William Shakespeare is generally recognized as one of the greatest and most popular playwrights in history. One of the most asked questions about his career is: How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write? Well, the short answer is he wrote 38 plays.
William Shakespeare’s Writings
William Shakespeare wrote most of his plays in the late 16th century into the early 17th century. His most relevant works came at the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign and the beginning of the King James’ reign. His works were classically done to conform with the traditions morals of the period he was writing in at the time. He focused a lot on current social issues.
His plays are divided into one of three genres; tragedy, history, and comedy. His relevance is indicated by the fact that his plays have been translated into every major language in the world. Additionally, his plays have been performed in every major theater in the world and are still being performed in many places today.
Interesting Facts About William Shakespeare and His Writings
- At least a dozen of his plays were done in collaboration. This was a very common practice at the time
- Many of his works were based on the plays written by other playwrights. He also used historical information and myths
- He made extensive use of soliloquies. This is defined as a actor delivering an uninterrupted speech during the play in order to clarify the character’s thoughts or feelings
- Approximately half of his plays were not published until 1623. They came out with the publishing of the “First Folio”
- While his plays are classified in three genres, some are considered “problem plays” because the genre is difficult to determine
- He loved to use double entendres to confuse the audience
- The use of comedy is evident in almost all his writings
His personal life is at times clouded with mystery. He was born in April of 1564 and he died in April of 1616. He married Anne Hathaway on November 28, 1582. Records indicate he had three children, one of which died as a child for unknown reasons. There are indications that his career as a professional writer began in 1592. As an entrepreneur, he built the Globe Theater in London, England and many of his plays debuted there.
While the answer to the article’s question is 38, there is some evidence of a 39th play entitled “Double Falsehood.” It will take a great deal more confirmation before this piece is accepted by the mainstream population as one of his works and included as part of history.