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Florida School of the Arts Library Resources

Guide Introduction: Acting Shakespeare

Biographical Information

SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM (1564–1616), English playwright, poet, and actor. Shakespeare is universally recognized as the foremost writer in the English language to date. The thirty-seven plays associated with his name, including the major tragedies Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, and his romances and comedies, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream among them, have been translated into many languages and have crossed all kinds of cultural divide. His poetry, in particular his intricately woven and fiercely passionate love sonnets, have stirred the senses of reader and critic alike for generations past and will do so for generations to come.


GRIFFITH, EVA. "William Shakespeare." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, edited by Jonathan Dewald, Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004. Biography In Context, Accessed 10 May 2018.



"William Shakespeare." Gale Biography in Context, Gale, 2010. Biography In Context, Accessed 10 May 2018.

Full List of Works


Collections (the First Folio and major modern editions)

  • Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies (First Folio), edited by John Heming and Henry Condell. 1623.
  • Works (multi-volume New Variorum Edition), edited by H. H. Furness and others. 1871--
  • Works (New Shakespeare edition), edited by J. Dover Wilson and Arthur Quiller-Couch. 1921-66.
  • The New Arden Shakespeare (multi-volume series), edited by Una Ellis-Fermor and others. 1951--
  • Complete Works, edited by Peter Alexander. 1951.
  • Complete Works, edited by C. J. Sisson. 1954.
  • The New Penguin Shakespeare, edited by T.J.B. Spencer. 1967--
  • Complete Works (Pelican Shakespeare), edited by Alfred Harbage. 1969.
  • The Riverside Shakespeare, edited by G. Blakemore Evans and others. 1974.
  • New Cambridge Shakespeare (newly edited versions based on the New Shakespeare edition), various editors. 1984--
  • Complete Works (Oxford Shakespeare; contains two versions of King Lear), edited by Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor (general editors). 1986; Original-Spelling Edition, 1986; A Textual Companion, 1987; some plays have appeared in single editions, with textual and critical apparatus, from 1982.

Stage Works

  • Plays after c.1594 produced by Lord Chamberlain's Men (King's Men after 1603), probably mainly at their Globe Theatre, London.
  • Henry VI, part 1 (produced 1589-91?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Henry VI, part 2 (produced 1590-92?). 1594 ("bad" quarto).
  • Henry VI, part 3 (produced 1590-92?). 1595 ("bad" quarto).
  • Romeo and Juliet (produced 1591-96?). 1597 ("bad" quarto); "good" quarto, 1599.
  • The Comedy of Errors (produced 1591-94?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Richard III (produced 1592?). 1597.
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona (produced 1592-98?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Titus Andronicus (produced 1592-94?). 1594.
  • The Taming of the Shrew (produced before 1592?). As The Taming of a Shrew, 1594; without Christopher Sly episodes, in First Folio, 1623.
  • King John (produced 1594-96?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Love's Labour's Lost (produced 1594?). 1598.
  • Richard II (produced 1595?). 1597.
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (produced 1596?). 1600.
  • Henry IV, part 1 (produced 1596-98?). 1598.
  • The Merchant of Venice (produced 1596-97?). 1600.
  • Henry IV, part 2 (produced 1597-98?). 1600.
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (produced 1598-99?). 1602 ("bad" quarto).
  • Much Ado About Nothing (produced 1598-99?). 1600.
  • Henry V (produced 1598-99). 1600 ("bad" quarto).
  • Julius Caesar (produced 1599). In First Folio, 1623.
  • As You Like It (produced 1599?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Hamlet (produced 1599-1601?). 1603 ("bad" quarto); "good" quarto, 1604.
  • Twelfth Night; or, What You Will (produced 1601-02?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Troilus and Cressida (produced 1602-03?). 1609.
  • All's Well That Ends Well (produced 1602?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Othello (produced 1602-03?). 1622.
  • Macbeth (produced 1602-06). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Measure for Measure (produced 1603-04?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • King Lear (produced 1605). 1608 ("bad" quarto).
  • Antony and Cleopatra (produced 1606?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Coriolanus (produced 1607-10?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Timon of Athens (produced 1607?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Pericles, possibly with George Wilkins (produced 1608?). 1609.
  • Cymbeline (produced 1610?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • The Tempest (produced 1610-11?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • The Winter's Tale (produced 1611?). In First Folio, 1623.
  • Henry VIII, with Fletcher (produced 1612?; definitely produced 1613). In First Folio, 1623.
  • The Two Noble Kinsmen, with Fletcher (produced 1613?). 1634.
  • Sir Thomas More, with Munday and others (produced 1954). Edited by Alexander Dyce, 1844, and by Vittorio Gabrieli and Giorgio Melchiori, 1990.

Verse (early editions)

  • Venus and Adonis. 1593.
  • Lucrece. 1594; as The Rape of Lucrece, 1616.
  • Sonnets. 1609.
  • Poems. 1640.

"William Shakespeare." International Dictionary of Theatre, vol. 2, Gale, 1993. Biography In Context, Accessed 10 May 2018.

Florida School of the Arts Databases



Drama Online Access

The SJR State Library provides access to several Drama Online resources for students. Drama Online is an award-winning digital library containing playtexts, audio plays, and video from leading theater publishers and companies offering a complete multimedia experience of theater. Use these links for direct access to certain parts of the SJR State subscription to Drama Online. 

Helpful Shakespeare Web Links

Citing a Play

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