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Shakespeare is credited as being one of the most influential playwrights that the world has ever known. Unfortunately, some people are skeptical as to whether or not Shakespeare wrote his own material. Some say that he copied ideas from Christopher Marlowe, an earlier playwright who was considerably less popular than his Elizabethan counterpart. Others say he had writers do all the work for him. We have no evidence of either accusation, but in any case we can clearly see that Shakespeare had a way with words. His rich imagery and distinct ability to intertwine plots make his works acclaimed all over the world.

Shakespeare's first published piece was a narrative poem titled Venus and Adonis. Here is a list of Shakespeare's other literary works in chronological order:

Title of Literary Work(s)


Henry VI - 3 parts


Richard III; The Comedy of Errors; Titus Andronicus; The Taming of the Shrew


Love's Labour Lost; Two Gentlemen of Verona; Romeo and Juliet; Richard II; A Midsummer Night's Dream


King John; The Merchant of Venice; Henry VI - parts 1 and 2


Much Ado About Nothing; Henry V; Julius Caesar; As You Like It; Twelfth Night


Hamlet; The Merry Wives of Windsor; Troilus and Cressida


All's Well That Ends Well


Measure for Measure; Othello; King Lear; Macbeth


Anthony and Cleopatra; Coriolanus; Timon of Athens


Pericles; Cymbeline


The Winter's Tale; The Tempest


Henry VIII

Shakespeare's plays are usually organized into these three categories:

  • Comedy of Errors
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Love's Labour's Lost
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Merchant of Venice
  • Taming of the Shrew
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • As You Like It
  • Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Twelfth Night
  • Troilus and Cressida
  • All's Well That Ends Well
  • Measure For Measure
  • Pericles
  • Cymbeline
  • The Winter's Tale
  • The Tempest
    • Coriolanus
    • Titus Andronicus
    • Romeo and Juliet
    • Timon of Athens
    • Julius Caesar
    • Macbeth
    • Hamlet
    • King Lear
    • Othello
    • Anthony and Cleopatra

    • Henry VI - parts 1,2 and 3
    • Richard III
    • King John
    • Richard II
    • Henry IV - parts 1 and 2
    • Henry V
    • Henry VIII

    (Source for both charts: Levi Fox, The Shakespeare Book)