The general consensus is that Shakespeare wrote thirty-seven plays (see list below). However, no one can know for certain because of the inexact documentation at the time the plays were first being organized and published. If we include The Two Noble Kinsmen and two lost plays attributed to Shakespeare, Cardenio and Love's Labour's Won, then we could say he wrote, either alone or in collaboration, forty plays. Moreover, in the last few years many critics have begun to reassess a play called Edward III, currently grouped with a collection of eleven other plays known as the Shakespeare Apocrypha. Edward III bears striking similarities to Shakespeare's early histories. Another play, Sir Thomas More has also been under debate. Handwriting analysis has led scholars to believe that Shakespeare revised parts of Sir Thomas More, but, like Edward III, it is not part of the standard collection of Shakespeare's plays.
Comedies All's Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, Cymbeline, The Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, The Taming of the Shrew,
The Tempest, Troilus and Cressida, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale
Tragedies Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens, Titus Andronicus
Histories 1,2, and 3 Henry VI, 1 and 2 Henry IV, King John, Henry V, Henry VIII, Richard II, Richard III
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write?. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/numberofplays.html >.