Happy 450th Birthday, William Shakespeare!

Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies: A Facsimile of the First Folio, 1623 - Doug Moston, William Shakespeare

Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit,
To thee I send this written embassage,
To witness duty, not to show my wit.
(Sonnet No. 26)

Born (probably): April 23, 1564
Baptized: April 26, 1564
Heraldic Motto: Non sanz droict (= “Not without right”)

Stratford-upon-Avon, England: William Shakespeare’s birthplace in Henley Street – Baptismal Register (copy) of April 26, 1564 in Holy Trinity Church,: ‘Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere’ – Shakespeare coat of arms (photos mine)


1623 First Folio (Chatsworth Copy, facsimile), Front Matter – Catalogue of Plays


Shakespeare’s Works

– as listed in The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, gen. eds. Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, Clarendon Press, Oxford, UK, 1986/2005. Dates in parenthesis are the approximate years of the plays’ composition; plays listed in brackets are only partly attributed to Shakespeare or of uncertain authorship.

  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1589-91)
  • The Taming of the Shrew (1590-91)
  • The Second Part of Henry the Sixth; a/k/a The First Part of the Contention of the Two Famous Houses of York and Lancaster (1590-91)
  • The Third Part of Henry the Sixth; a/k/a The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York and the Good King Henry the Sixth (1590-91)
  • [The First Part of Henry the Sixth (1592) – possibly with Thomas Nashe and others]
  • [The Most Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus (1592) – possibly with George Peele]
  • The Tragedy of King Richard the Third (1592-93)
  • Venus and Adonis (1592-93)
  • The Rape of Lucrece (1594)
  • [The Reign of King Edward the Third (1594) – probably contributions; principal authorship uncertain]
  • The Comedy of Errors (1594)
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost (1594-95)
  • [Love’s Labour’s Won (1595-96) – lost; attribution somewhat uncertain]
  • The Tragedy of King Richard the Second (1595)
  • The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet (1595)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595)
  • The Life and Death of King John (1596)
  • The Comical History of the Merchant of Venice, or Otherwise Called the Jew of Venice (1596-97)
  • The History of Henry the Fourth (1596-97)
  • The Second Part of Henry the Fourth (1597-98)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597-98)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99)
  • The Life of Henry the Fifth (1598-99)
  • The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (1599)
  • As You Like It (1599-1600)
  • The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1600-01)
  • Twelfth Night, or What You Will (1601)
  • Troilus and Cressida (1602)
  • 154 Sonnets (1593-1603)
  • A Lover’s Complaint (1603-04)
  • [The Book of Sir Thomas More (late 1590s, revised 1603-04) – principally by Henry Chettle and (probably) Anthony Munday, revised by Chettle in cooperation with Thomas Dekker and (probably) Thomas Heywood and William Shakespeare]
  • Measure for Measure (1603-04)
  • The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice (1603-04)
  • The History of King Lear (1605-06, revised ca. 1610)
  • [The Life of Timon of Athens (1606) – probably with Thomas Middleton]
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth (1606, adapted 1616)
  • The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
  • All’s Well That Ends Well (1606-07)
  • [Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1607) – possibly co-authored with, or based on a prose narration by George Wilkins]
  • The Tragedy of Coriolanus (1608)
  • The Winter’s Tale (1609-10)
  • Cymbeline, King of Britain (1610-11)
  • The Tempest (1610-11)
  • [Cardenio (1612-13) – lost; possibly with John Fletcher, but attribution uncertain]
  • [All Is True, a/k/a The Life of King Henry the Eighth (1613) – with John Fletcher]
  • [The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613) – with John Fletcher; adapted from Chaucer’s “Knight’s Tale”]
  • [Various shorter poems and epitaphs (1593-1616) – some published in a collection entitled The Passionate Pilgrim; attribution not in all cases certain]



London, Globe Theatre (photos mine)



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