Shakespeare's plays are set in many exotic locations, from Verona and Milan to Athens and Rousillon.
The following is a list of the settings of Shakespeare's comedies and tragedies. Please see The Settings of Shakespeare's Plays by Date for a chronology of the content of the plays.
All's Well that Ends Well
Setting: Rousillon, Paris, Florence, and Marseilles
Antony and Cleopatra
Setting: Parts of the Roman Empire
As You Like It
Setting: Forest of Arden
The Comedy of Errors
Setting: Rome, Corioli, and Antium
Setting: Britain, Italy
Setting: Rome; afterwards, Sardis and near Philippi
Love's Labour's Lost
Setting: Scotland and England
Measure for Measure
The Merchant of Venice
Setting: Partly in Venice, and partly at Belmont, the seat of Portia on the Continent
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Setting: Athens, and a wood nearby
Much Ado about Nothing
Setting: Venice (for first act) and a sea-port in Cyprus
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Setting: various countries
Romeo and Juliet
Setting: Verona and Mantua
The Taming of the Shrew
Setting: Sometimes in Padua, and sometimes in Petruchio's home in the country
Setting: The Sea; afterwards an Island
Timon of Athens
Troilus and Cressida
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Setting: Verona, Milan, and the frontiers of Mantua
Setting: A city in Illyria, and the sea-coast nearby
The Winter's Tale
Setting: Sometimes in Sicilia, sometimes in Bohemia
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare's Settings. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/playsettings.html >.
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Dramatist and Shakespearean scholar Nicholas Rowe was the first to write a critical (annotated) edition of Shakespeare's works.
The average length of a play in Elizabethan England was 3000 lines. With 4,042 lines and 29,551 words, Hamlet is the longest Shakespearean play (based on the first edition of The Riverside Shakespeare (1974)). With 1,787 lines and 14,369 words, The Comedy of Errors is the shortest Shakespearean play (also based on the first edition of The Riverside Shakespeare).
Shakespeare's late comedies are considered romances: The Winter's Tale, The Tempest, Cymbeline, and Pericles. The Two Noble Kinsman is also sometimes mentioned along side these other plays as a romantic comedy.
Love's Labour's Lost has the highest percentage of rhyming lines of all of Shakespeare's plays. According to Shakespearean scholar Tucker Brooke, 62.2% of the lines in Love's Labour's Lost rhyme. The closest competitor is A Midsummer Night's Dream, with 43.4% rhyming lines.
The historical time of King Lear is roughly 800 BC, making it the second-earliest setting of any of Shakespeare's plays. Click here to find out the first.