's Lost 1594 1598 Specific source not established King of Navarre Princess of France Holofernes Don Adriano de Armado Comedy
Romeo and Juliet 1594 1597 Arthur Brooke, The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet (1562); Matteo Bandello, Novelle (tr. by William Painter in Palace of Pleasure, 1566–67) Romeo Juliet Mercutio Tybalt Friar Laurence Nurse Tragedy
Richard II 1595 1597 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587) King Richard II Henry Bolingbroke Edmund of Langley, Duke of York History
A Midsummer Night's Dream 1595 1600 Specific source not established Hermia Lysander Theseus Helena Demetrius Oberon Titania Puck Bottom Comedy
King John 1596 1623 Anon. play, The Troublesome Raigne of King John (1591) King John Philip the Bastard Arthur, Duke of Britain Constance History
The Merchant of Venice 1596 1600 Giovanni Fiorentino, Il Pecarone (1558) Bassanio Shylock Antonio Portia Comedy
Henry IV, Part I 1597 1598 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587) King Henry IV Falstaff Henry, Prince of Wales (Prince Hal) Henry Percy ( "Hotspur" ) History
Henry IV, Part II 1597 1600 Holinshed King Henry IV Falstaff Henry, Prince of Wales History
Much Ado about Nothing 1598 1600 Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (1516) Prince of Arragon Beatrice Benedick Claudio Hero Comedy
Henry V 1598 1600 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587) King Henry V Archbishop of Canterbury Fluellen Pistol History
Julius Caesar 1599 1623 Plutarch, Lives (tr. by Sir Thomas North, 1579) Brutus Cassius Marc Antony Caesar Tragedy
As You Like It 1599 1623 Thomas Lodge, Rosalynde (1590) Rosalind Orlando Touchstone Comedy
Twelfth Night 1599 1623 Barnabe Riche, Riche his Farewell to Militarie Profession (1581) Sir Toby Belch Viola Sebastian Duke Orsino Olivia Comedy
Hamlet 1600 1603 François de Belleforest, Histoires Tragiques (1576) Hamlet Horatio Ophelia Laertes Claudius Polonius Gertrude Tragedy
The Merry Wives of Windsor 1600 1602 Specific source not established Falstaff Mrs. Page Mr. Ford Comedy
Troilus and Cressida 1601 1609 Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (c.1386); William Caxton, Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye (1474) Troilus Ulysses Pandarus Cressida Comedy
All's Well That Ends Well 1602 1623 William Painter, Palace of Pleasure (1566–67) Bertram Helena Parolles King of France Comedy
Measure for Measure 1604 1623 George Whetstone, Promos and Cassandra (1578) Vincentio Angelo Isabella Claudio Mariana Comedy
Othello 1604 1622 Giovanni Battista Giraldi ( "Cinthio" ), Ecatommiti (1565) Othello Desdemona Iago Cassio Tragedy
King Lear 1605 1608 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587); Anon., The True Chronicle History of King Leir (before 1594) King Lear Cordelia Earl of Gloucester Edgar Earl of Kent Edmund Goneril Regan Duke of Albany Lear's Fool Tragedy
Macbeth 1605 1623 Holinshed Duncan Macbeth Lady Macbeth Malcolm Macduff Tragedy
Antony and Cleopatra 1606 1623 Plutarch, Lives (tr. 1579) Mark Antony Cleopatra Octavius Caesar Tragedy
Coriolanus 1607 1623 Plutarch Coriolanus Tullus Aufidius Caius Marcius Menenius Agrippa Volumnia Tragedy
Timon of Athens(may have been written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton) 1607 1623 Plutarch; Lucian, Misanthropos (2d cent. AD) Timon of Athens Apemantus Alcibiades Flavius Tragedy
Pericles(may have been written in collaboration with George Wilkins) 1608 1609 John Gower, Confessio Amantis (c.1390) Pericles Thaisa Marina Simonides Lysimachus Tragicomedy
Cymbeline 1609 1623 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587); Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron (1348–53) Cymbeline Imogen Posthumus Iachimo Tragicomedy
The Winter's Tale 1610 1623 Robert Greene, Pandosto (1588) Leontes Hermione Paulina Autolycus Perdita Florizel Polixenes Tragicomedy
The Tempest 1611 1623 Specific source not established Prospero Miranda Ferdinand Ariel Caliban Tragicomedy
Henry VIII(probably written in collaboration with John Fletcher) 1612 1623 Holinshed, Chronicles (1587); John Foxe, Book of Martyrs (1563) King Henry VIII Queen Katherine Cardinal Wolsey Duke of Buckingham Anne Boleyn History
Two Noble Kinsmen(of doubtful authorship; may have been written in collaboration with John Fletcher) 1612 1634 Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Knight's Tale" in Canterbury Tales (c.1387) Palamon Arcite Comedy

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