The 37 Plays of Shakespeare

Throughout Shakespeare’s life, the genius penned 37 plays, 154 sonnets and a handful of longer poems. Since his death, scholars have divided his plays into three categories, the Histories, Comedies and the Tragedies. Whilst everyone knows of the heartbreak and passion of Romeo and Juliet, and the tragedy and darkness within Macbeth; few know of the horror and gore of Titus Andronicus, and the terrible incident which Henry V111 caused back in 1613.

Here are the 37 incredible plays of Shakespeare, the well known and the forgotten..


The Histories

Shakespeare’s Histories include 10 plays which cover English history from the 12th to the 16th centuries (1399-1485 in particular). Each of Shakespeare’s Histories is named after and focuses on the reigning monarch of the period, which he has then fictionalised (a.k.a. made much more saucy) by his fascinating imagination.

Here are Shakespeare’s historical plays in chronological order:

  1. King John
  2. Richard II
  3. Henry IV Part 1
  4. Henry IV Part 2
  5. Henry V
  6. Henry VI Part 1
  7. Henry VI Part 2
  8. Henry IV Part III
  9. Richard III
  10. Henry VIII

The Comedies

There are 17 plays within Shakespeare’s Comedies, however, they are often filled with tragedy, history, and romance themselves. Shakespeare, artfully combine the horrors and joys of reality within all of his plays; the dark comedy of All’s Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure are perfect examples of his ability to recognise humor within tragedy.

Shakespeare’s Comedies include:

  1. All’s Well That Ends Well
  2. As You Like It
  3. The Comedy of Errors
  4. Love’s Labour’s Lost
  5. Measure for Measure
  6. The Merchant of Venice
  7. The Merry Wives of Windsor
  8. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  9. Much Ado About Nothing
  10. Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  11. The Taming of the Shrew
  12. The Tempest
  13. Twelfth Night
  14. The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  15. The Two Noble Kinsmen
  16. The Winter’s Tale
  17. Cymbeline

The Tragedies

Shakespeare wrote 10 tragedies in his lifetime and this category includes some of his most famous plays. Shakespeare’s Tragedies weren’t all doom and gloom though; fans of the brilliant author love him for his ability to include romance and a little wit into his darker plays.

His tragedy plays often focussed on the faults of the protagonist and how our personal flaws can lead to failures (a sad but true concept). We see this in Macbeth, as his evil ambition and hunger for the thrown leads to his downfall.

The ten Tragedies of Shakespeare include:

  1. Titus Andronicus
  2. Romeo and Juliet
  3. King Lear
  4. Hamlet
  5. Othello
  6. Julius Caesar
  7. Macbeth
  8. Anotny and Cleopatra
  9. Coriolanus
  10. Timon of Athens

Which Shakespearean category are you most drawn to? Which play will be your next read?

© Rachael Bee and Raggie Writes, 2018 – 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rachael Bee and Raggie Writes with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 thoughts on “The 37 Plays of Shakespeare

  1. This is a really helpful list – I especially like having all the history plays chronologically so I can get my head around them. I’m studying Measure for Measure on my uni course at the moment and love it, it’s become one of my favourites. I can see what you mean about the comedies not necessarily being all light and fluffy! 📚❤️ X x x


  2. Thank you so much for your kind comments Florence! I’m so glad you’re enjoying reading his work and I wish you all of the best with Uni! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! 💜


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