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Recently wed, spoiled Bertram abandons his wife Helena, and goes off to war saying that unless she can remove the ring from his finger and produce a child by him, he will never consider himself married. The resourceful Helena manages this and regains her charmless husband.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
7 Topics 15 Replies Phil Hubbard's Avatar
by Phil Hubbard
8 months 2 weeks ago
The Egyptian queen's tempestuous romance with Antony is played out against the battles and intrigues of the Roman civil war. After losing the battle of Actium he dies in her arms and she commits suicide.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
5 Topics 2 Replies Ron Severdia's Avatar
by Ron Severdia
1 year 3 months ago
The elaborate gender reversals in this pastoral comedy set in the Forest of Arden are of considerable interest to modern critics. At one point in the play, the heroine Rosalind becomes a boy pretending to be a girl pretending to be a boy.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
14 Topics 10 Replies Marshall's Avatar
Last Post: Female Orlando
by Marshall
3 months 15 hours ago
Shakespeare's shortest and most farcical comedy, involving two sets of identical brothers, both separated at birth: Antipholus of Ephesus and Antipholus of Syracuse, and their respective servants Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse. All four turn up in the same city on the same day with predictably hilarious consequences.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
3 Topics 1 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
The brilliant Roman general Coriolanus may be a military genius but he doesn't really have the common touch. Banished because of his patrician opinions, he leads an assault on his native city. Only the pleadings of his mother Volumnia stop him from sacking Rome, but this change of heart leads to his destruction.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
4 Topics 5 Replies Bob Matheson's Avatar
Last Post: Caius Martius
by Bob Matheson
1 year 20 hours ago
The plot of this late comedy set in Ancient Britain is so convoluted—with disguises, false identities, faked deaths and more—it has been suggested it was a private joke by Shakespeare. At the finale almost the entire cast appears, some from the cave where they've been hiding for most of the play, to add a piece to the puzzle's resolution.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
5 Topics 3 Replies Gautam's Avatar
by Gautam
2 months 2 days ago
Possibly co-written by Shakespeare, it's a comedic tale modeled after the famous story of Don Quixote.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
3 Topics 2 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
11 months 3 days ago
King Edward III saves the Countess of Salisbury and woos her even under the pretense they kill each other's spouses to be together. She chastises him for falling for her and he, in shame, leaves to lead the English in a victorious battle against the French.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
2 Topics 7 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
The prince of Denmark tries to summon the will to kill his father's murderer, his uncle and now king.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
61 Topics 593 Replies TheGhostofOphelia's Avatar
by TheGhostofOphelia
3 days 15 hours ago
Henry IV is threatened by Harry Hotspur, but his son Prince Hal seems more interested in boozing and hanging out with his lowlife chums, most notably that fat reprobate Sir John Falstaff. But Hal shapes up in battle, kills Hotspur and, on his father's death, ascends the throne and abandons his former friends.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
8 Topics 14 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Henry IV is threatened by Harry Hotspur, but his son Prince Hal seems more interested in boozing and hanging out with his lowlife chums, most notably that fat reprobate Sir John Falstaff. But Hal shapes up in battle, kills Hotspur and, on his father's death, ascends the throne and abandons his former friends.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
6 Topics 9 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
The former wastrel Prince Hal has now become a shrewd and courageous monarch. His invasion of France leads to overwhelming triumph at the battle of Agincourt, not least because of the stirring quality of his speeches to his troops.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
8 Topics 32 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
A narrative of the Wars of the Roses, the bloody battle for the throne between the Yorkists and Lancastrians.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
3 Topics 0 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
A narrative of the Wars of the Roses, the bloody battle for the throne between the Yorkists and Lancastrians.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
2 Topics 1 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
A narrative of the Wars of the Roses, the bloody battle for the throne between the Yorkists and Lancastrians.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
5 Topics 2 Replies Ron Severdia's Avatar
Last Post: I'm confused..
by Ron Severdia
1 year 5 months ago
Shakespeare and John Fletcher collaborated on this retelling of the royal love triangle of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn and the machinations of Cardinal Wolsey.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
3 Topics 2 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Conspirators, some high-minded like Brutus, others not, plot the assassination of the dictator Julius Caesar to save the Roman republic from tyranny. But after Caesar's death, they find themselves reviled by the Roman people and at war with Mark Antony and Octavian.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
7 Topics 10 Replies Rohan's Avatar
Last Post: Caesar's Servant
by Rohan
2 months 3 weeks ago
John's claim to the English throne is weak and the French king demands his abdication. There follows a dizzying change of alliances, a Papal excommunication and the final poisoning of John by a monk. Throughout, "The Bastard," Richard Lionheart's son, delivers a sardonic commentary on nobility, self-interest and English sovereignty.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
3 Topics 6 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Lear decides to abdicate and split his kingdom between his three daughters, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia. Cordelia refuses to flatter her father like her sisters and is banished. Goneril and Regan betray Lear who goes mad.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
19 Topics 36 Replies Annette Schmitter's Avatar
by Annette Schmitter
1 year 2 months ago
At the play's opening, Richard is seated in full state on the throne. But the flaws of his weak and self-deluding character, not to mention the high taxes he imposes, bring disaster for him and the country. By the end he is a prisoner of Henry Bolingbroke (the future Henry IV) in a dungeon, where he is done away with by an assassin.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
3 Topics 12 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Four young men—the King of Navarre and three friends—promise to foreswear the company of women for three years in order to pursue learning. Unsurprisingly they manage to keep it up for less than a day after the arrival of the young Princess of France and her three ladies.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
6 Topics 7 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
After receiving a prophecy of his future kingship from three witches, Macbeth, encouraged by his wife, murders King Duncan. His reign continues bloodily and his conscience increasingly disturbs him. Finally, Macduff and the other forces of revenge surround Macbeth to kill him.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
29 Topics 78 Replies izzy's Avatar
Last Post: Second Witch
by izzy
3 months 3 weeks ago
The Duke of Vienna absents himself while some harsh but unused laws against fornication are enforced. His deputy Angelo abuses his powers to satisfy his lust for a young nun Isabella who pleads for the life of her brother. The Duke returns and all is apparently well.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
3 Topics 4 Replies Marshall's Avatar
by Marshall
5 months 1 week ago
The merchant Antonio promises Shylock that if he defaults on his borrowing, he will pay the Jewish money-lender a pound of his flesh. When he can't pay, Shylock insists on his bond. The case goes to court and Bassanio and his new bride Portia finesse some legal loopholes to save their friend.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
13 Topics 50 Replies Apps's Avatar
Last Post: Portia
by Apps
2 months 3 weeks ago
This comedy vehicle for Sir John Falstaff relates how the fat knight gets his comeuppance from the two wealthy married women he is simultaneously courting.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
5 Topics 7 Replies Imesha's Avatar
Last Post: Children of Windsor
by Imesha
9 months 3 weeks ago
Hermia loves Lysander. Lysander loves Hermia, but so does Demetrius. Hermia's friend Helena loves Demetrius. These four find themselves lost deep in the woods and in the middle of a royal fairy row between Titania and Oberon.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
20 Topics 12 Replies Gautam's Avatar
by Gautam
2 months 2 days ago
There are two couples in this prototype comedy, but no one pays much attention to the soon-to-wed Claudio and Hero, because the witty oddball adversaries Beatrice and Benedict get all the best lines.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
7 Topics 21 Replies Russell Slater's Avatar
Last Post: Cutting the play
by Russell Slater
1 month 3 weeks ago
Othello, a successful Moorish general in the service of Venice, elopes with Desdemona, the daughter of a Venetian noble. His evil lieutenant Iago works on his jealousy and persuades him that his wife is unfaithful. Overwrought, Othello strangles her then kills himself in grief after the truth is revealed.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
18 Topics 15 Replies Marshall's Avatar
by Marshall
1 year 6 months ago
Pericles, Prince of Tyre, suffers many misfortunes and is separated from his wife and daughter, but the family is finally reunited by magical means in the temple of Diana.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
3 Topics 3 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Tale of the psychopathic Richard of York's bloody and manipulative rise to the throne and his defeat and death on Bosworth Field by the future Henry VII (grandfather of Elizabeth I).
Moderators: William Shakespeare
5 Topics 15 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
The doomed romance between two young people whose families are bitter enemies.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
16 Topics 45 Replies Ron Severdia's Avatar
by Ron Severdia
1 year 1 month ago
Believed to have been co-written by William Shakespeare, it's the story of Henry VIII's chancellor, who was executed for failing to arrange Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
2 Topics 5 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Baptista Minola has two daughters, the beautiful Bianca and the shrewish Katherina. A visiting stranger, Petruchio, learns of Katherina's large dowry, marries her and through his own even more extreme actions modifies her behavior.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
14 Topics 16 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Prospero, a mage and former Duke of Milan, and his daughter Miranda have been stranded for 12 years on an island. Prospero's brother Antonio, who deposed him, is shipwrecked with his son Ferdinand. By the end Ferdinand and Miranda are married and Prospero, after abjuring magic, regains his title and forgives his betrayers.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
12 Topics 16 Replies Gautam's Avatar
by Gautam
2 months 1 day ago
With its puzzling plot and unexplained characters, Timon is probably unfinished and rarely performed. Timon is a wealthy citizen of ancient Athens, who spends munificently on parasitic writers and artists. When he loses his wealth his former friends abandon him and he rails against the world and men from his new home in a cave.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
4 Topics 8 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Taking his cue from the Roman plays of Seneca, Shakespeare piles on the horrors in this tale of murderous revenge. The most appalling moment is either the discovery of Titus's raped daughter Lavinia, with her tongue cut out and her hands chopped off, or the Queen Tamora being forced to eat a pie made from her two sons.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
4 Topics 1 Replies Rick Pearlstein's Avatar
by Rick Pearlstein
1 year 10 months ago
Troilus, a Trojan prince, woos Cressida, has sex with her, and professes his undying love. When she is traded with the Greeks for a prisoner of war, he tries to visit her but sees her with Diomedes and decides she is a whore.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
5 Topics 2 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
Viola is shipwrecked and believes her twin, Sebastian, has been killed. Masquerading as a boy, she enters the service of Duke Orsino, who is in love with Olivia. Olivia, believing Viola male, falls in love with her. Viola, in turn, falls in love with the Duke. When Sebastian arrives on the scene, confusion ensues.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
9 Topics 12 Replies Aks's Avatar
Last Post: Antonio
by Aks
2 weeks 6 days ago
The two gents in question, Valentine and Proteus, fall for the same girl, Silvia, which leads to a spectacular quarrel. In the climactic confrontation scene, Valentine, for the sake of friendship, "gives" Silvia to Proteus, who refuses and returns to his abandoned fiancée.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
11 Topics 38 Replies Bob Matheson's Avatar
Last Post: Proteus
by Bob Matheson
1 year 2 months ago
Two friends and cousins, Palamon and Arcite, are imprisoned after a battle. They see Princess Emilia from their window and both fall in love. They become rivals, and Arcite wins her, but after a fall from a horse, gives her to Palamon with his dying breath.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
4 Topics 2 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
King Leontes becomes convinced his pregnant wife Hermione is having an affair with his best friend.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
5 Topics 4 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
2 years 3 months ago
One of the great sonnet sequences of all time – 154 poems exploring love, desire, envy and jealousy, and the ravages of time. Possibly an autobiographical suite of poems leading us closer to Shakespeare than any other writings can – or simply an abstract intellectual exercise by a supremely gifted writer.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
16 Topics 12 Replies christy neary's Avatar
Last Post: "There Reigns Love"
by christy neary
4 years 8 months ago
Comic, sensual, bawdy and beautiful, this long poem tells of the desire of Venus, goddess of beauty and love, for the young Adonis, who would much rather be hunting, and its tragic end.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
1 Topics 0 Replies Kaitlyn's Avatar
by Kaitlyn
1 year 7 months ago
Stately and somber, this long poem tells of the desire of Tarquin, Prince of Rome, for the chaste Lucrece, and his rape of her, and of how she comes to kill herself in her shame.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
2 Topics 0 Replies Gerard Logan's Avatar
by Gerard Logan
2 years 6 months ago
A young woman, seduced and abandoned by a charming man, rails against his falsity.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
2 Topics 2 Replies Mike thomas's Avatar
by Mike thomas
6 years 10 months ago
Most likely a pirated volume containing variants of some of Shakespeare’s sonnets, along with extracts from Love’s Labor’s Lost and poems by unknown authors, possibly by Shakespeare, others likely not.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
2 Topics 0 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
7 years 3 months ago
An enigmatic poem about the constancy of love between a phoenix (a mythological bird) and a turtledove, likely with allegorical meanings we can no longer understand.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
0 Topics 4 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
7 years 10 months ago
A long poem lamenting the death of William Peter, stabbed to death in a brawl.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
1 Topics 3 Replies Joe M.'s Avatar
Last Post: 1612 version
by Joe M.
6 years 9 months ago
The life and times of the man and myth.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
19 Topics 34 Replies Sally Johnson's Avatar
by Sally Johnson
2 years 9 months ago
Did Shakespeare write all 38 plays by himself?
Moderators: William Shakespeare
62 Topics 477 Replies Unfoldyourself's Avatar
by Unfoldyourself
1 month 2 weeks ago
Tips and advice for those interested in acting Shakespeare and monologues
Moderators: William Shakespeare
22 Topics 47 Replies TheGhostofOphelia's Avatar
by TheGhostofOphelia
5 months 6 days ago
Tips and advice for those interested in directing Shakespeare
Moderators: William Shakespeare
7 Topics 28 Replies TheGhostofOphelia's Avatar
by TheGhostofOphelia
1 month 3 weeks ago
Do you have a Shakespeare performance, conference or event? Let us know.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
50 Topics 53 Replies TheGhostofOphelia's Avatar
by TheGhostofOphelia
1 month 3 weeks ago
Discuss the differences between the various editions.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
29 Topics 92 Replies SJ Yeo's Avatar
by SJ Yeo
8 months 2 weeks ago
Share resources with other students or find out more.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
15 Topics 36 Replies EmRo's Avatar
by EmRo
4 months 3 weeks ago
Do you teach Shakespeare? Look here for resources or share yours.
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7 Topics 4 Replies William Shakespeare's Avatar
by William Shakespeare
4 years 10 months ago
The place to discuss everything non-Shakespeare and the only place for commercial posts.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
18 Topics 20 Replies zack robidas's Avatar
by zack robidas
1 year 12 hours ago
Discussion of news from PlayShakespeare.com
Moderators: William Shakespeare
45 Topics 1 Replies J. A. Macfarlane's Avatar
by J. A. Macfarlane
5 months 1 week ago
Comment on reviews and articles published by our staff.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
2 Topics 8 Replies Christopher Adams's Avatar
by Christopher Adams
3 years 4 days ago
Add or discuss our suggestions for improvement here. Ask your help questions.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
23 Topics 66 Replies Support Manager's Avatar
by Support Manager
3 months 2 weeks ago
Discussion that isn't play-specific or is about news items.
Moderators: William Shakespeare
131 Topics 161 Replies Gautam's Avatar
by Gautam
2 months 1 day ago

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