20 Famous William Shakespeare books to learn the art of storytelling

list of william shakespeare books

A man or a woman becoming a brand is uncommon.

Even if one becomes a brand then their influence lasts for not more than a period of, let’s say, a maximum of 40 years.

But if the influence of a person crosses a few centuries then we should accept that his or her genius, the rarest of the rare minds ever walked on the earth, the prodigal son.

One such influential person whose influence and might have crossed centuries is William Shakespeare.

His works like Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet have been adapted into films, performed on stage in so many countries, in so many cultures, and so many languages.

Who is Shakespeare?

William Shakespeare was an English poet, a super talented playwright, an actor, and a dramatist. He is considered the greatest writer in the world of English literature or perhaps global literature.

William Shakespeare’s story starts from his birth in the year 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon.

His story progresses as he goes to Stratford's Kings New school which was a grammar school.

While no factual record exists that he went to ‘Kings New School’, many renowned biographers of the world believe so, as this was the only chartered school during the Shakespearean era.

At the age of 18, William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway who was 8 years older than him.

They had 3 children - the eldest daughter Susanna(born 1583) and twins Hamnet and Judith (born 1585).

The period from the year 1586 to 1591 is considered by many biographers as ‘lost-years’ of Shakespeare as little evidence is available regarding his life during these seven years.

Although the year 1592 marks his existence in the London theater scene.

As most of Shakespeare plays came on to the stage of London by 1592 so expert scholars and biographers believe that Shakespeare started writing somewhere between 1585 and 1592, mostly in the mid-1580s.

By 1594, Shakespeare’s plays started performing exclusively by the drama company Lord Chamberlain's Men. Shakespeare was a part-owner in the company.

After the death of Queen Elizabeth, the new King James I awarded a royal patent to the company and the company’s name was changed to King’s Men.

The company King’s Men made Shakespeare a wealthy man; evidence suggests that he bought the second-most expensive house in Stratford in 1597.

What is William Shakespeare famous for?

William Shakespeare has been an inspiration for male as well as female authors for centuries

During his lifetime, Shakespeare wrote 39 plays classified into the categories of history, comedy, and tragedy.

Shakespeare also wrote 154 sonnets which are poems on several themes.

For those of you who don’t know about Sonnets, they are poems of fourteen or more lines following a stern rhyme scheme and structure.

In addition to the above, Shakespeare is also credited with writing 3 narrative poems. As the name suggests, narrative poems narrate complex stories, they may be short or long but not necessarily rhyme.

Early in his career, Shakespeare wrote plays in comedy and history genres.

Most notable of them in the comedy category were ‘The Merchant of Venice’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘As you like it’, and ‘Twelfth Night’.

‘Richard III’ and three parts of Henry VI are the first recorded plays of Shakespeare in the history category.

However, the plays of Shakespeare that have been translated in almost every language since the 16th century till date and that are considered as his finest contribution to the world are Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, and last but not the least Romeo and Juliet.

Apart from being a successful playwright, he also acted in most of his plays.

Shakespeare died in the year 1616 on 23rd April at the age of 52.

The exact birth date of Shakespeare is unknown but is traditionally believed to be on 23rd April only which makes the date of his birth and his death the same.

Two of Shakespeare’s friends and colleagues from the company King’s Men released ‘First Folio’ that contained all the dramatic works written by him except two of his plays.

The volume begins with a poem written by Ben Jonson which contains the all-time famous quote about William Shakespeare - ‘not of an age, but for all time’.

This was William Shakespeare's biography in short and now, let’s move on to the William Shakespeare books.

What is the famous story of William Shakespeare?

With 39 plays written by William Shakespeare, the question is bound to pop about the most famous story of William Shakespeare.

While all the work of William Shakespeare is famous and I would recommend you to read all of them to get familiar with Shakespeare’s literature but to answer this question I put the top 10 Shakespeare stories list rated on Goodreads.


4.03/5, score - 56,677


3.91/5, score - 42,596

Romeo and Juliet

3.75/5, score - 40,895

A MidSummer’s Night Dream

3.95/5 , score - 32,236


3.9/5, score - 27,055

Much Ado About Nothing

4.06/5, score - 23,128

King Lear

3.91/5, score - 22,452

Twelfth Night

3.98/5, score - 161,104

The Tempest

3.8/5, score - 19,412

The Merchant of Venice

3.8/5, score - 18,758

Can a 13-year-old read Shakespeare?

I would say that a child’s future depends a lot on the intellectual areas he/she has explored in his childhood.

William Shakespeare is an institution in himself. 13 years is the right age for your child to get familiar with Shakespeare's famous books.

William Shakespeare’s writing triggers creative imagination in a child.

Not only imagination is necessary to excel in academics but if your child is going to make a career in any field of art, the creative imagination provided through reading Shakespeare novels can propel him to greater heights.

Growing years are the best time to read William Shakespeare.

The family feud, the hatred, greed, lies, and betrayal are all signs of immorality. We teach our children not to keep any of those inside the heart to live a good life.

Novels of Shakespeare such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear - even though they are tragic - teach a kid what the consequences could be when you follow the path of evil.

This is a positive message a child should strive to get from Shakespeare’s literature.

The culture of the future depends a lot on history.

William Shakespeare’s books are a good way to get your children familiar with culture prevalent centuries ago to instill good thoughts and intellect in them.

William Shakespeare’s Books

Each of Shakespeare's books is worth reading. Every Shakespeare book is a masterpiece in itself.

A bibliophile not only gets entertainment from a William Shakespeare book but they get to learn a lot. Beginner readers can use stories of Shakespeare to build a perpetual reading habit.

The proper use of characters, the twist in the tale, the visualization of the historical times, the epic portrayal of a tragic saga, and the brilliant use of the supernatural are a few skills that you can learn from William Shakespeare’s books.

A curated list of Shakespeare books will not only adorn your book collection but will also provide you a great reading experience.

I have tried my best to bring out such a list of books for you.


The tragedy is disturbing especially to a young man. Prince Hamlet has lost his father and his uncle Claudius has seized his father’s throne.

Apart from seizing the throne, Claudius has also quickly married his mother Gertrude.

Hamlet, grieving his father’s death and despairing Gertrude’s hasty remarriage, sees a ghost of the late king Hamlet who reveals to him that he was murdered by his brother Claudius.

Initially doubtful of the revelation by the ghost, Hamlet decides to feign madness behavior to dig the truth out and seeks revenge.

Isn’t the plot intriguing? Let me tell you that Hamlet is Shakespeare’s longest play with a total word count of 29,551.

Hamlet is the most performed play written by William Shakespeare. Believed to be written between 1599 and 1601, Hamlet is considered the most influential work in English literature.

A book reader of any age must read William Shakespeare stories of tragedy once during a lifetime and Hamlet is probably the best book to start with.

The Merchant of Venice

I read ‘The Merchant of Venice’ as a kid and let me tell you I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I won’t spoil the story for you other than giving you a brief account but what was wonderful in the story was how you can save someone based on a technicality.

Believed to be written between the year 1596 and 1599, the story is about Antonio, a merchant in Venice, who borrows money from a Jewish-lender Shylock under the contract that if he couldn’t pay the loan by the due date, Shylock would execute his right to extract a pound of flesh from Antonio’s body.

The Merchant of Venice is one of the famous works of William Shakespeare which is classified as comedy in the First Folio released in 1923.

The Merchant of Venice is one of the best Shakespeare books for children; the story is so good that even a 13-year-old will enjoy reading it.


You will find several lessons in Shakespeare stories.

Take for example Othello which gives three important lessons -

Never fall prey to jealousy and greed as both are capable of bringing the worst of you.

Do not trust blindly your confidant.

Dig deeper to find the truth as what seems visible to the naked eye may not be the truth.

Othello is another tragedy written by William Shakespeare. Othello was written by Shakespeare in 1603.

Othello is about characters Othello and Lago. Othello is a general in the Venetian army and Lago is his junior.

Othello married Desdemona, a beautiful Venetian girl, against the wishes of her father who got attracted to Othello when he told her stories of his life before coming to Venice.

The story takes its first turn towards tragedy when Othello promotes Cassio - his favorite young lad - over Lago.

Filled with jealousy Lago decides to take revenge against Othello.

I consider Othello another book that a 13-year-old should read as this classic Shakespeare work warns you about not becoming either Othello or Lago in real life.

Romeo and Juliet

All stories involving two young lovers madly in love with each other belonging to two families with a history of feud trace their origin to Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet was one of the early tragedy plays written by William Shakespeare.

However, you may not know that Shakespeare himself took the inspiration from ‘The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet’ by Arthur Brooke and ‘Palace of Pleasure’ written by William painter by 1567.

Romeo and Juliet is the story of two young people who cross paths and fall in love. However, their fate has different plans for them as they belong to two families with a history of the violent feud.

The end of Romeo and Juliet is tragic with only positives that their families reconcile.

Romeo and Juliet has inspired plays, books, movies, stage, opera centuries after centuries and continues to inspire artists.

'Romeo and Juliet' is also one of the most performed stories from Shakespeare after Hamlet.


Historians and biographers believe that William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth between 1603 and 1607.

Macbeth is the shortest tragedy written by Shakespeare.

Macbeth hints at the existence of a thin line between greed and ambition.

That thin line indeed defines your deeds.

When your deeds are good then you are on the path of fulfilling your ambition else you have chosen the evil path of greed.

Macbeth gives in to greed when he is told by three witches that he would become the King of Scotland.

Encouraged or I would rather say, provoked by his wife Lady Macbeth, he commits the horrible sin of murdering the king.

Tainted by his guilt and paranoia, Macbeth becomes a ruthless ruler unaware that he and his wife are rapidly approaching a painful tragic end.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare’s works in the comedy genre are an institution in itself.

No William Shakespeare books list can be complete without mentioning the comedies from Shakespeare.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the widely performed comedy plays of William Shakespeare.

The story is set in Athens and revolves around two characters Theseus and Hippolyta.

Theseus is the duke of Athens who has won Hippolyta, the Amazon queen and they are getting married.

The story has a few characters in two groups who fall to the manipulation of the fairies in the woods.

While the exact date of the first performance of the play is not known, biographers believe that A Midsummer Night’s Dream came onto the stage in either 1595 or 1596.

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night believed to be written around 1601-1602 is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare.

In Twelfth Night, Shakespeare beautifully portrayed the complexities of a Love Triangle.

The story is about Viola and Sebastian, who get separated as a result of a shipwreck.

Viola assumes the identity of a young man Cesario and starts working for the duke of Illyria, Orsino.

Duke Orsino is in love with Olivia who is a wealthy countess. Since Olivia is grieving the death of her mother hence she refuses to accept any marriage proposal.

Orsino uses Cesario (Viola) to act as a connection between him and Olivia through which Orsino can confess his love for Olivia.

The story then takes a dramatic turn when Olivia falls in love with Cesario who is Viola in disguise. To add to this drama further, Viola develops feelings for Duke Orsino as well.

Observe the love triangle here - Orsino loves Olivia, Olivia loves Cesario, and Cesario who is indeed Viola falls in love with Duke Orsino.

Richard III

Richard III is the conclusion to Shakespeare’s four-play series of Henry VI part I, Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3.

Richard III sends out a strong message that if one is going to couple ambition with misdeeds, lies, betrayal then one’s ambition will become his noose.

Overwhelmed with greed, Richard of Gloucester is on a killing spree to become the King of England after he kills Henry VI in ‘Henry VI part 3’.

Richard woos Lady Anne, a widow and the daughter-in-law of King Henry VI. Anne couldn’t resist his advances and thus marries him. Richard later gets her murdered as he finds her of no use to him.

Richard either kills or confines those people who could claim to the throne of England.

He confines his brother - the sick Edward IV, his nephews, the young Prince of Wales in the Tower of London.

After his brother gets killed by the disease, he becomes King Richard III.

Richard also executes the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Hastings who aided him in becoming the king by gathering the support of the people of London.

Like in most of Shakespeare's plays, supernatural powers appear in Richard’s dream to haunt him, a night before the battle with Henry Tudor. These are the spirits of those whom he murdered brutally.

The next day Henry Tudor kills him on the battlefield and becomes King Henry VI.

Richard III is believed to be written during the period around 1592-1594 but was first published in a quarto edition in 1597.

The First Folio puts Richard III in the category of history while the quarto edition of 1597 labels it as tragedy.

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

The genius of Shakespeare shouts out loud when you read Julius Caesar that was first performed in the year 1599.

After reading this book I am not sure with which character you are going to sympathize the most but I will give a brief account of the story to pique your interest.

Julius Caesar returns to Rome where a conspiracy to assassinate him is on the cards.

The mastermind of the conspiracy is Cassius who persuades and pulls Brutus - the friend of Julius Caesar - into the conspiracy as Cassius believes murdering

Caesar is the only way to stop him from becoming a tyrannical ruler.

Julius Caesar is stabbed as he goes to the senate even after being persuaded by his wife not to go because she had a prophecy of his terrible fate.

Mark Antony - the friend of Julius Caesar vows to avenge Caesar’s murder by appealing to the emotions of the common people of Rome.

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is labeled as both history and tragedy. This play appeals to your own emotions while you read it.

Much Ado About Nothing

One comedy of William Shakespeare that you will enjoy is Much Ado About Nothing.

This comedy written during the years 1598 and 1599 proves the genius of Shakespeare as a writer.

The story is about two pairs of lovers - Claudio and Hero, Beatrice and Benedick.

Claudio loves Hero but is made to believe by the main villain Don John that Hero is unfaithful to Claudio.

Claudio as a result of constant incitement refuses to marry her until the wrong intentions of Don John are revealed in the climax.

Meanwhile, the wit of both Benedick and Beatrice leads to a few comedy situations in the story.

Both fall to a ruse by their friends and confess their love for each other.

The work of William Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing is phenomenal.

The exchange of words between Benedick and Beatrice, the weakening relationship of Claudio and Hero are the main sources of entertainment in the story.

The Taming Of The Shrew

Another comedy by William Shakespeare involves a play within a play.

The actual play ‘The Taming of The Shrew’ is told by a nobleman to a drunken man Christopher Sly after he tricks him to believe that Sly himself is a nobleman.

Baptista of Padua wants his elder daughter Katherina to marry before Bianca, his younger daughter.

Petruchio arrives in Padua in search of a rich wife and his eyes get set on Katherina who is a shrew.

Petruchio is witty and clever. His manners attract Katherina towards him even though initially Katherina was disapproving of him.

Petruchio begins the process of taming Katrina. He yells at servants to demonstrate how anger can look so ill-mannered.

Petruchio also stops her from eating and drinking to control her anger. Eventually

Katherina learns that it is in her interest to obey Petruchio.

Modern readers have criticized ‘The Taming of The Shrew’ as ‘misogynistic’ but if you want to read this comedy work of William Shakespeare for entertainment then you must go for it.

Scholars believe that Shakespeare wrote this play between 1590 and 1592.

All’s Well That Ends Well

One of the problem plays of William Shakespeare in which you will find it difficult to categorize the narrative tone.

No evidence suggests any particular year in which William Shakespeare wrote this play, however, many historians believe that the play was written between 1601 and 1605.

Helena, the daughter of a physician, wants Bertram as her husband.

Helena cures the king of France of a serious illness who as a return of favor asks Bertram to marry Helena.

Bertram gives in to the demand of the King and reluctantly marries Helena.

Immediately after the ceremony he leaves for Tuscany and informs Helena that until she takes the ring from his finger and conceives a child, Helena can’t consider him as her spouse.

Helena follows Bertram to Florence only to find that he is in a romantic relationship with Diana. She plays the bed trick and substitutes herself with Diana.

As You Like It

The work of William Shakespeare, classified as a comedy, will certainly make you smile.

As You Like It is one particular work of William Shakespeare that I suggest you definitely read.

Believed to be written and performed around 1598-1600, As You Like It is about a girl Rosalind whose father’s throne has been usurped by his brother Fredrick.

Rosalind falls in love with Orlando who flees to the Forest of Arden fearing being murdered by his older brother Oliver.

Soon, Rosalind is given an exile to the forest too. Rosalind goes to the Forest of Arden with her cousin Celia and finds Orlando there.

But now she is disguised as a man - Ganymede.

Oliver reaches the forest too to kill Orlando but he has a change of heart after Orlando saves him from being eaten by a lioness. He falls in love with Celia.

Isn’t a brief account of this story by William Shakespeare intriguing enough to get your hands on the book?

The Winter’s Tales

When you are collecting famous Shakespeare books to fill a section in your bookshelf then you want to add ‘The Winter’s Tales’ to it also.

This work of William Shakespeare is categorized as ‘problem plays’ because of the change in the tone of the story between the first and the second half.

Like all the other brief accounts of the stories of Shakespeare that you have read in this blog, you must be excited to know what is the story of The Winter’s Tales.

Well, keep reading -

Leontes, the king of Sicilia, is doubtful of his wife - Hermione - being unfaithful to him. He believes that Hermione is having a physical relationship with his friend Polixenes - the king of Bohemia.

Leontes sends Camillo to kill Polixenes but instead Polixenes flees with Camillo.

Leontes accuses Hermione of adultery and he imprisons her.

In the jail, Hermione gives birth to a baby girl whom Leontes rejects and orders her to be abandoned in a wild place.

Seeing the ill situation of her mother Hermione’s elder son dies followed by her death.

Leontes has lost all precious people around him and is now captured by sad loneliness.

What happened to Hermione’s daughter after she was abandoned?

Did Leontes realize his mistakes?

Was her son’s death the only reason behind Hermione’s death?

To get answers to these questions I suggest you read The Winter’s Tales, one of the amazing Shakespeare famous books.

Shakespeare wrote this play around 1609-1611 but it was first found published in the First Folio in 1623.

Henry V

If you want to see a piece of history from the eyes of Shakespeare then I suggest you buy the book Henry V.

The play Henry V written around 1599 is about Prince Hal, known as Henry V.

The king, as advised by his counselors and ministers, embarks upon a journey to win France with a disorganized army leading to the Battle of Agincourt.

Despite the army of King Henry V much smaller in might than that of the French, the English win over the French.

The play focuses on the events before and after the battle with the fighting happening offstage.

The play is the final episode in the historical quadrilogy that follows Richard II, Henry IV part 1, and Henry IV Part 2.

First Folio

The colleagues of William Shakespeare put together all the works of William Shakespeare in a folio format and published them in 1923 as First Folio.

The first folio was published seven years after the death of William Shakespeare and is also known as Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies.

The First Folio is believed to be the most trustworthy text of William Shakespeare’s plays.

Around 18 of Shakespeare's plays were already published during his lifetime in quartos but most of them contained defective pieces of writing, missing lines and other flaws.

18 of Shakespeare’s plays such as The Tempest, As You Like It, The Taming Of The Shrew, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, All’s Well That Ends Well had no evidence of being printed in quarto.

They first appeared in the First Folio. If the First Folio hadn’t been printed we wouldn’t have been able to read them.

Historians believe that a total of 750 copies of the First Folio were published out of which only 233 remain today. Two of the surviving copies were discovered in 2016.

The front page of the First Folio has the most authentic portrait of William Shakespeare. The artist Martin Droeshout engraved it on the title page.

The Tempest

In the list of William Shakespeare books, ‘The Tempest’ holds an important place because of its amazing storyline that involves the Duke of Milan, Prospero along with his three-year-old daughter Miranda who has been stranded on an island.

The Tempest is believed to be the last solo play of William Shakespeare.

The opening scene of the play is fantastic in which you find a ship being caught in a violent storm and everything on the ship is in chaos.

The storm has been raised by Ariel, a spirit, and by the magic of Prospero himself.

Ariel is the spirit whom Prospero freed years ago from the wicked grip of sorceress Sycorax.

Prospero also finds Sycorax’s son Caliban whom he brings under his care until Caliban tries to rape Miranda.

Prospero then makes Caliban his slave using his magic.

The storm raised in the first scene of ‘The Tempest’ is to cast away the people on the ship to the same island on which Prospero lives.

The people on the ship include Prospero’s brother Antonio, who overthrew his throne years ago, his aid and the King of Naples Alonso, Alonso’s son Ferdinand, and his brother Sebastian.

Several events follow after they arrive on the island that eventually lead to a happy ending. I definitely won’t spoil your fun by mentioning them here.

Reading ‘The Tempest’ is going to give you pure entertainment and yes, the story is perfect for a 13 year old to read. In fact, in a certain aspect the book does a job of providing education to children.

A good collection of Shakespeare books must have ‘The Tempest’ in it which is thought to be written around 1611 by the famous William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

The work of William Shakespeare goes beyond writing plays.

If you are deeply interested in the work of Shakespeare then you won’t want to skip reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets are a collection of poems by William Shakespeare on themes like love, disloyalty, unfaithfulness, jealousy, beauty, the passage of time, nobility, morality, and various others.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets is a collection of 154 poems that was first published in 1609 in the quarto format.

‘Shakespeare’s Sonnets’ consists of poems that are addressed to a young man and a woman.

In fact, the first 126 poems are addressed to a young man, and the last 28 are addressed to a woman; to be specific - a dark lady.

Researchers and scholars say that around 13 copies of the quarto published in 1609 still exist and are held at the John Rylands Library, The University of Manchester.

King Lear

King Lear is the work of Shakespeare that will make tears roll down your eyes.

King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare that is believed to be written around 1605-1606.

King Lear wants to retire from his throne and thus declares to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia based on who loves him the most.

While Goneril and Regan throw speeches boasting their love for the King, Cordelia remains honest and says only a few words about her love for King Lear.

The King considers Cordelia’s speech as insincere and disinherits her. He distributes her share between Goneril and Regan.

The love shown in their speeches by the two daughters was fake. They refuse to take care of King Lear after getting their share.

This affects King Lear, throwing him into a state of insanity.

Cordelia marries the King of France who was impressed by Cordelia’s honesty.

The French army invades the kingdom of Lear which reunites Cordelia with the abandoned King Lear.

Cordelia shows her true love for her father by taking care of him, which betters the condition of the King but they are soon imprisoned as the French army gets defeated.

The events that follow after make a reader overwhelmed.

I am sure you are curious to know the remaining plot but I recommend you read the story directly from the book as your experience of knowing it through Shakespeare’s literature will be much better.

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra is a tragic Shakespeare story characterized by war, truce, greed, love, and betrayal.

You will go through different emotions while reading this masterpiece from Shakespeare’s literature.

This heart-wrenching work of Shakespeare is certain to evoke mixed emotions and will kill your boredom. I recommend you read it on a boring Sunday afternoon.

Mark Antony, a Roman military leader and a triumvir, is madly in love with the queen of Egypt, Cleopatra.

Antony goes back to Rome after learning about the death of his third wife, Fulvia, who rebelled against Octavius, another triumvir.

Upon returning to Rome, Antony and Octavius put all their disagreements to rest when Antony marries Octavius’s sister Octavia.

Cleopatra gets furious after learning about Antony’s marriage and punishes the messenger.

Octavius enters a truce with Sextus Pompey, waging the war against whom he called Antony to Rome. Seeing the truce Antony leaves for Alexandria to reunite with Cleopatra.

But Octavius breaks the truce and wages a war against Sextus, which Antony doesn’t appreciate.

Mark Antony thus declares a navy war - Battle of Actium - against Octavius, with Antony’s fleet aided by Cleopatra’s.

And here happens the unexpected, Cleopatra flees the battle with her sixty ships. Antony, madly in love with Cleopatra, follows her leaving his navy.

Much follows after Antony meets Cleopatra again but you must read the whole story from the book to know the climax as well as the end.

I promise that you will be moved by the story and the character exploration of Cleopatra by William Shakespeare. A good book to have in your Shakespeare books collection.

Antony and Cleopatra is thought to be written around 1606-1607 and is believed to be one of Shakespeare’s richest plays.

William Shakespeare books in order

While the years in which Shakespeare wrote any particular play is not exactly known or proved, researchers and historians have given periods related to particular plays.

Based on the commonly established periods, below are the William Shakespeare books in order.

This is also the list of complete works of Shakespeare.

Henry VI Part 1 (1589 - 90)

Henry VI Part 2 (1590 - 91)

Henry VI Part 3 (1590 - 91)

The Taming of the Shrew (1590 - 92)

Richard III (1592-94)

The Comedy Of Errors (1592 - 93)

Titus Andronicus (1593 - 94)

The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594 - 95)

Love’s Labour’s Lost (1594 - 95)

Romeo and Juliet (1591 - 95)

Richard II (1595 - 96)

A Midnight’s Summer Dream (1595 - 96)

King John (1596 - 97)

The Merchant of Venice (1596 - 99)

Henry IV Part I (1597 - 98)

Henry IV Part II (1597 - 98)

Much Ado About Nothing (1598 - 99)

Henry V (1598 - 99)

Julius Caesar (1598 - 99)

As You Like It (1598 - 1600)

Hamlet (1599 - 1601)

The Merry wives of Windsor (1600 - 01)

Twelfth night (1601 - 1602)

Troilus and Cressida (1601 - 02)

All's well that ends well (1601 - 05)

Othello (1603)

Macbeth (1603-07)

Measure For Measure. (1604 - 05)

King Lear (1605-06)

Antony and Cleopatra

Coriolanus (1607-08)

Timon of Athens (1607-08)

Pericles (1608-09)

Cymbeline (1609-10)

The Winter's Tale (1609-11)

The Tempest (1611-12)

Henry VIII (1612-13)

The Two Noble Kinsmen (1612-13)

Poems and First Folio

Shakespeare’s Sonnets 1609 (Quarto)

First Folio 1623

In what order should I read William Shakespeare?

While this depends on your interest, I would tell you the story of William Shakespeare that acted as my gateway into Shakespeare's literature.

The book was ‘The Merchant of Venice’. The story was entertaining and hooked me to the book.

As a newbie to the world of Shakespeare, you should start with comedies such as Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or The Tempest.

If you are thinking of starting with Shakespeare tragedy books then Hamlet is the one I would recommend followed by Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and Othello.

Save the history books for last.

You have now reached the end of this long article.

If you made it here then you are a great reader and a lot of positive things are going to happen to you in the future.

That was the list of Shakespeare books that you must read in your lifetime to know the genius of this great playwright, and poet.

I would like to know which of these books from the list you have read already?

Which is the next Shakespeare book that you would like to read?

Any other books that you want to be added to this list?

Do let me know in the comments.

Also Read

Spanish bookstores in New York City

Best French bookstores in New York City

51 Famous female authors of all time

Where to sell used books in New York City

12 Best Bookstores in New York City

4 Awesome features of the Japan Education system

6 best features of the Finland education system

Why education is important?

A book reader can't afford to not know about the World Book Day

Leave Comments here