William Shakespeare Books, Poems and Plays

Presenting the definitive collection of William Shakespeare's books, plays, poems and sonnets works in a wide range of editions, from Arden to Oxford. Here you will find the complete works of Shakespeare and adaptations of Shakespeare for kids, as well as critical appraisals which are particularly useful for those studying the Bard. Our Shakespeare for kids selection includes titles like the Little Master Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet: A Counting Primer and illustrated Shakespeare stories. For good measure, we've also included the hilarious Shakespearean Star Wars Parody, The Empire Striketh Back.

Shakespeare history and criticism

The Royal Shakespeare Company Shakespeare

Oxford Shakespeare

The Arden Shakespeare

The New Cambridge Shakespeare

Shakespeare York Notes

Shakespeare No Fear Study guides

Alternate Shakespeare

"He was not of an age, but for all time"

Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the world's greatest dramatist, producing around 39 plays and 154 sonnets amongst other celebrated works. The playwright and poet Ben Jonson even exclaimed Shakespeare was "not of an age, but for all time", recognising the influence, accessibility and timeless qualities of the Bard's works.

In fact, Shakespeare's works span across multiple genres, including comedies, histories, tragedies and even tragicomedies, which are still studied and reinterpreted by millions across the globe in the present day.

Where to start with Shakespeare's plays

While not every play is the perfect starting point – take While it may not be recommended to start with Timon of Athens, one of Shakespeare's most famously difficult plays, for example – there are a number of titles which will give you a perfect introduction to the Bard's writing style:

- Why not start with the timeless classic that we all know and love, Romeo and Juliet. - For some of Shakespeare's darker, grittier, but still easily read plays, pick up Hamlet or MacBeth - To enjoy a more whimsical and delightful play, discover A Midsummer Night's Dream - If you're looking for wit, humour, trickery and disguise, pick up As You Like It or Twelfth Night.

Where to start with Shakespeare's poems and sonnets

Alongside two long narrative poems, Shakespeare wrote a number of popular sonnets in the instantly recognisable Shakespearean Sonnet form.

You can find these within collected works, such as Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems, where you can read famous sonnets such as Sonnet 18 (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?) and Sonnet 130 (My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun).

For a gentle overview, read Jonathan F. S. Post's Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: A Very Short Introduction.