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Shakespeare: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
5 Most 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.
How Ambition Causes Macbeth’s Downfall
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.
'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
What Makes Shakespeare’s Tragedies Tragic?
The Shakespeare tragedies share a number of common features, as this introduction to the Shakespeare tragedies reveals.
How the Renaissance Affected Shakespeare
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.
What Happens in "Hamlet"?
This condensed version of 'Hamlet' captures the essence of Shakespeare’s longest play.
How Shakespeare Uses Revenge in “Hamlet&r...
Why doesn’t Hamlet take revenge? Discover how the theme of revenge in ‘Hamlet’ drives the narrative of the play.
How Shakespeare Uses Meter
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.
Study Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18
A study guide to Shakespeare's love poem, 'Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?' including study questions.
Everything You Need to Know About Iambic...
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.
What Types of Plays Did Shakespeare Write?
What Types of Plays Did Shakespeare Write? The answer is revealed here along with other essential facts about Shakespeare's plays.
Why Guilt Is So Important in “Macbeth&rdq...
An analysis of guilt in Shakespeare's tragedy. It softens Macbeth's callousness and, though unconscious for Lady Macbeth, makes her life unbearable.
Top 10 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.
Shakespeare's Top 3 Love Sonnets
Looking for Shakespeare sonnet examples? We bring you a collection of Shakespeare’s most renowned sonnets as examples.
4 Ways to Identify a Shakespeare Comedy
What are the common characteristics of a Shakespeare comedy? Our guide shows you how to identify a Shakespeare comedy.
What Happens in "The Tempest"?
This ‘The Tempest’ summary captures the essence of Shakespeare’s most magical play. ‘The Tempest’ summary is an ideal study .
Why 'Romeo and Juliet' Is Such an Iconic Love...
'Romeo and Juliet' has become forever associated with love. But Shakespeare's treatment of this theme is complex and multifaceted.
What to Know About Lady Macbeth’s Character
This Lady Macbeth character analysis introduces one of Shakespeare’s best female villains and asks if her presentation is misogynistic.
Death in 'Hamlet'
Discover how the theme of death permeates ‘Hamlet’ from the very start.
How to Understand Iago in “Othello”
This Iago analysis provides detailed study notes for the character of Iago. Analysis and commentary for Shakespeare's 'Othello'.
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.
How Fate Controls “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'.
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.
How to Know if It's a Tragedy, Comedy, or History
Three lists of the plays by William Shakespeare- one for his tragedies, a second for his comedies, and a third for his histories.
Yes, You Can Understand Shakespearean English
Shakespeare Words - Shakespeare’s words and phrases are easier to understand than one might think. This month our
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.
What’s the Significance of the Witches in...
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.
How to Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29
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.
A Complete List of Shakespeare’s 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.
What We Really Know About Shakespeare's Life
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.
Read the Full Text of 3 Shakespeare Sonnets
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.
What to Know About Romeo from 'Romeo and Juliet'
Romeo and Juliet are literature's most famous lovers. Read our character profile of Romeo here.
A Closer Look at the Montague-Capulet Feud in...
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.
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'.
The Controversy of Shakespeare’s Death
Discover the facts surrounding Shakespeare's death in 1616. Where did Shakespeare die and what could have caused Shakespeare’s death?
7 Types of Female Characters You'll See in...
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What Was Shakespeare’s Theater Like?
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
What Are the Major Themes in 'Much Ado About...
An analysis of the major themes in Much Ado About Nothing.
How Power Relationships Explain “The...
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.
Hamlet Character Analysis
This Hamlet character analysis reveals Shakespeare’s most complex character. Explore Hamlet’s emotional turmoil in our Hamlet Character Analysis.
Desdemona and Othello
The relationship between Desdemona and Othello is central to Shakespeare’s 'Othello'. This character analysis explores Desdemona and Othello.
'Macbeth' Summary
What happens in 'Macbeth'? The story of Shakespeare's most intense tragedy is condensed into this summary, from the three witches to the final battle.
How to Study Shakespeare's Sonnet 73
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.
Understand the Characters in “Much Ado...
Who's who in 'Much Ado'? Read our character profiles here.
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.
What Happens in “Much Ado About...
A plot summary and scene-by-scene breakdown of Much Ado About Nothing.
How to Analyze Othello’s Character
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How to Identify a Shakespeare History Play
The Shakespeare histories share a number of common features, as this introduction to the Shakespeare histories reveals.
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.
Why the Women of Shakespeare's Play Are...
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.
Shakespeare's “Shall I Compare Thee to a...
Read the complete text to Sonnet 18
16 Surprisingly Common Phrases Invented by...
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.
What to Know About Juliet from 'Romeo and Juliet'
Romeo and Juliet are literature's most famous lovers. Read our character profile of Juliet here.
What to Know About Prospero in “The...
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.
How to Study Shakespeare's Sonnet 1
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.
'Macbeth' Quiz Results
'Macbeth' Quiz - How well do you know 'Macbeth'? Thanks for taking our 'Macbeth' quiz. Suggested Reading:
Capulet
The House of Capulet in Romeo and Juliet is one of “fair Verona’s” two feuding families, the other being the House of Montague.
Understand the Themes of “Hamlet”
A list with links for further study of revenge, death, uncertainty, sexuality and the state of Denmark in Shakespeare's tragedy.
Understand Caliban’s Character in...
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.
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.
An Introduction to Shakespeare Sonnets
Introducing the Shakespeare sonnets – what makes this collection of 154 Shakespeare sonnets the most important poetry ever written? Find out with our Shakespeare sonnets guide.
Helena and Demetrius – Character Analysis
Discover the lovers from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' with our character analysis of Helena and Demetrius.
5 Reasons Shakespeare Is Still Popular
Why has Shakespeare been popular for over 400 years? We look at the secret to his success.
Did Shakespeare Write 38 or 39 Plays?
How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write Altogether? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
Shakespeare Quotations Quiz - Test Your...
Know Your Shakespeare Quotations? Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript turned on. Please
What Are the Themes of “Othello”?
What are the main themes in 'Othello'? We examine the top 'Othello' themes, including race, jealousy and duplicity.
Do You Know What Year Shakespeare Wrote '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.
'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.
Shakespeare for Beginners
Are you a Shakespeare newbie? Discover the Bard for the first time with our Shakespeare for Beginners FAQ.
Magic in 'The Tempest'
A look at the magic in Shakespeare's play, from Prospero's books to Caliban's uncertain humanity to the storm that provides the title.
About Shakespeare Plays
The ultimate guide to Shakespeare’s plays - Everything you need to know about Shakespeare plays in one place.
About Shakespeare
Need to learn about Shakespeare fast? We’re here with a fast-track Shakespeare 101 to teach you everything you need to know about Shakespeare.
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.
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.
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 We Know About Shakespeare's Birth
Find out when and where Shakespeare was born – and what happened to the house in which he was born.
Sonnet Summary
Shakespeare's sequence of 154 sonnets revolves around the poet's relationship with his two muses - a young man with whom he is infatuated, and then later, a
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.
'King Lear' Themes
This guide explores justice, madness, compassion, appearance vs. reality, nature and blindness in the Bard's great tragedy.
‘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.
'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.
Montague
The House of Montague in 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of
Shakespeare Soliloquy
This month our columnist shows you how to develop the perfect Shakespeare soliloquy.
Is Sonnet 18 the Most Romantic Valentine’...
The most romantic Valentine’s Day poem ever written is surely Shakespeare's Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?
‘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.
'Hamlet' Scene Breakdown
This 'Hamlet' Scene-by-Scene Breakdown guides you through Shakespeare’s longest play
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.
Shakespeare
Think you know the Bard? Here are 5 facts about Shakespeare to get you thinking. How many did you know?
King Lear Character Analysis
A King Lear Character Analysis that outlines the essential study points for your King Lear Character Analysis.
'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.
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.
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.
'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.
Portia from 'The Merchant of Venice' -...
Discover Portia from 'The Merchant of Venice' is one of Shakespeare’s most loved characters.
Love in Shakespeare
Love in Shakespeare is a recurrent theme. The treatment of love in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets is
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.
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.
Shakespearean Verse
Unlike modern plays, Shakespeare and his contemporaries wrote plays in verse. This is a poetic framework that gives characters a structured speech pattern and enhances their authority.
Shakespeare Sources
The stories told in Shakespeare’s plays are not original. We reveal the main Shakespeare sources used to write the plays.
Dark Lady Sonnets
The Dark Lady Sonnets are the second sequence in Shakespeare's sonnets in which a
A Breakdown of “Romeo and Juliet,”...
A scene-by-scene breakdown for the greatest love story ever told.
Other Themes in 'Hamlet'
Find out why the state of Denmark, sexuality, incest and uncertainty are all important themes in 'Hamlet'.
What to Know About Shakespeare’s Sonnets
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?
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.
'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.
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 5 Scene Guide
‘Hamlet’ Act 5 scene guide - This ‘Hamlet’ Act 5 scene breakdown guides you through Act 5 of Shakespeare’s longest play.
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.
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'.
Sonnet 29
The complete text to Shakespeare's sonnet 29 - When, In Disgrace With Fortune And Men's Eyes.
Who Was Shakespeare’s Wife?
Who was Anne Hathaway? Read our biography for Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare's wife.
5 Things You Might Not Know About the Globe...
This remarkable building was built as an open-air theater that could contain 3,000 spectators. Shakespeare was a shareholder.
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 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.
'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.
'The Taming of the Shrew': Act 1, Scene 1...
In-depth analysis for students of 'The Taming of the Shrew' Act 1, Scene 1, written to accompany Shakespeare's original text.
'The Tempest' Play Guide
'The Tempest' play - Discover Shakespeare’s most imaginative and magical play with our 'The Tempest' play guide
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.
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.
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' – 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.
Roderigo and Cassio from 'Othello'
Roderigo and Cassio are important characters from Shakespeare's 'Othello'. Our character analysis of Roderigo and Cassio reveals all.
Sonnet 73
The complete text to Shakespeare's sonnet 73 - That Time Of Year Thou Mayst In Me Behold.
Cordelia from King Lear: Character Profile
Cordelia from 'King Lear'. In this character profile, we take a close look at Cordelia from 'King Lear'.
Can You Name 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.
How Many Shakespeare Sonnets Are There?
How Many Shakespeare Sonnets Are There? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
Shakespeare's Grave
Find out where to find Shakespeare's grave and discover the
"All The World's a Stage"
“All the world’s a stage”: Our analysis reveals what this phrase says about performance, change and gender in Shakespeare's As You Like It.
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.
'Othello' - Scene by Scene Summary
This 'Othello' scene by scene summary is the perfect study guide to Shakespeare's play. Each scene is clearly summarised in plain English to aid study.
Shakespeare Authorship Debate
A look at the debate and the numerous theories surrounding the authorship of the plays attributed to Shakespeare.
Life of William Shakespeare
The life of William Shakespeare is fascinating. We piece together the most important events in the life of William Shakespeare in our straightforward guide.
Was Shakespeare Catholic?
Was Shakespeare Catholic? Although there is no conclusive proof, there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that he was a practicing Roman Catholic. We explore Shakespeare's Catholic Roots.
How to Behave at a Shakespeare Audition
Auditioning for a Shakespeare play? Read our tips on how to behave at an audition, what to wear, and how to land the part.
'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.
‘Hamlet’ Act 4 Scene Guide
‘Hamlet’ Act 4 scene guide - This ‘Hamlet’ Act 4 scene breakdown guides you through Act 4 of Shakespeare’s longest play.
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.
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!
How Many Plays Has William Shakespeare Written?
How Many Plays Has William Shakespeare Written? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
Benedick: “This can be no trick”
Benedick is one of Much Ado About Nothing’s most lively and interesting characters making him an ideal candidate for audition.
'Romeo and Juliet' Characters
Analysis and commentary on all the main 'Romeo and Juliet' characters including Romeo, Juliet and other 'Romeo and Juliet' characters.
8 Shakespeare Facts You Didn't Know
We all think we know William Shakespeare, but here are 8 unusual Shakespeare facts that will surprise you! Enjoy.
'The Taming of the Shrew': A Feminist Reading
How should modern-day feminists read 'The Taming of the Shrew'? We guide you though.
Sonnets by Shakespeare
A full index of all 154 sonnets by Shakespeare. Read Sonnets by Shakespeare online with About.com.
Top 3 Shylock Quotes and Speeches
We bring you the best Shylock quotes and speeches that made him the most memorable character from The Merchant of Venice.
'Macbeth' Characters
Who are the main 'Macbeth' characters? Why does Macbeth murder? What do the three witches do? What happens to Lady Macbeth? Find out in our 'Macbeth' characters guide.
'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.
‘Hamlet’ Act 2 Scene Guide
‘Hamlet’ Act 2 scene guide - This ‘Hamlet’ Act 2 scene breakdown guides you through Act 2 of Shakespeare’s longest play.
How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Really Write?
William Shakespeare - How Many Plays? Discover the answer on About.com along with answers to other essential Shakespeare questions.
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