William Shakespeare has written some of the best sonnets and plays till date. He has explored a variety of themes ranging from betrayal to romance to murder.
Prince Hamlet wants to take revenge from his uncle because he killed his father and married his mother. Themes like incest, deceit, insanity, moral fraud and wrath are explored. This influential tragedy is undeniable the best drama ever written.
2. Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is undoubtedly the most popular play among young readers. It focuses on two star-crossed lovers and their unfortunate and ultimate death. It is a favorite amongst literary critics because of the dramatic effect and the language that has been used by the writer.
3. Henry V
Henry V focues on the King’s life and was penned down in 1599. The plot revolves around the events that took place prior to a significant battle as well as those wars that came into being after the white flags were raised.
4. Midsummer Night’s Dream
This comedy is about four young people and their adventures as they interact with a number of fairies and various members of the elite section of society. This play is as popular as Macbeth and is performed by stage actors all over the world.
This tragedy was created by the English writer sometime around 1606. It is extremely popular and has been adapted for books, film and opera several times ever since it was written. Many people believe that the play is ‘cursed’ and refuse to call it by its name.
6. Richard III
This play describes the King’s reign and puts him in an unflattering and unfavorable light. Some say that it is a tragedy but critics and scholars believe that it is definitely a part of the histories. It is quite a lengthy play which is why it is not too popular today.
7. Julius Caesar
This play is about the ambitious Roman dictator and focuses primarily on the aftermath of his assassination. Marcus Brutus is the main protagonist who battles with his codes of honor, loyalty and patriotism. It is powerful and well-written and definitely among Shakespeare’s best pieces.
8. Twelfth Night or What You Will
This play is a comedy which was published around 1623. The protagonist gets separated from her twin brother after which she believes him to be dead. She then ‘becomes’ a boy and starts calling herself Cesario. As the play progresses, the readers realize that poor Viola has weaved quite a tangled web for herself.
9. The Taming of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew dates back to about 1594 and is about a young man who chooses to marry a bad-tempered but intelligent woman. He tricks her in order to ‘tame’ her and make sure that she does as he says. The play has faced a number of controversies over the years but the content has inspired a number of performances.
10. Othello, The Moor of Venice
Shakespeare wrote this tragedy around 1603. Othello is an ambitious man who lets his ego get in the way. This play explores a myriad of themes like jealousy, racism, betrayal and love because of which it has been used for a number of literary and film adaptations.