The Plays of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

A timeline of the Plays of William Shakespeare in order of performance as suggested by EK Chambers

1590 – 1591
Henry VI Part II
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Wars of the Roses
Setting – England
Published – c.1594
1590 – 1591
Henry VI Part III
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Wars of the Roses
Setting – England
Published – c.1594
1591 – 1592
Henry VI Part I
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Wars of the Roses
Setting – England
Published – 1623
1592 – 1593
Richard III
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Wars of the Roses, reign of Richard III
Setting – England
Published – 1597
1592 – 1593
The Comedy of Errors
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Two sets of identical twins separated at birth
Setting – Greece
Published – 1623
1593 – 1594
Titus Andronicus
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The revenge of the Queen of the Goths who has been captured by a Roman general
Setting – Rome
Published – 1594
1593 – 1594
The Taming of the Shrew
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – How Petruchio tames his reluctant shrewish bride, Katherina
Setting – Padua, Italy
Published – 1623
1594 – 1595
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Two friends, Proteus and Valentine, fall in love with the same woman
Setting – Verona and Milan
Published – 1623
1594 – 1595
Love’s Labours Lost
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The King of Navarre and three friends are unable to resist the charms of the Princess of France and her ladies.
Setting – Navarre, Spain
Published – 1598
1594 – 1595
Romeo and Juliet
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Romeo and Juliet, from rival noble houses, fall in love
Setting – Verona, Italy
Published – 1597
1594 – 1595
Romeo and Juliet
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Romeo and Juliet, from rival noble houses, fall in love
Setting – Verona, Italy
Published – 1597
1595 – 1596
Richard II
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The reign of King Richard II
Setting – England
Published – 1597
1595 – 1596
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Four Athenians run into the forest where a group of players are rehearsing a play. All humans come under various spells cast by the fairies that live in the forest.
Setting – Athens
Published – 1600
1596 – 1597
King John
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – War with France during the reign of King John
Setting – England and France
Published – 1623
1596 – 1597
The Merchant of Venice
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – A merchant defaults on a loan made on behalf of his friend
Setting – Venice
Published – 1600
1597 – 1598
Henry IV Part I
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The reign of King Henry IV
Setting – England
Published – 1598
1597 – 1598
Henry IV Part II
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The reign of King Henry IV
Setting – England
Published – 1600
1598 – 1599
Much Ado About Nothing
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The romance of two couples
Setting – Messina, Sicily
Published – 1600
1598 – 1599
Henry V
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Henry V’s campaign in France
Setting – England and France
Published – 1600
1599 – 1600
Julius Caesar
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The events before and after the assassination of Julius Caesar
Setting – Rome and Greece
Published – 1623
1599 – 1600
As You Like It
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – A young woman, fleeing persecution, finds love in the Forest of Arden
Setting – Forest of Arden, England
Published – 1623
1599 – 1600
Twelfth Night
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Shipwrecked twins Viola and Sebatian find love
Setting – Illyria (eastern Adriatic coast)
Published – 1623
1600 – 1601
Hamlet
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Hamlet seeks to avenge his father’s death by killing his uncle, but the uncle seeks to kill Hamlet.
Setting – Denmark
Published – 1603
1600 – 1601
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Falstaff tries to improve his financial situation by seducing the wives of two wealthy merchants
Setting – Windsor, England
Published – 1602
1601 – 1602
Troilus and Cressida
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The love affair of Troilus and Cressida during the Trojan Wars
Setting – Greece
Published – 1609
1602 – 1603
All’s Well That Ends Well
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The King of France allows Helen to marry Bertram but he is a reluctant groom
Setting – France and Florence
Published – 1623
1604 – 1605
Measure for Measure
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The Duke of Vienna’s deputy abuses his power by trying to force a young nun to yield her virginity in return for the life of her brother.
Setting – Vienna
Published – 1623
1604 – 1605
Othello
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The rivalry between Othello and Iago leads to the murder of Desdemona
Setting – Venice and Cyprus
Published – 1622
1605 – 1606
King Lear
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – King Lear has three daughters but he only gives his power and land to two of them
Setting – England
Published – 1608
1605 – 1606
Macbeth
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Three witches tell Macbeth he will be King. He murders King Duncan to become King.
Setting – Scotland
Published – 1623
1606 – 1607
Antony and Cleopatra
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The tragic romantic relationship of Marc Antony and Cleopatra
Setting – Rome, Sicily and Egypt
Published – 1623
1607 – 1608
Coriolanus
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Coriolanus secures a great victory for Rome but his bid to become Consul is opposed.
Setting – Rome
Published – 1623
1607 – 1608
Timon of Athens
Genre – Tragedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – After spending his money on his friends, Timon is heavily in debt. His friends refuse to help him out.
Setting – Athens
Published – 1623
1608 – 1609
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Genre – Comdedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – When Pericles discovers that Antiochus is having an incestuous relationship with his daughter, his life is in danger.
Setting – Greece
Published – 1609
1609 – 1610
Cymbeline
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – King Cymbeline needs money to pay tribute to Rome. He is angry because his daughter has secretly married a poor man.
Setting – Ancient Britain
Published – 1623
1610 – 1611
The Winter’s Tale
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – King Leontes falsely accuse his wife Hermione of being unfaithful with his best friend
Setting – Sicily and Bohemia
Published – 1623
1611 – 1612
The Tempest
Genre – Comedy
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – Sorcerer and rightful Duke of Milan causes the shipwreck of his brother who usurped his throne.
Setting – A Mediterranean Island
Published – 1623
1612 – 1613
Henry VIII
Genre – History
Number of Acts – 5
Subject – The reign of King Henry VIII up to the birth of the future Elizabeth I
Setting – London, England
Published – 1623

 

Published Mar 20, 2021 @ 2:20 pm – Updated – Mar 20, 2021 @ 2:21 pm

Harvard Reference for this page::

Heather Y Wheeler. (2021). The Plays of William Shakespeare. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/the-plays-of-william-shakespeare. Last accessed April 14th, 2021