Shakespeare’s Plays


Antony and Cleopatra | As You Like It | Hamlet | Henry IV, Part 1 | Henry IV, Part 2 | Henry V | King Lear | Love’s Labour’s Lost | Macbeth | Measure for Measure | The Merchant of Venice | A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Much Ado About Nothing | Othello | Richard II | Richard III | Romeo and Juliet | The Sonnets and Other Poems | The Taming of the Shrew | The Tempest | Troilus and Cressida | The Winter’s Tale


ISBN 9780812969184

Antony and Cleopatra

Written at the pinnacle of Shakespeare’s career and featuring his most soaring poetic idiom, Antony and Cleopatra is both an immortal love story and a political drama played out on a global scale.
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ISBN 9780812969221

As You Like It

Uncertain of their standing in court and fearing for their lives, Rosalind and Orlando are forced into exile in the Forest of Arden, only to become entangled in a beguiling game of love, lust, and mistaken identity. One of Shakespeare’s great comedies, As You Like It subverts the traditional rules of romance, confusing gender roles, nature, and politics.
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ISBN 9780812969092

Hamlet

An immortal tale of a vengeful Danish prince quite possibly driven to madness, Hamlet, Shakespeare’s most widely performed play, is filled with startling insight into humankind’s unconscious desires.
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ISBN 9780812969245

Henry IV, Part 1

Henry IV sits on a usurped throne, his conscience and his nobles in revolt, while his son Hal is immersed in a self-indulgent life of revelry with the notorious Sir John Falstaff. Shakespeare explores questions of kingship and honor in this masterly mingling of history, comedy, and tragedy.
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ISBN 9780812969252

Henry IV, Part 2

After defeat at the Battle of Shrewsbury the rebels regroup. But Prince Hal’s reluctance to inherit the crown threatens to destroy the ailing Henry IV’s dream of a lasting dynasty. Shakespeare’s portrait of the prodigal son’s journey from youth to maturity embraces the full panorama of society.
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ISBN 9780812969269

Henry V

With his family’s claim to the throne uncertain, Henry seeks to secure his position by turning the country’s attention abroad. But when his outnumbered army is trapped at Agincourt, disaster seems inevitable. Shakespeare probes notions of leadership and power in this iconic depiction of England’s charismatic warrior king.
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ISBN 9780812969115

King Lear

King Lear is Shakespeare’s bleakest and profoundest tragedy, a searing dramatization of humankind at the edge of apocalypse that explores the family and the nature of being with passion, poetry, and dark humor.
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ISBN 9780812969146

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Widely considered Shakespeare’s most intellectually challenging comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost nevertheless offers a feast of broad, farcical humor, plot twists, Elizabethan cultural allusions, and irrepressibly clever turns-of-phrase.
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ISBN 9780812969160

Macbeth

One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, filled with fierce, violent action, Macbeth is a human drama of ambition, desire, and guilt in a world of blood and darkness, with whispers of the supernatural.
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ISBN 9780812969283

Measure for Measure

A powerful play that explores sexual hypocrisy and questions morality at all levels of society.
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ISBN 9780812969276

The Merchant of Venice

As the citizens of Venice compete for advantageous marriages, wealth, and status, a moneylender is intent on deadly revenge. Mistrust and resentment thrive in Shakespeare’s dark comedy.
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ISBN 9780812969122

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Alternately lighthearted and savage, innocent and erotic, filled with love, mischief, and folly, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is perhaps the perfect Elizabethan romantic comedy.
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ISBN 9780812969177

Much Ado About Nothing

Set in a courtly world of masked revels and dances, this play turns on the archetypal story of a lady falsely accused of unfaithfulness, spurned by her bridegroom, and finally vindicated and reunited with him. Villainy, schemes, and deceits threaten to darken the brilliant humor and sparkling wordplay—but the hilarious counterplot of a warring couple, Beatrice and Benedick, steals the scene as the two are finally tricked into admitting their love for each other in Shakespeare’s superb comedy of manners.Set in a courtly world of masked revels and dances, this play turns on the archetypal story of a lady falsely accused of unfaithfulness, spurned by her bridegroom, and finally vindicated and reunited with him. Villainy, schemes, and deceits threaten to darken the brilliant humor and sparkling wordplay—but the hilarious counterplot of a warring couple, Beatrice and Benedick, steals the scene as the two are finally tricked into admitting their love for each other in Shakespeare’s superb comedy of manners.
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ISBN 9780812969153

Othello

Shakespeare shines a fierce spotlight on the jealous heart and on our attitudes toward the outsider. A story of its time and for our time, full of terror and beauty, Othello is urgent, gripping, radical, and beautiful.
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ISBN 9780812969306

Richard II

The first of the eight plays in Shakespeare’s History Cycle, which marks the beginning of a great schism within the nobility of England that will leave the nation riven by bloody conflict for the next hundred years.
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ISBN 9780812969139

Richard III

The dramatic concluding months of The Wars of the Roses provide the setting for Shakespeare’s incomparable saga of power and intrigue.
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ISBN 9780812969214

Romeo And Juliet

In a society dominated by religion and bound by ties of strict family loyalty, two teenagers are trapped by their secret love. As a dangerous vendetta spills onto the streets, the young lovers are forced to risk all to be together in Shakespeare’s fast-paced tragedy of thwarted love.
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ISBN 9780812969207

The Sonnets and Other Poems

Shakespeare became famous as a dazzling poet before most people even knew that he wrote plays. His sonnets are the English language’s most extraordinary anatomy of love in all its dimensions-desire and despair, longing and loss, adoration and disgust. To read them is to confront morality and eternity in the same breath. Produced under the editorial supervision of Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, two of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, The Sonnets and Other Poems includes all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, the long narrative poems “Venus and Adonis” and “The Rape of Lucrece,” and several other shorter works.
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ISBN 9780812969290

The Taming of the Shrew

Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of this scathing account of manners and matrimony.
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ISBN 9780812969108

The Tempest

Generally believed to be the last play written solely by Shakespeare, The Tempest centers on a banished noble who uses sorcery to confront his foes. In this play, Shakespeare offers some of his most insightful meditations on themes ranging from vengeance and forgiveness to nature and nurture.
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ISBN 9780812969313

Troilus and Cressida

Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide a fresh new edition of this classic tragedy of politics and war, honor and love
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ISBN 9780812969191

The Winter’s Tale

One of the last plays Shakespeare penned on his own, The Winter’s Tale is a transcendent work of death and rebirth, exploring irrational sexual jealousy, the redemptive world of nature, and the magical power of art.
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About the RSC

About the RSC Icon

A major, new series of individual paperback plays from the internationally renowned Royal Shakespeare Company, edited by acclaimed Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen.