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Shakespeare: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
5 Romantic Shakespeare Sonnets
The Shakespeare sonnets are considered by many to be the most romantic poems ever written. We pick out the top 5 Shakespeare sonnets to get you into a romantic mood.
What Is a Sonnet?
The sonnet is a poem written in a strict poetic form that was very popular during Shakespeare’s lifetime. Here we identify the characteristics of a sonnet.
Sonnet 18 - Study Guide
In our Study Guide to Sonnet 18: 'Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?', you'll find everything you need to understand this classic sonnet.
Shakespeare's Time
The renaissance was in full swing during Shakespeare's time and the Bard was a product of the huge cultural shifts occurring at the time.
Sonnet Examples
Looking for Shakespeare sonnet examples? We bring you a collection of Shakespeare’s most renowned sonnets as examples.
Introducing Iambic Pentameter
Iambic pentameter is the meter that Shakespeare nearly always used when writing in verse. This guide tells you everything you need to know about iambic pentameter. Read on.
Iago Analysis
This Iago analysis provides detailed study notes for the character of Iago. Analysis and commentary for Shakespeare's 'Othello'.
Macbeth's Ambition
In 'Macbeth', ambition is presented as a dangerous quality. It causes the downfall of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and triggers a series of deaths in 'Macbeth'. Ambition is the driving force of the play as this analysis reveals.
'Hamlet' Summary – What Happens in...
This condensed version of 'Hamlet' captures the essence of Shakespeare’s longest play.
The 3 Types of Plays Shakespeare Wrote
What Types of Plays Did Shakespeare Write? The answer is revealed here along with other essential facts about Shakespeare's plays.
Iambic Pentameter Examples
This collection of iambic pentameter examples from Shakespeare’s plays reveals how much the Bard used Iambic Pentameter. Examples are drawn from a range of plays.
Revenge in ‘Hamlet’
Why doesn’t Hamlet take revenge? Discover how the theme of revenge in ‘Hamlet’ drives the narrative of the play.
Shakespeare Words
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Shakespeare's Death
Discover the facts surrounding Shakespeare's death in 1616. Where did Shakespeare die and what could have caused Shakespeare’s death?
Common Phrases Invented by Shakespeare
You have probably quoted Shakespeare thousands of times without realizing it. His writing lives on in our everyday language - testament to his powerful influence over the English language.
Fate in 'Romeo and Juliet'
Are Romeo and Juliet fated to fall in love and die from the very start? Discover how fate permeates the events and speeches of 'Romeo and Juliet'.
Love in 'Romeo and Juliet'
'Romeo and Juliet' has become forever associated with love. But Shakespeare's treatment of this theme is complex and multifaceted.
Shakespeare Tragedies
The Shakespeare tragedies share a number of common features, as this introduction to the Shakespeare tragedies reveals.
Theater Experience in Shakespeare's Lifetime
Exploring the context of Shakespeare's theater and the theater experience in Shakespeare's lifetime gives you a fuller understanding of his plays. Shakespeare wasn't writing for today's literary audience; he was writing for the masses, many of whom couldn't read or write. Dicover the theater experience in Shakespeare's lifetime
'The Tempest' Summary
This ‘The Tempest’ summary captures the essence of Shakespeare’s most magical play. ‘The Tempest’ summary is an ideal study .
Sonnet 116 Study Guide
Find out why Sonnet 116 is one of Shakespeare's most famous and popular poems. Our study guide to Sonnet 116 provides translations and a sonnet analysis.
Shakespeare Comedy
What are the common characteristics of a Shakespeare comedy? Our guide shows you how to identify a Shakespeare comedy.
Macbeth's Guilt
In 'Macbeth', guilt is an important theme because it softens Macbeth's callousness. This article reveals how in 'Macbeth' guilt becomes a stumbling block for both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Plays by Shakespeare
What are the top 5 plays by Shakespeare? Find out in our top picks list and see if your favorite plays by Shakespeare are included.
Tragedy, Comedy, History?
Not sure which Shakespeare play is a tragedy, comedy or history? Find out here with a comprehensive list that sorts every Shakespeare play by tragedy, comedy and history.
Sonnet 29 Study Guide
Our study guide to Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 provides translations and a sonnet analysis. Find out why Sonnet 29 is considered one of Shakespeare’s greatest poems but is also described as 'fluff' by others.
What Year Did Shakespeare Write ‘Romeo...
What Year Did Shakespeare Write ‘Romeo and Juliet’? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
List of Shakespeare Plays
A complete, chronological list of Shakespeare plays. This list of Shakespeare plays brings together all 38 plays in the order in which they were first performed.
Plot Summary for 'Much Ado About Nothing'
A plot summary and scene-by-scene breakdown of Much Ado About Nothing.
Lady Macbeth Character Analysis
This Lady Macbeth character analysis introduces one of Shakespeare’s best female villains and asks if her presentation is misogynistic.
Romeo - A Character Profile
Romeo and Juliet are literature's most famous lovers. Read our character profile of Romeo here.
Introducing Shakespeare's Women
Discover how Shakespeare presented women in his plays and what this says about the Bard's view of women and their status in Elizabethan and Jacobean society.
Juliet - A Character Profile
Romeo and Juliet are literature's most famous lovers. Read our character profile of Juliet here.
Shakespeare Biography
This Shakespeare biography reveals the life and times of William Shakespeare. Amazingly, historians know very little about his life. This Shakespeare biography looks at the surviving evidence and paints a picture of the world’s most famous playwright.
Types of Female Characters in Shakespeare
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Sonnet 18
Read the complete text to Sonnet 18
'Macbeth' Quiz - How well do you know 'Macbeth'?
'Macbeth' Quiz - How well do you know 'Macbeth'? Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript
Othello Character Analysis
This Othello character analysis provides the perfect study guide to the charismatic title character from Shakespeare’s Othello.
Capulet
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Famous Shakespeare Quotes
Discover the top 10 famous Shakespeare quotes from the world's greatest poet and dramatist. Famous Shakespeare quotes come from great plays like 'Hamlet' and 'Romeo and Juliet'.
Hamlet Character Analysis
This Hamlet character analysis reveals Shakespeare’s most complex character. Explore Hamlet’s emotional turmoil in our Hamlet Character Analysis.
Montague-Capulet Feud
The Montague-Capulet feud dominates 'Romeo and Juliet' and helps drive the plot to its tragic ending. But, who's who in the Montague-Capulet feud? This article lists the play's characters by family.
'Macbeth' Witches
The 'Macbeth' witches are essential to the plot of 'Macbeth' because their prophesies drive Macbeth’s thirst for power and enable Lady Macbeth to pursue her own ambitions.
Desdemona and Othello
The relationship between Desdemona and Othello is central to Shakespeare’s 'Othello'. This character analysis explores Desdemona and Othello.
Sonnet 73 Study Guide
Our study guide to Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 provides translations and a sonnet analysis. In Sonnet 73, the poet is concerned with his own mortality.
Macbeth Character Analysis
Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most intense and attractive villains. However, as this Macbeth character analysis reveals, he is a complex and multi-faceted character.
Character Profiles for 'Much Ado About Nothing'
Who's who in 'Much Ado'? Read our character profiles here.
Shakespeare Love Quotes
Discover the top 10 Shakespeare love quotes with the world's most romantic poet and dramatist. Shakespeare is responsible for 'Romeo and Juliet' and Sonnet 18, the greatest love story and poetry ever written.
Major Themes in 'Much Ado About Nothing'
An analysis of the major themes in Much Ado About Nothing.
Character Analysis – Puck, 'A Midsummer...
A character analysis of Puck, A Midsummer Night's Dream's most magical character. Discover Shakespeare's most mischievous sprite in our in-depth character analysis.
Oberon and Titania – Character Analysis
Oberon and Titania from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' are central characters. This character analysis will help you understand these complex characters.
Death in 'Hamlet'
Discover how the theme of death permeates ‘Hamlet’ from the very start.
Sonnet 1 – Study Guide
Find out why Sonnet 1 is the first of Shakespeare's 17 poems that explore the issue of procreation in our study guide to Shakespeare's Sonnet 1. Expect to find analysis and translations.
Shakespeare Histories
The Shakespeare histories share a number of common features, as this introduction to the Shakespeare histories reveals.
Globe Theatre Facts
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London is a remarkable building with a remarkable history. Here are our top five interesting Globe Theatre facts.
'The Tempest' Power Relationships
In 'The Tempest', power and control are dominant themes. Many of the characters are locked into a power struggle for their freedom and for control of the island.
How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write Altogether?
How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write Altogether? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
Montague
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'Othello' Themes
What are the main themes in 'Othello'? We examine the top 'Othello' themes, including race, jealousy and duplicity.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
A brief history of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London from 1598 to the present day. Discover Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Anne Hathaway – William Shakespeare's Wife
Who was Anne Hathaway? Read our biography for Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare's wife.
'Romeo and Juliet' Study Guide
Our 'Romeo and Juliet' study guide and Summary is the best place to kick-start your study of Shakespeare's best loved play. Find out why 'Romeo and Juliet' has been so enduring.
'King Lear' Themes
This guide to 'King Lear' themes explores key themes in 'King Lear' including justice, madness, nature and blindness.
Introducing Prose
Shakespeare moved between verse and prose in his writing to give his characters more depth and vary the overall rhythmic structure of his plays. His treatment of prose is as skillful as his verse.
'Hamlet' Themes
Read about all of the main 'Hamlet' themes with our concise 'Hamlet' theme guide. The 'Hamlet' themes covered include revenge, death, uncertainly and the state of Denmark.
How Many Sonnets Did Shakespeare Write?
How Many Sonnets Did Shakespeare Write? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
Scene Breakdown for 'Romeo and Juliet'
A scene-by-scene breakdown for the greatest love story ever told.
Caliban
Prospero is one of Shakespeare's most memorable and magical characters, yet it is sometimes difficult for an audience to identify with him, as this Prospero character analysis reveals.
Popular Sonnets by William Shakespeare
We bring you the complete texts of the three most popular sonnets by William Shakespeare together with commentary on what makes them such popular sonnets.
Prospero
Prospero is one of Shakespeare's most memorable and magical characters, yet it is sometimes difficult for an audience to identify with him, as this Prospero character analysis reveals.
Helena and Demetrius – Character Analysis
Discover the lovers from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' with our character analysis of Helena and Demetrius.
Shakespeare Quotations Quiz - Test Your...
Know Your Shakespeare Quotations? Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript turned on. Please
What Was Shakespeare's First Play?
What Was Shakespeare's First Play? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
Portia from 'The Merchant of Venice' -...
Discover Portia from 'The Merchant of Venice' is one of Shakespeare’s most loved characters.
The Shakespearian Sonnet
The Shakespearian Sonnet has had a long and confusing history. We ask to whom they were dedicated, how they have been misprinted over the years, and question whether Shakespeare even want them published in the first place?
Magic in 'The Tempest'
How does Shakespeare use magic in The Tempest? Find out the key ways in which magic is used in The Tempest.
How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write?
How many plays did Shakespeare write? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
Where was Shakespeare Born?
Find out when and where Shakespeare was born – and what happened to the house in which he was born.
Shakespeare
Think you know the Bard? Here are 5 facts about Shakespeare to get you thinking. How many did you know?
Shakespeare Plays
Shakespeare Plays - Our collection of study guides to Shakespeare Plays are designed to accompany your own reading. They are an ideal way to introduce newcomers and immerse more experienced readers deeper into Shakespeare Plays.
King Lear Character Analysis
A King Lear Character Analysis that outlines the essential study points for your King Lear Character Analysis.
Sonnet Summary
Shakespeare’s sequence of 154 sonnets should be read together because they interlock and create a narrative.
'Macbeth' Study Guide
Our 'Macbeth' study guide is the ultimate guide to Shakespeare's shortest play. Find out why 'Macbeth' is Shakespeare’s most widely studied play in our 'Macbeth' study guide.
Sonnet 29
The complete text to Shakespeare's sonnet 29 - When, In Disgrace With Fortune And Men's Eyes.
Shakespeare Popular for 400 Years
Why has Shakespeare been popular for over 400 years? We look at the secret to his success.
Emilia from Othello
Our character analysis of Emilia from 'Othello' clearly explains everything you need to know about this strong character from Shakespeare's 'Othello'.
What Tragedies Did Shakespeare Write?
What Tragedies Did Shakespeare Write? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
'Hamlet' Study Guide
Your ultimate 'Hamlet' study guide to Shakespeare's longest play. Find out why 'Hamlet' has stood the test of time and is considered to be one of the best plays ever written in our 'Hamlet' study guide.
How to Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday
Want to throw your own Shakespeare birthday party? Here’s our top 5 ways to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday.
Audition Etiquette
Auditioning for a Shakespeare play? Read our tips on audition etiquette beforehand and land the part.
Shakespeare for Beginners
Are you a Shakespeare newbie? Discover the Bard for the first time with our Shakespeare for Beginners FAQ.
Top 5 Shakespeare Characters
Shakespeare characters – Who's made it into our top 5 list of Shakespeare characters? Find out with our essential guide to the best Shakespeare characters.
Theseus and Hippolyta – Character Analysis
Theseus and Hippolyta are the rulers in Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Discover more with our Theseus and Hippolyta character analysis.
Shakespeare Authorship Debate
Shakespeare Authorship - Shakespeare's true identity is in dispute. Explore the main theories surrounding the Shakespeare authorship debate and reach your own conclusion on who wrote Shakespeare.
Love in Shakespeare
A theme analysis of love in Shakespeare. Drawing from key plays and sonnets, this love in Shakespeare analysis is the perfect study companion.
What Was William Shakespeare's First Play?
What Was William Shakespeare's First Play? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
Ariel
Need to know about Ariel in 'The Tempest'? Our characters analysis of Ariel in 'The Tempest' reveals all about Shakespeare’s most magical spirit.
‘Hamlet’ Act 1 Scene Guide
‘Hamlet’ Act 1 scene guide - This ‘Hamlet’ Act 1 scene breakdown guides you through Act 1 of Shakespeare’s longest play.
Hermia and her Father – Character Analysis
Hermia and her Father from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' are central characters. This character analysis will help you unpick the relationship between these complex characters.
'Macbeth' Summary
What happens in 'Macbeth'? The story of Shakespeare's most intense tragedy is condensed into this 'Macbeth' summary, capturing the essence of the Bard's shortest play.
About Shakespeare Plays
The ultimate guide to Shakespeare’s plays - Everything you need to know about Shakespeare plays in one place.
Shakespeare Lost Years
The gaps in Shakespeare’s biography have become known as the Shakespeare lost years. Our guide explores the main theories surrounding the Bard’s activities and whereabouts during the Shakespeare lost years.
Fair Youth Sonnets
What are the Fair Youth Sonnets? The first 126 of Shakespeare’s sonnets are addressed to the fair youth with whom the poet has a deep and loving friendship.
Shakespearean Verse
In the first of a regular series, Duncan Fewins shows you how to bring Shakespeare to life in the classroom and drama studio. We start with a practical approach to an old question: how do you speak Shakespearian verse?
What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote?
What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote? Discover the answer on the Shakespeare pages of About.com alongside your other essential Shakespeare questions.
Sonnet 73
The complete text to Shakespeare's sonnet 73 - That Time Of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold.
Regan and Gonerill from King Lear: Character...
Regan and Goneril from 'King Lear'. In this character profile, we take a close look at Regan and Goneril from 'King Lear'.
'Much Ado About Nothing' - Study Guide
In our Much Ado About Nothing Study Guide, you'll find everything you need to understand this Shakespearean classic.
Love in 'As You Like It'
Shakespeare presents us with many different types of love in 'As You Like It'. We explain each type of love in 'As You Like It' clearly and concisely.
Other Themes in 'Hamlet'
Find out why the state of Denmark, sexuality, incest and uncertainty are all important themes in 'Hamlet'.
Roderigo and Cassio from 'Othello'
Roderigo and Cassio are important characters from Shakespeare's 'Othello'. Our character analysis of Roderigo and Cassio reveals all.
Performing Shakespeare
Ben Crystal is the author of 'Shakespeare on Toast', a new book that dispels the myth that Shakespeare is difficult. Here, he shares his thoughts about performing Shakespeare and reveals his top tips for first-time actors.
Dark Lady Sonnets
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'The Tempest' Play Guide
'The Tempest' play - Discover Shakespeare’s most imaginative and magical play with our 'The Tempest' play guide
'The Tempest' Themes
Read about all of the main 'The Tempest' themes with our concise 'The Tempest' theme guide. The 'The Tempest' themes covered include morality, power, control and fairness.
'Othello' Act 3, Scenes 1-3 Summary
To aid your study of Shakespeare's 'Othello', we have put together scene summaries. Here, we delve into 'Othello' Act 3, Scenes 1, 2 and 3. Enjoy!
How to Read Shakespeare Aloud
Shakespeare made reading his plays aloud as easy as possible. Everything an actor needs is right there in the dialogue – you just need to know what you’re looking for
'As You Like It' Setting: Forest Vs Court
In 'As You Like It', setting is very important. This article compares how the forest and the court are presented and considers what this says about the class struggle at the heart of the play.
Shakespeare Soliloquy
This month our columnist shows you how to develop the perfect Shakespeare soliloquy.
‘Hamlet’ Act 3 Scene Guide
‘Hamlet’ Act 3 scene guide - This ‘Hamlet’ Act 3 scene breakdown guides you through Act 3 of Shakespeare’s longest play.
'Othello' Act 1, Scenes 1-2 Summary
Our scene by scene summary of Shakespeare's 'Othello' Act 1 (Scenes 1-2) is the perfect study guide for anyone embarking on this complex play.
Shakespeare Quiz
Do you think you know your Shakespeare? Our Shakespeare quiz can be used as a study aid – or just for fun! Whatever your reason, select from one of the Shakespeare quizzes below and put your knowledge to the test.
Cordelia from King Lear: Character Profile
Cordelia from 'King Lear'. In this character profile, we take a close look at Cordelia from 'King Lear'.
Shylock Character Analysis
Our Shylock Character Analysis reveals everything you need to know about this infamous character from William Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'. Enjoy!
Shakespeare Authorship Controversy
The Shakespeare authorship controversy has been raging for years. We bring the key facts and historical evidence behind the Shakespeare authorship controversy.
Lysander from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'...
Lysander is one of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream's' most likable characters, as this Lysander character analysis shows.
Other Characters in 'Romeo and Juliet'
A guide to the other characters in 'Romeo and Juliet' including profiles for Friar Lawrence, Mercutio, Paris, The Prince, Friar John and Rosaline.
Shakespeare Timeline
This Shakespeare timeline covers all the significant events that shaped Shakespeare's life. When was 'Hamlet' written? When did Shakespeare get married? Find out all this and more with our Shakespeare timeline.
Shakespeare Sources
The stories told in Shakespeare’s plays are not original. We reveal the main Shakespeare sources used to write the plays.
'Macbeth' Quiz Results
'Macbeth' Quiz - How well do you know 'Macbeth'? Thanks for taking our 'Macbeth' quiz. Suggested Reading:
Shakespeare's Grave
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Facts About Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'
Discover the top facts you should know about Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' in our concise guide tot he key elements that made Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' so enduring.
'Macbeth' Themes
Read about all of the main 'Macbeth' themes with our concise 'Macbeth' theme guide. The 'Macbeth' themes covered include ambition and guilt.
‘Hamlet’ Act 5 Scene Guide
‘Hamlet’ Act 5 scene guide - This ‘Hamlet’ Act 5 scene breakdown guides you through Act 5 of Shakespeare’s longest play.
Sonnet 1
The complete text to Shakespeare's Sonnet 1 - From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase.
'As You Like It' – Summary
Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' has a complex plot. Unpick it with our 'As You Like It' summary and understand the events of the play.
'Hamlet' Scene Breakdown
This 'Hamlet' Scene-by-Scene Breakdown guides you through Shakespeare’s longest play
Was Shakespeare Homosexual?
One question has sparked controversy for years: was Shakespeare homosexual? This article looks at the facts and asks if Shakespeare was homosexual.
'The Tempest' Analysis
Study 'The Tempest' with our 'The Tempest' analysis. This 'The Tempest' analysis discusses Shakespeare’s presentation of morality and fairness in the play.
Valentine's Day Poem
Are you looking for the most romantic Valentine’s Day poem ever? Then look no further than Shakespeare’s greatest, most heart-tingling sonnet. It’s perfect for a Valentine’s Day poem! Read on.
Shakespeare Language Guide
Shakespeare was using the everyday language of his time. Our Shakespeare language guide helps you get to grips with his use of language and explains the techniques and conventions he used. Discover the Bard with our Shakespeare language guide.
Information About William Shakespeare
Need information about William Shakespeare? We bring together all the essential information about William Shakespeare in one place!
'King Lear': Act 3 Analysis (Scenes 1-4)
More in-depth analysis for Shakespeare's 'King Lear', Act 3 (Scenes 1-4). Analysis to help you study and enjoy Shakespeare's 'King Lear'.
Shakespeare's Language
The Royal Shakespeare Company's voice coach, Lyn Darnley, shares her love of Shakespeare's language and reveals why Shakespeare's writing has been so enduring.
'King Lear': Act 1, Scene 1 Analysis
In depth play analysis for Shakespeare's 'King Lear', Act 1, Scene 1. Analysis of the key plot developments and themes is designed to help your study of Shakespeare's 'King Lear'.
Globe Theatre Pictures
Explore Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Pictures from this outstanding building can give you a real insight into the world of William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare Lesson Plans
Free Shakespeare lesson plans. Our free collection of Shakespeare lesson plans and workshop ideas has been designed for teachers looking to breathe new life into Shakespeare’s plays. Our Shakespeare lesson plans are written by our resident expert.
'Romeo and Juliet' Characters
Analysis and commentary on all the main 'Romeo and Juliet' characters including Romeo, Juliet and other 'Romeo and Juliet' characters.
'The Tempest' Act 1
Our summary for 'The Tempest' Act 1 is the perfect study guide to the opening act of Shakespeare's most magical play. 'The Tempest' Act 1 Summary and Analysis.

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