Shakespeare's plays are traditionally organised into three groups: Comedies, Histories and Tragedies. The following (resortable) list sorts the plays according to their order in the First Folio, the first published edition of Shakespeare's plays. Today, some of the comedies and tragedies are usually considered as a separate subgenre, the 'romances' or tragicomedies; these plays are so marked in the "Genre" column.
|The Tempest||Romance||Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, meets his usurpers on an island.||Prospero, Miranda||1611||1623|
|The Two Gentlemen of Verona||Comedy||The friendship of Valentine and Proteus versus their romantic love for Sylvia.||Valentine, Proteus||1593||1623|
|The Merry Wives of Windsor||Comedy||Falstaff attempts to seduce Mistresses Ford and Page.||Falstaff, Ford||1597||1602|
|Measure for Measure||Comedy||The Duke of Vienna leaves the enforcement of his laws to the harsh Antonio.||Vincentio, Angelo||1604||1623|
|The Comedy of Errors||Comedy||The farcical adventures of two sets of twins.||Antipholus, Dromio||1590||1623|
|Much Ado About Nothing||Comedy||Beatrice and Benedict wage a "merry war", concealing their true feelings.||Beatrice, Benedick||1598||1600|
|Love's Labour's Lost||Comedy||The King of Navarre and three companions agree to give up worldly pleasures,including love, for three years.||Ferdinand, Berowne||1593||1598|
|A Midsummer Night's Dream||Comedy||The adventures of young lovers, rude mechanicals, and fairies in Athens.||Oberon, Titania||1594||1600|
|The Merchant of Venice||Comedy||Antonio borrows from Shylock on behalf of his friend Bassanio.||Antonio, Shylock||1596||1600|
|As You Like It||Comedy||Rosalind and Celia escape to the Forest of Arden, Rosalind disguised as a boy.||Rosalind, Orlando||1598||1623|
|The Taming of the Shrew||Comedy||"Shrewish" Katherine must wed before her younger sister can.||Petruchio, Katherine||1591||1623|
|All's Well That Ends Well||Comedy||Helena plots to marry the reluctant Bertram.||Bertram, Helena||1603||1623|
|Twelfth Night, or What You Will||Comedy||Viola, shipwrecked, separated from her brother, and disguised as a boy, enters Duke Orsino's service. In love with Orsino herself, she must help him win the hand of Olivia.||Orsino, Viola, Olivia||1600||1623|
|The Winter's Tale||Romance||Jealousy ends marriage and friendship; time brings reconciliation||Leontes, Perdita||1610||1623|
|King John||History||The life and death of King John||John, Arthur||1596||1623|
|Richard II||History||Richard's mistakes lead to his downfall at the hands of Henry Bolingbroke.||Richard, Bolingbroke||1595||1597|
|Henry IV, Part 1||History||Henry has taken the throne, but must put down rebellion. He needs the help of his son, Hal, who is spending his youth in bad company.||Henry, Hal, Hotspur||1597||1598|
|Henry IV, Part 2||History||Henry's crown is again threatened by civil war, while Prince Hal returns to his life with the disreputable Falstaff.||Henry, Falstaff, Hal||1598||1600|
|Henry V||History||The English defeat the French at Agincourt.||Henry, Pistol||1599||1600|
|Henry VI, Part 1||History||The aftermath of the Death of Henry V||Henry, Talbot||1592||1623|
|Henry VI, Part 2||History||The beginning of the War of the Roses||Henry, Margaret||1591||1594|
|Henry VI, Part 3||History||The House of York defeats the House of Lancaster.The prelude to the rise of Richard III||Henry, Margaret||1591||1595|
|Richard III||History||Richard's seizure of the throne and defeat at Bosworth Field.||Richard, Clarence||1592||1597|
|Henry VIII||History||The scheming Cardinal Wolsey opposes Henry||Henry, Catherine||1613||1623|
|Troilus and Cressida||Tragedy||The love story of Troilus and Cressida set against the backdrop of the Trojan War||Troilus, Cressida||1602||1609|
|Coriolanus||Tragedy||The proud Roman general, Coriolanous betrays Rome.||Coriolanus, Volumnia||1608||1623|
|Titus Andronicus||Tragedy||Roman general and Gothic queen in a cycle of revenge||Titus, Tamara||1590||1594|
|Romeo and Juliet||Tragedy||Two "star-cross'd lovers" have a passionate affair, defying their families, with tragic results.||Romeo, Juliet||1595||1597|
|Timon of Athens||Tragedy||False friends cause Timon to become a misanthrope.||Timon, Apemantus||1606||1623|
|Julius Caesar||Tragedy||Conspirators assassinate Julius Caesar and are then defeated.||Brutus, Antony||1599||1623|
|Macbeth||Tragedy||Macbeth seeks to gain the Scottish throne through murder, believing that no man "of woman born" can kill him.||Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Banquo||1605||1623|
|Hamlet||Tragedy||Hamlet seeks to avenge the death of his father.||Hamlet, Ophelia||1601||1603|
|King Lear||Tragedy||Lear foolishly chooses his scheming eldest daughters over Cordelia.||Lear, Cordelia, Regan Gloucester, Goneril||1605||1608|
|Othello||Tragedy||Othello is destroyed by his jealous love for Desdemona.||Othello, Iago, Desdemona||1604||1622|
|Antony and Cleopatra||Tragedy||Antony and Cleopatra are defeated by Octavius.||Antony, Cleopatra||1606||1623|
|Cymbeline||Romance||Villainy, a wicked stepmother and a separated family.||Imogen, Iachimo||1609||1623|
Most scholars are agreed that Shakespeare was the principal author of all of these plays, and sole author of most of them.
Later in the seventeenth century, several other plays were added in later editions. One of them, Pericles, Prince of Tyre, has come to be regularly included. It is generally accepted as the joint work of Shakespeare and another author, probably George Wilkins, who wrote the "novelization".
In recent times most scholars accept The Two Noble Kinsmen as being by Fletcher and Shakespeare, as stated on its original title page, and it is usually included in scholarly editions.
The majority of scholars accept some passages of Sir Thomas More as by Shakespeare, and indeed in his handwriting, and some editions include either these passages or the whole play.
Most scholars have recently concluded that Edward III is partly by Shakespeare, and some editions include it.
There is a growing consensus that Arden of Faversham is partly by Shakespeare.
Current consensus holds it likely that Double Falsehood is an adaptation of a lost play Cardenio by Fletcher and Shakespeare.
Additions found in the posthumous 2nd edition of Kyd's Spanish Tragedy may be at least partly by Shakespeare.
- Shakespeare (an Oxford Guide), ed Wells and Orlin, 2003
- RSC Collaborative Plays, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013
- "plays of William Shakespeare" (requires subscription). World Encyclopedia. Philip's, 2005. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed November 7, 2007.
- Plot synopses from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The following are generally accepted by scholars:
The following are uncertain:
- The Passionate Pilgrim (contributions to; the only contributions definitely known to be by him are duplicated elsewhere in his works; some poems in this collection are definitely by other writers, but some remain anonymous)
- A Lover's Complaint
- Miscellaneous songs and epitaphs