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SHAKESPEARE PLAYS- with publication, performance, chronology, location, and genre

ITALIAN DARK COMEDIES
1589-91 TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
First official record: Francis Meres Palladis Tamia (1598)
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: 1762
Possibly co-written with George Peele.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? Will’s first dark comedy involving lots of requited lovers and a near rape. Happy ending? No!

1590

ENGLISH TUDOR HISTORIES
1590-1 HENRY 6 PT 2
First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers’ Register on 12 March 1594

First published: in quarto in 1594 as
The First part of the Contention betwixt the two famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster, with the death of the good Duke Humphrey: And the banishment and death of the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of the proud Cardinal of Winchester, with the notable Rebellion of Jack Cade: and the Duke of Yorke’s first claim unto the Crowne.

Play as it exists today first published in the First Folio (1623) as
The second Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Good Duke Humfrey

First recorded performance: 1864.
Further Evidence: 3 Henry VI was on stage by early 1592, and it is also known that 3 Henry VI was definitely a sequel to 2 Henry VI, meaning 2 Henry VI must have been on stage by early 1592 as well.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time!

ENGLISH TUDOR HISTORIES
1591 HENRY 6 PT 3
First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers Register in 1592

First published: version of the play published in octavo in 1595 as
The True Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, and the death of good King Henrie the Sixt, with the Whole Contention betweene the two Houses Lancaster and Yorke.
Play as it exists today first published in the First Folio (1623) as
The thid Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the Duke of Yorke

First recorded performance: 1906.
Robert Greene mocked Shakespeare in his A Groatsworth of Wit by parodying a line from 3 Henry VI. And Groatsworth was registered in the Stationers’ Register in September 1592, meaning True Tragedy/3 Henry VI must have been on stage prior to 23 June 1592
A palpable hit in Will’s Time!

ITALIAN DARK COMEDIES
1590-94 TAMING OF THE SHREW
First official record: possible version of play entered into Stationers’ Register on 2 May 1594. First record of play as it exists today found in the First Folio (1623)
First published: possible version of play published in 1594 as
A Pleasant Conceited Historie, called the taming of a Shrew.
Play as it exists today first published in the First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: probably performed at Newington Butts Theatre, 13 June 1594, as The Tamynge of A Shrowe
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Petruchio forcing Kate’s hand into marriage, lots of requited lovers else, the framing device of the play makes it all seem to be a dream.

ENGLISH TUDOR HISTORIES
1591 HENRY 6 PT 1

First official record: Philip Henslowe reports seeing a new play entitled Harey Vj (i.e. Henry VI). An entry is found in the Stationers’ Register in September, 1598 which refers to “The first and Second parte of Henry VJ”.
Most critics, however, feel this probably refers to what we today call 2 Henry VI and 3 Henry VI, not 1 Henry VI.

First published: First Folio (1623)

First recorded performance: 1798.
Also possibly on 3 March 1592 at The Rose in Southwark,
as seen by Philip Henslowe; and recorded in his diary.
Evidence: On 3 March 1592,
Philip Henslow saw a new play entitled Harey Vj, but gives no further information.
In August,
Thomas Nashe published Piers Penniless his Supplication to the Devil,
in which he refers to a play he had recently seen featuring a rousing depiction of Lord Talbot, a major character in 1 Henry VI.
Is Nashe’s reference to Talbot proof that Henslow saw 1 Henry VI?
Critics consider 1 Henry VI to have been a prequel to the successful two-part play The Contention and True Tragedy.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Written as a prequel to H6 parts 2+3.

ROMAN TRAGEDIES
1591-2 TITUS ANDRONICUS
First official record: Philip Henslowe’s Diary, 23 January 1594.

First published: version of the play published in quarto in February 1594 as The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedy of Titus Andronicus.
The 1623 Folio text appeared under the title
The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus

First recorded performance: 23 January 1594 at the Rose Theatre in Southwark.
Evidence: According to the title page of the 1594 quarto, performed by Pembroke’s Men, a company which ceased performing in September 1593.

Additionally, it is unlikely to have been written later than June 1592,
as that was when the London theatres were closed due to an outbreak of plague. The theatres remained shut for 2 years, reopening March 1594.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Mutilation, murder, rape, and a dish of pie fit for a Queen.

ENGLISH TRAGI-HISTORIES
1592-3 RICHARD 3

First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 20 October 1597

First published: in quarto in December 1597 as
The tragedy of King Richard the third.
Containing, his treacherous plots against his brother Clarence:
the pittiefull murther of his innocent nephewes:
his tyrannicall usurpation: with the whole course of his detested life, and most deserved death.

Folio text appears under the title
The Tragedy of Richard the Third,
with the Landing of Earle Richmond,
and the Battell at Bosworth Field

First recorded performance: in 1602,
a racy anecdote in John Manningham’s diary after seeing Richard Burbage playing Richard III and Shakespeare supping with the gentlewoman who had sent Burbage a note Will had intercepted. When Dick arrives at the assignation, the reply churlish is that William the conqueror got there first.

The play was definitely performed at St James’s Palace on November 16 and/or 17, 1633 by the King’s Men.

Evidence: It is known that Richard III was definitely a sequel to 3 Henry VI, which was on-stage by 23 June 1592, hence Richard III must have been written later than early 1592.

Additionally, the play has been argued to contain evidence that it was originally written for Strange’s Men, but then rewritten for Pembroke’s Men, a company which formed in mid-1592.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Richard Burbage is recorded as the best crookback of them all.

BEST SELLING ROMAN POESIES
1593 VENUS AND ADONIS
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! From quarto to octavo a publishing hit.

BEST SELLING ROMAN POESIES
1594 RAPE OF LUCRECE
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! From quarto to octavo a publishing hit. These 2 poems written during the plague season of 1592-94 must have raised Will’s public profile.

EPHESIAN LIGHT COMEDIES
1594 COMEDY OF ERRORS
First official record: if this is the same as the play titled “The Night of Errors”, it was performed on 28 December 1594 at Gray’s Inn.

First published: First Folio (1623)

First recorded performance:
28 December 1594 at Gray’s Inn, performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
Evidence: Probably the “errors” referred to in Meres’ Palladia Tamia, 1598.

A palpable hit in Will’s Time! One set of twins out looking for the other, one magic city and a mother hidden in a Priory.

NAVARREAN COURTLY COMEDIES
1594-5 LOVE’S LABOURS LOST
First official record:
version of the play published in 1598 (never entered into the Stationers’ Register)

First published: in quarto in 1598 as
A Pleasant Conceited Comedie called Loves labors lost

First recorded performance: according to the quarto title page,
the play was performed at court for Queen Elizabeth over Christmas 1597.
Evidence:
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Lots of requited lovers, a courtly setting and Holofernes the pedant. Also features a play within a play.

ATHENIAN LIGHT COMEDIES
1595 MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
First official record: Francis Meres’ Palladis Tamia (1598)
First published: in quarto in November, or December 1600
First recorded performance:
Evidence:
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Lots of requited lovers, Fairies and Bottom changed to an ass, and the rude mechanicals putting on a play within a play.

1595

ENGLISH TRAGI-HISTORIES
1595 RICHARD 2
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 29 August 1597
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1597 as
The Tragedie of King Richard the second.
1623 Folio text appeared under the title The life and death of King Richard the Second
First recorded performance: possible performance on 9 December 1595 at Sir Edward Hoby’s house in Canon Row, watched by Sir Robert Cecil.
Earliest definite recorded performance at the Globe Theatre on 7 February 7 1601.

A palpable hit in Will’s Time! It made Essex’ rebellion!

ITALIAN TRAGEDIES
1595 ROMEO & JULIET
First official record: version of the play published in 1597 (never entered into the Stationers’ Register)
First published: in quarto in 1597 as An excellent conceited tragedie of Romeo and Juliet
First recorded performance: 1 March 1662 at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, directed by William Davenant.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? The star-crossed lovers, a double suicide, feuding families has all the makings of a block buster.

ENGLISH TRAGI-HISTORIES
1596 KING JOHN
First official record: Francis Meres’ Palladis Tamia (1598)
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: 26 February, 1737 at Covent Garden
Not a big hit in Will’s Time, I’m afraid. It was played several times and surely Constance’ grieving about the loss of her son Arthur brought tears to many an eye.

ITALIAN DARK COMEDIES
1596 MERCHANT OF VENICE
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 22 July 1598
First published: in quarto in 1598 as
The most excellent historie of the merchant of Venice.
With the extreame crueltie of Shylocke the Jewe towards the sayd merchant, in cutting a just pound of his flesh:
and the obtayning of Portia by the choyse of three chests

First recorded performance: performed at court for King James on 10 February 1605.

Evidence: in existence by 1598, however, other evidence places its composition as probably 1596.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! A Jew as the bad guy, better than Marlowe’s, the casket sub-plot, lots of requited lovers. Burbage had a hit performing as Shylock.

ENGLISH TUDOR HISTORIES
1596-7 HENRY 4 PT 1
First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers’ Register on 25 February 1598
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1598 as
The History of Henrie the Fourth, with the battell at Shrewsburie between the King and Lord Henry Percy, surnamed Hotspur of the North, with the humorous conceits of Sir John Falstaffe
1623 Folio text appeared under the title
The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry Sirnamed Hot-spurre

First recorded performance: performed at court for an Ambassador from Burgundy on 6 March 1600.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Hotspur offers an actor the role of a lifetime.

ENGLISH TUDOR HISTORIES
1596-7 HENRY 4 PT 2
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 23 August 1600
First published: in quarto in 1600 as
The second part of Henrie the fourth, continuing to his death, and coronation of Henrie the fift. With the humours of Sir John Falstaffe, and swaggering Pistoll
1623 Folio text appeared under the title
The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, Containing his Death and the Coronation of King Henry the Fift
First recorded performance: a play entitled Sir John Falstaffe was performed at Whitehall over the Christmas period of 1612 which is believed to be 2 Henry IV.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time!

ENGLISH LIGHT COMEDIES
1597-98 MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR
First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers’ Register on 18 January 1602
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1602 as

A most pleasaunt and excellent conceited comedie, of Sir John Falstaffe, and the merrie wives of Windsor. Entermixed with sundrie variable and pleasing humors, of Sir Hugh the Welch knight, Justice Shallow, and his wise cousin M. Slender. With the swaggering vaine of Auncient Pistoll, and Corporall Nym
First recorded performance: 4 November 1604 at Whitehall Palace,
Evidence: A specially commissioned piece for the Order of the Garter, possibly the Feast on 23 April 1597. Did Shakespeare interrupt his composition of 2 Henry IV somewhere around Act 3-Act 4, to concentrate on writing Merry Wives.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Especially written for her Majesty because she loved him so much. Falstaff, a mere creation, met in real life a Majesty that did accept his foibles, and forgive him his excess. Falstaff leads therefore with the most number of lines Shakespeare gave to any of his characters.

ENGLISH-FRENCH TUDOR HISTORIES
1598-9 HENRY 5
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 14 August 1600

First published: in quarto in 1600 as
The cronicle history of Henry the fift, with his battell fought at Agin Court in France. Togither with Auntient Pistoll.
1623 Folio text appeared under the title
The Life of Henry the Fift

First recorded performance: 7 January 1605 at the Globe Theatre, performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
Evidence: Of all Shakespeare’s plays, Henry V is one of the easiest to date. A reference to the Earl of Essex’s Irish expedition of 1599 means likely written sometime between March 1599 (when Essex left for Ireland) and September 1599 (when he returned).
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Premiered at the Curtain 1598/9. Or was it the Globe’s opener? Or was that Julius Caesar?

STOLEN ENGLISH POESIES
1599 PASSIONATE PILGRIM
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? Contains 2 alternate versions of sonnets 138 + 144, outlining the 3-some in Will’s sonnets.

ITALIAN DARK COMEDIES
1598-9 MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
First official record: version of the play published in 1600 (never entered into the Stationers’ Register)
First published: in quarto in 1600.
First recorded performance: 14 February 1613, performed at court as part of the festivities to celebrate the marriage of Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia and Frederick V, Elector Palatine.
Evidence: Did Shakespeare write the role of Dogberry for William Kempe, the clown who left the Lord Chamberlain’s Men in late 1598?
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? Beatrice and Benedick are best remembered and steal the show from the misery happening around them.

ROMAN TRAGEDIES
1599 JULIUS CAESAR
First official record: Thomas Platter the Younger’s Diary, 21 September 1599 at the newly opened Globe Theatre.
First published:
First Folio (1623) as The Tragedie of Julius Caesar
First recorded performance: 21 September 1599 at the newly opened Globe Theatre.
Evidence: Did Shakespeare compose it as the opening play for the new Globe theatre?
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? Caesar is dead by Act 3. Antony steps forward as the new hero, paving his way for his return with Cleopatra.

ENGLISH LIGHT COMEDIES
1599-00 AS YOU LIKE IT
First official record: on 4 August 1600 a staying order was entered in the Stationers’ Register for As yo like yt
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: on 2 December 1603 at Wilton House in Wiltshire, a play was performed for James I; earliest definite performance on 20 December 1740, at Drury Lane.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Jacques the cynic, Rosalind and Orlando the requited lovers, and hearsay evidence Will played old Adam.

DANISH TRAGEDIES
1599-01 HAMLET
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 26 July 1602.
Folio text appeared under the title The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke

First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1603 as The tragicall historie of Hamlet Prince of Denmarke

First recorded performance: the entry in the Stationers’ Register in July 1602 states that the play was “latelie Acted by the Lo: Chamberleyne his servantes”, however, it offers no further information.
The first definite performance took place on a ship off the coast of Africa in September 1607, the Red Dragon, performed by the crew.

A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Remarkably the first amateur performance of any Shakespeare play we know of. But professional performances must have happened as it was one of Burbage’s biggest hits. And fellow writer, Gabriel Harvey mentioned it as suited for the wiser sort prior to 1601. And hearsay evidence Will took the part of the Ghost.

1600
ILLYRIAN DARK COMEDIES
1601 TWELFTH NIGHT
First official record: February 1602, John Manningham mentions in his Diary having seen the play performed.
First published: First Folio (1623) as Twelfe Night, Or what you will
First recorded performance: John Manningham saw the play performed at the Middle Temple on Candlemas 1602, which fell on 2 February.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Some are born great into yellow stockings + cross gartered. Mal. Volio. Bad. Will.

CRYPTIC POESIES
1601 PHOENIX&TURTLE
wtf?

TROJAN TRAGEDIES
1602 TROILUS & CRESSIDA
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 7 February 1603
First published: in quarto in 1609 as The historie of Troylus and Cresseida.
1623 Folio text under the title The Tragedie of Troilus and Cressida
First recorded performance: 1679, in an adaptation by John Dryden.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? Troilus and Cressida had quite a following in books and plays. So maybe?

VIENNESE TRAGI-COMEDIES
1603-4 MEASURE FOR MEASURE
First official record: revels accounts for Christmas 1604–1605 state the play was performed over the holidays
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: Revels accounts for Christmas 1604–1605 indicate the play was performed at Whitehall on St. Stephen’s Day, 1604.
Evidence: This play is notoriously difficult to date specifically partly due to a lack of solid evidence and partly due to the theory that the text, which appeared in the First Folio was not Shakespeare’s original text.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Who knows how dark these times were? Poor Isabella! The fact that Thomas Middleton may have re-written it in 1621, doesn’t take away from the fact it was played in 1604.

VENETIAN-CYPRIOT TRAGEDIES
1603-4 OTHELLO
First official record: revels accounts refer to the play having been performed in November 1604
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1622 as The Tragedy of Othello, the Moore of Venice
First recorded performance: revels accounts indicate the play was performed at Whitehall on 1 November 1604.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! A MOOR. Ah Iago, what a role! Burbage methinks.

1605

OLDE-BRITAINE TRAGEDIES
1605 KING LEAR
First official record: version of the play entered into the Stationers’ Register on 26 November 1607 as A booke called. Mr William Shakespeare his historye of Kinge Lear
First published: version of the play published in quarto in 1608 as The true chronicle historie of the life and death of King Lear and his three daughters. With the unfortunate life of Edgar, sonne and heire to the Earle of Gloster, and his sullen and assumed humor of Tom of Bedlam
First recorded performance: according to the Stationers’ Register, the play was performed at Whitehall on 26 December 1606
Evidence: the play must have been written by late 1606.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Gloucester’s blinding, Poor Edgar/Tom’s feigned madness, Edmund his brother, the bastard, those bitch sisters of daddy’s girl Cordelia, Regan and Goneril. And Lear the silly old fool.

ATHENIAN TRAGEDIES .
1605-6 TIMON OF ATHENS
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 8 May 1623
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Life of Timon of Athens
First recorded performance: in 1674, Thomas Shadwell wrote an adaptation of the play under the title Timon of Athens: Or, The Man-hater. Possibly co-wrtten with Thomas Middleton

Not such a palpable hit in Will’s Time! More like a stinker. Timon rich then poor, now sweetness and light about mankind and then angry and bitterly reproachful about man’s unkindness. Gold as a motif.

ROMAN-EGYPTIAN TRAGEDIES
1606 ANTONY & CLEOPATRA
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 20 May 1608
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedie of Antony and Cleopatra
First recorded performance: according to the 1669 records for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the play had recently been performed at Blackfriars, but no further information is given; earliest definite performance in 1759
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! After Julius Caesar introduces Antony, comes Antony to Cleopatra, vilest Queen of the Nile. Jealous Queen uncontainable loses her man and their war double suicide ending.

SCOTTISH TRAGEDIES
1606 MACBETH
First official record: by Simon Forman, who records seeing the play in April 1611.
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedie of Macbeth
First recorded performance: possibly in April 1611, recorded by Simon Forman
Evidence: A reference to ‘dire combustion’ seems to allude to the Gunpowder Plot of 1606.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? James was crowned in 1604. By 1606 his brother in law Christian, King of Denmark visited his sister and her husband the new King of England. They drink, they party, they see plays. Was this one of them?

FRENCH DARK COMEDIES
1606-7 ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL
First official record: First Folio (1623)
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: 1741.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? Dark comedy again, Will? French not Viennese this time huh? The hiding in the chest in the maiden’s chamber and sneaking around while she sleeps trick worked again huh? Happy ending? NO!

TYREAN-EPHESIAN-MYTILENIAN ROMANCES
1607 PERICLES
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 20 May 1608
First published: in quarto in 1609 as The Late and much admired Play Called Pericles, Prince of Tyre, with the true Relation of the whole History, adventures, and fortunes of the sayd Prince: As also, the no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the Birth and Life, of his Daughter Mariana
First recorded performance: April 1607, seen by the Venetian ambassador to England, Zorzi Giustinian
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Shipwrecks, famines, disease, whoredom, wives coming out of priories. Besides George Wilkins who wrote a book based on it, lodged with Will and helped to write it. George was NOT to be messed with. And could now call himself playwright as well as pimp.

ROMAN TRAGEDIES
1608 CORIOLANUS
First official record: entered into the Stationers’ Register on 8 November 1623
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedy of Coriolanus
First recorded performance: 1681, an adaptation of the play by Nahum Tate was performed at Drury Lane
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? Roman General with a mother complex, early Rome and its wars against the Corioli. The plebs, the plebs, the insufferable plebs! Happy ending? NO!

ETERNAL LOVE POESIES
1609 SONNETS
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or were they? We got one buyer who signed his copy and a sell out run presumably, that may have stopped because the writer wanted the copies out of circulation, or someone did? 10 years before 2 sonnets published n Pass.Pilg.

LOVE POESIES
1609 A LOVER’S COMPLAINT
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! It had to be it was attached to the sonnets. Many other sonnetteers used this kind of complaint at the end of a sonnet sequence. Actually a sweet reversal of the sonnet story.

SICILIAN-BOHEMIAN ROMANCES
1609-10 A WINTER’S TALE
First official record: Simon Forman saw the play at the Globe on 15 May 1611; it was performed at Court 11 November 1611
First published: First Folio (1623)
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Exit pursued by a bear. Leontes jealousy, his wife’s statue. Ssh, don’t tell. Some haven’t seen or read it.

1610
OLDE BRITAINE ROMANCES
1610-11 CYMBELINE
First official record: Simon Forman saw it performed at the Globe in 1611
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Tragedie of Cymbeline
First recorded performance: In an undated entry, Simon Forman saw the play performed at the Globe in 1611
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? The romance genre offers a big bang for the audience’s buck. Romans, olde brtitaine, beheaded brothers, twin sons, twisted lovers and a requited girl. And that bed trick again.

DESERT ISLAND ROMANCES
1610-11 TEMPEST
First official record: revels accounts refer to the play having been performed in November 1611
First published: First Folio (1623)
First recorded performance: 1 November 1611, at Whitehall for James I, performed by the King’s Men.
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? Will’s last play written all on his lonesome? Prospero the fallen Duke of Milan stranded on an island with his daughter. The strange cannibal Caliban and airy spirit Ariel as companies. Then as if by magic, all the plotters appear and it could be Comedy of Errors all over again.

ENGLISH TUDOR HISTORIES
1613 HENRY 8
First official record: june 1613.
First published: First Folio (1623) as The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight
First recorded performance: 29 June 1613, the night the Globe burnt down.
Evidence: Probably written in collaboration with John Fletcher
A palpable hit in Will’s Time! Or was it? The premiere at the Globe set the thatch on fire so it definitely brought the house down. Will’s glides into total retirement from the theatre with this his torch song. Evidence shows he may have co-written it with John Fletcher.