Shakespeare’s language is an example of what linguists call Early Modern English. There are many resources about Shakespeare's English: dictionaries, grammars, Shakespearean insult generators etcetera.
Aspects of Shakespeare’s Language
Inga Stina-Ewbank described the English of the late 16th and early 17th century as follows:
a language which had no dictionary until 1604, and in which a fluid grammar and
an almost obsessive interest in rhetorical structures gave scope and spurs
to experimentation with words and word-patterns (Stina-Ewbank: 50).
Texts in Early Modern English often use words that have changed in meaning or even disappeared. Below is a very selective list.
- title; reputation
- if. “An” is a shortened for of “and”; “an if” is also frequently used.
- at once
- ah! alas!
- close relative (i.e. not necessarily the child of one's uncle or aunt)
- for [conjunction]
- lack; be without
- require; demand
- marry [oath]
- By the virgin Mary.
- it seems to me that
- always; continually
- it [shortened form used to fit the word in the metre of the verse]
In Elizabethan English, some verb forms were different from today.
The second person singular had forms ending in st and the third person singular had forms ending in th.
Here are a few examples for the second person singular:
Dost thou believe't?(Do you believe it? (All's Well That Ends Well)),
Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung(A Midsummer Night's Dream),
Persever in that clear way thou goest(Pericles) and
Call it a travel that thou takest for pleasure(Richard II).
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame.(Richard II).
Here are a few examples for the third person singular:
The King doth wake tonight and takes his rouse(Hamlet),
This man hath my consent to marry her.(A Midsummer Night's Dream) and
His testy master goeth about to take him(Venus and Adonis.
See also David Crystal & Ben Crystal: Verb forms.
Double (and Triple) Negatives
Shakespeare often used double negatives. According to David and Ben Crystal, the “logical” rule that two negatives make a negative was used in only specific formal types of texts. Instead, double negatives were used to intensify the negative meaning of an expression (Crystal & Crystal: 295; see also Negatives on Shakespeare's Words).
The main source of the “rule” that two negatives result in a positive is the book A Short Introduction to English Grammar, published by Robert Lowth in 1762 (see Early Modern English (c. 1500 - c. 1800) on the website The History of English). It appears that Lowth was superimposing Latin grammar on English: since Latin had no double negatives, Lowth prohibited them also in English.
In order to better understand a double negative such as “not … neither”, one should look up the meaning of “neither” in, for example, A Shakespeare Glossary (1911, 1919) by C. T. Onions:
- used to strengthen a negative =
- nor that either:
shall she marry him?—No.—How then? Shall he marry her?—No, neither, Err. V.i.94, 1H4 III.i.244;
- either, e.g.
We'll not run …—Nor go neither, Gent. II.iii.18
nay, that cannot be so neither;
- for all that, nevertheless:
let it live: It shall not neither;also with “but”: Ado. I.i.298 , Mer.V. III,v.8,. All's W. II.ii.37, Ham. V.ii.121
and yet but yaw neither;
not so n., by no means Ado III.iii.152, MND. III.i.156, Cor. IV.v.276.
- nor that either:
Example from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 3, Scene 1, lines 121-124 (Cambridge Shakespeare):
- Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.
- Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
- Not so neither, but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
David and Ben Crystal point out that Shakespeare also used triple negatives (see Crystal &Crystal, p. 295).
As You Like It I.ii.24-27 (Oxford Shakespeare, ed. Alan Brissenden, 1993):
- Marry, I prithee do, to make sport withal; but love no man in good earnest, nor no further in sport neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst in honour come off again.
Love's Labour's Lost V.i.139-141 (Arden Shakespeare, ed. Richard David, 1951, 1968):
- Via, goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.
- Nor understand none neither, sir.
Twelfth Night III.i.159-162 (Arden Shakespeare), ed. J. M. Lothian & T. W. Craik, 1975, 1988):
- By innocence I swear, and by my youth,
I have one heart, one bosom, and one truth,
And that no woman has; nor never none
Shall mistress be of it, save I alone.
The phenomenon that double or triple negatives in a sentence are interpreted as normal or possibly intensified negatives (instead of switching to a positive in the case of a double negative) is known in linguistics as negative concord. Negative concord still exists in current English dialects. See for example the page about negative concord by the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project.
References and Links
Elizabethan Pronunciation & Original Pronunciation
See especially, Pronouncing Shakespeare by David Crystal.
- Cercignani, Fausto: Shakespeare's Works and Elizabethan Pronunciation. Oxford University Press, 1981.
- Coye, Dale F.: Pronouncing Shakespeare's Words: A Guide from A to Zounds. Greenwood, 1998. Routledge, 2003. (358 pages). ISBN 978-0-313-30655-6 (hardback, Greenwood / ABC-CLIO); ISBN 9780415941822 (paperback, Routledge).
- Crystal, David:
The Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. (704 pages).
See also David Crystal's blog post Original pronunciation: the state of the art in 2016 (20 March 2016).
- Crystal, David; Crystal, Ben:
Shakespeare: Original Pronunciation.
A 10-minute video by the Open University in which the linguist David Crystal and his son Ben Crystal, who is an actor, explain what Original Pronunciation is, what effect its use had in a 2004 Shakespeare production, and give a few examples.
- Crystal, Ben:
A 6-minute video by the British Council in which actor Ben Crystal explains what Original Pronunciation is and gives a few examples.
- Crystal, Ben:
Speaking the bright and beautiful English of Shakespeare
A 90-minute video by the British Council in which Ben Crystal
explores the accent, the theatrical conventions, and the world of Shakespeare, to reveal a bright and beautiful English. (90 minutes)
- Crystal, David:
Pronouncing Shakespeare: The Globe Experiment. Cambridge University Press, 2005.
The British linguist David Crystal did research on English pronunciation in Shakespeare's age. His book also discusses how knowledge about Elizabethan pronunciation was used on stage.
- Crystal, David: How to Talk Like Shakespeare: short interview with David Crystal (YouTube, 2014).
- Crystal, David: Why people enjoy hearing Shakespeare in its Original Pronunciation: short interview with David Crystal (Oxford University Press, YouTube, March 2016).
- Crystal, David: 16th-century grammar books and Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation: short interview with David Crystal (Oxford University Press, YouTube, March 2016). Points out that in Shakespeare's time, people wrote books on grammar and pronunciation. One example is the playwright Ben Jonson (1572 – 1637), whose English Grammar was published in 1640.
- Crystal, David: Shakespeare’s spellings and Original Pronunciation: short interview with David Crystal (Oxford University Press, YouTube, March 2016).
- Crystal, David: Shakespeare, Rhymes, and Original Pronunciation: short interview with David Crystal (Oxford University Press, YouTube, March 2016).
- Crystal, David: Shakespeare, puns, and Original Pronunciation: short interview with David Crystal (Oxford University Press, YouTube, March 2016).
- Crystal, David: How did Romeo and Juliet sound to Shakespeare’s contemporaries? (Oxford University Press, YouTube, March 2016). Short video in which David Crystal reads the prologue to Rome and Juliet in Original Pronunciation.
- Dobson, E. J.: English Pronunciation 1500–1700. 2 volumes. 2nd edition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968.
- NativLang: What Shakespeare's English Sounded Like - and how we know , 6-minute video on YouTube.
- Renfaire.com: Proper Elizabethan & Basic Faire Accents.
- Scheeder, Louis; All the Words on Stage: A Complete Pronunciation Dictionary for the Plays of William Shakespeare. Smith and Kraus, 2001. (292 pages) ISBN 978-1575252148.
- Jones, Josh:
Hear What Shakespeare Sounded Like in the Original Pronunciation,
Open Culture, 11.09.2013.
Article that includes a video with David and Ben Crystal.
Other links related to Original Pronunciation:
- Shakespeare's Globe: Original Pronunciation - Doctor Faustus: short excerpt from a performance of Marlowe's Doctor Faustus in Original Pronunciation.
- Shakespeare on Toast: Original Pronunciation - Hamlet - To Be, or not to be... - Ben Crystal.
- Shakespeare on Toast: two excerpts from a talk by Ben Crystal (2010):
- RP vs OP (the Prologue from Henry V);
- Shakespeare on Toast: Sonnet 116 - Original Pronunciation - Shakespeare on Toast: Ben Crystal first speaks the sonnet in present-day pronunciation, then in Original Pronunciation.
- Performing Shakespeare in its original pronunciation: Paul Meier, theatre professor at the University of Kansas, talks about a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in original pronunciation at the University of Kansas, which was produced with some assistance from David Crystal. A Midsummer Night's Dream was chosen because it has many rhymes that don't work in modern pronunciation. See also this excerpt from the production (November 2010) and Shakespeare & Original Pronunciation on Paul Meier's website.
- Elizabethan songs in Original Pronunciations by Agnes Coakley (soprano)
accompanied by Vinícius Perez on archlute
(“Sacred and Profane”:
Master's recital Agnes Coakley, 11 June 2015):
- Thomas Morley: It was a lover and his lass from As You Like It;
- Thomas Morley: Thirsis and Milla from The First Booke of Ayres (1600);
- Miserere, my maker from The Turpyn Book of Lute Songs (anonymous, ca. 1610–1615);
- This Merry Pleasant Spring from The Turpyn Book of Lute Songs (anonymous, ca. 1610–1615);
- John Dowland: Come away, come sweet love from The First Booke of Songs or Ayres (1597);
- John Dowland: In this trembling shadow from A Pilgrimes Solace (1612).
Shakespeare's Language (General)
- Shakespeare Survey, Volume 23: Shakespeare Survey. Cambridge University Press, 2002 (reprint). ISBN 9780521523608.
- Adamson, Sylvia; Hunter, Lynette; Magnusson, Lynne (editors): Reading Shakespeare's Dramatic Language: A Guide. The Arden Shakespeare. Bloomsbury, 2000. (336 pages) ISBN 9781903436295.
- Alexander, Catherine (editor): Shakespeare and Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN 9780521539005.
- Barber, Charles: Early Modern English. Second edition. Edinburgh University Press, 1997. (288 pages) ISBN 9780748608355.
- BBC Learning English: Shakespeare Speaks: a YouTube playlist with 20 videos about the language of Shakespeare.
- Blake, Norman F.: Shakespeare's Language: An Introduction. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983. (Entry in WorldCat.)
- Blake, Norman F.: A Grammar of Shakespeare's Language. Palgrave, 2002. (432 pages) ISBN 0-333-72590-5 (hardback) / ISBN 0-333-72591-3 (paperback). ISBN 9780333725917 (paperback, 2001).
- Blake, Norman F.: Shakespeare's Non-Standard English: A Dictionary of his Informal Language. Continuum, 2005. Bloomsbury, 2006. (408 pages) ISBN 9780826491237.
- Brook, G. L.: The Language of Shakespeare. The Language Library. London: André Deutsch, 1976. ISBN 0 233 96762 1.
- Burton, D. M.: Shakespeare's Grammatical Style. Austin (Texas), 1968.
- Crystal, David: Think on my Words: Exploring Shakespeare's Language. (2008) Canto Classics. Cambridge University Press, 2012. ISBN 9781107617681.
- Crystal, David: Shakespeare: Books & Articles: list of articles that Crystal wrote on Shakespeare's language; many of them can be downloaded for free.
- Crystal, David: The Influence of the King James Bible on the English Language, hour-long video of a lecture organised by the British Council on 7 July 2011. The audio version is available on Soundcloud.
- Crystal, David: La langue de Shakespeare aujourd’hui, British Council France - Blog, 25 January 2016.
- Freedman, Penelope: Power and Passion in Shakespeare's Pronouns: Interrogating ‘You’ and ‘Thou’. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2007. (Routledge) (294 pages) ISBN 9780754658306.
- Griffiths, Stuart:
Shakespeare's Language: Keys To Understand It.
Pontcanna Press UK: 2000.
The page with publication info says, "This book is published primarily as an electronic document, to be down-loaded from the Internet." (Copyright © Stuart Griffiths 2000.)
- Hope, Jonathan: Shakespeare's Grammar. Arden Shakespeare. Bloomsbury, 2003. (224 pages) ISBN 9781903436363.
- Hulme, Hilda M.: Explorations in Shakespeare's Language: Some Problems of Word Meaning in the Dramatic Text. New York: Longman, 1962, 1977. ISBN 0 582 48726 9.
- Jonson, Ben:
The English Grammar.
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Alice Vinton Waite. New York: Sturgis & Walton, 1909.
A digitised version of this edition is available in the Internet Archive. This grammar was originally written in or before 1623, lost in a fire in November 1623, then rewritten, and eventually published posthumously in 1640/1641. See also Ben Jonson, The English Grammar, 1640 on the website of the British Library.
- Johnson, Keith: Shakespeare's English: A Practical Linguistic Guide. Routledge, 2012. (336 pages) ISBN 9781408277355.
- Joseph, [Sister] Miriam: Shakespeare's Use of the Arts of Language.
- Kermode, Frank:
Shakespeare's Language. Allen Lane / Penguin, 2000, 2001 (reprint).
ISBN 0 713 99378 2.
This book was written for a general audience and discusses the language in Shakespeare's plays in chronological order.
- Logan, Gary:
The Eloquent Shakespeare: A Pronouncing Dictionary for the Complete Dramatic Works with Notes to Untie the Modern Tongue.
University of Chicago Press, 2008 (2012). (368 pages)
This book provides the standard American pronunciation of the words in Shakespeare's plays, not the British pronunciation or Original Pronunciation.
- MacDonald, Russ: Teaching Shakespeare's Language: recording of a 60-minute webinar, provided by Macmillan Learning on YouTube (uploaded in September 2015).
- Mastin, Luke:
Early Modern English (c. 1500 - c. 1800),
The History of English.
Not specifically about Shakespeare, but includes the Elizabethan age. (See also Luke Mastin's sources and links.)
- Mitchell, Linda C.: Grammar Wars: language as cultural battlefield in 17th and 18th century England. Aldershot, Hampshire; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001. ISBN 0-7546-0272-9. (Entry in WorldCat.)
- Nevalainen, Terttu:
An Introduction to Early Modern English.
Edinburgh University Press, 2006. (192 pages)
This is a book aimed at students; it covers the entire period from 1500 to 1700, not just the Elizabethan period.
- Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC): Shakespeare's Language:
- Shaw, Fiona; Whelan, Ella: Fiona Shaw talks to Ella Whelan about Shakespeare's language, spiked, April 2016.
- Shanley, Dan: Elizabethan English and Shakespearean Vocabulary: brief introduction for students. (Part of the website Mr. Shanley’s Shakespeare Class.)
- Simpson, Percy: Shakespeare's Punctuation. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911. Digitised version on Archive.org.
- Stina-Ewbank, Stina:
“Shakespeare and the arts of language”,
in: The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies, edited by Stanley Wells.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986 (1996).
ISBN 0-521-31841-6. Pages 49-66.
This article focuses on the practical and dramatical use of language, not on peculiarities of Shakespeare's grammar or vocabulary.
- Vickers, Brian: The Artistry of Shakespeare's Prose. (London: Methuan, 1968, revised edition 1979) Routledge, 2005. (468 pages) ISBN 9780415489102.
- Weiner, Edmund: Early modern English – an overview, Oxford English Dictionary: Aspects of English: English in time.
- Weiner, Edmund: Grammar in early modern English, Oxford English Dictionary: Aspects of English: English in time.
The most useful general references are the works by C. T. Onions, and by David and Ben Crystal. Shakespeare's indecent use of language (insults, sexual puns, expletives, etc.) has been the subject of many books, some of which are mostly for entertainment. There are even online insults generators, such as this Shakespearean Insults Generator.
- Crystal, David; Crystal, Ben:
Shakespeare's Words: A Glossary and Language Companion. Penguin, 2002. (650 pages)
ISBN 0 14 100737 0.
The book also has a website: Shakespeare's Words.
- Edelman, Charles: Shakespeare's Military Language: A Dictionary. Student Shakespeare Library. Continuum, 2001, 2005. (650 pages) ISBN 9780826477774.
- Hill, Wayne F.; Öttchen, Cynthia J.: Shakespeare’s Insults: Educating Your Wit. Three Rivers Press (Penguin Random House), 1995. (336 pages) ISBN 9780517885390.
- Kallgren, Kyle: Shakespeare's Insults and Innuendo and Why They Matter - Shakespeare Month (YouTube, 10 minutes).
- Kerrigan, John:
Shakespeare's Binding Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. (640 pages)
A study of the language that the characters in Shakespeare's plays use to commit themselves to the truth (i.e. oaths, vows, contracts and similar utterances).
- Kiernan, Pauline:
Filthy Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Most Outrageous Sexual Puns. Quercus, 2006; Gotham, 2008 / Avery, 2008. (304 pages)
See also the author's website.
Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME).
According to the description on the home page,
LEME searches and displays word-entries from monolingual English dictionaries, bilingual lexicons, technical vocabularies, and other encyclopedic-lexical works, 1480-1755.The site is hosted by the University of Toronto. The public version allows simple searchers. The licensed version is meant to support scholarly research in the context of Early Modern English. (Jonathan Bate used it to investigate word usage for a new edition of Shakespeare; see Using LEME to Edit Shakespeare, Language Hat, 25.04.2007.)
- Onions, C. T.:
A Shakespeare Glossary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1911.
Second, revised edition, 1911.
This “dictionary” of Shakespeare's English was based on the Oxford English Dictionary, which was still being compiled for Oxford University Press. The focus is on words in Shakespeare's works that have become obsolete or at least archaic, allusions that are no longer generally understood today, proper names with connotations that have become unfamiliar, and words whose meaning may pose problems in the context in which Shakespeare used them.
- Onions, C. T.; Eagleson, Robert D. (revised edition): A Shakespeare Glossary. Third edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986. ISBN 9780198125211.
- Partridge, Eric: Shakespeare's Bawdy: A Literary & Sociological Essay and a Comprehensive Glossary. London: Routlege & Kegan Paul, 1947, 1968. 4th edition: Routledge, 2001. ISBN 9780415254007.
- Spevack, Marvin: A Shakespeare Thesaurus. Hildesheim: Olms, 1993. ISBN 3487097761.
- Vienne-Guerrin, Nathalie: Shakespeare's Insults: A Pragmatic Dictionary. Continuum, 2013. Bloomsbury, 2016. (512 pages) ISBN 9780826498335.
- Open Source Shakespeare: Concordance of Shakespeare's complete works.
Other resources related to Shakespeare's vocabulary:
- Crystal, David; Crystal, Ben: Frequently Encountered Words (FEW), on the website Shakespeare's Words.
- Norvig, Peter:
Natural Language Corpus Data: Beautiful Data:
webpage with links to several files, including a text file containing
the complete works of Shakespeare, tokenized so that there is a space between words and punctuation, provided by John DeNero.
- Richmond, Kent: New Friends, False Friends, Strange Partners: Why Shakespeare is Difficult, Shakespeare Translations (no date). (Kent Richmond has created modern verse translations of several Shakespeare plays.)
Not immediately related to Shakespeare's language is the following question on StackExchange: How far back in time would English be understandable to a modern speaker? The question has several detailed answers.
Learning Early Modern English
- How can I learn to write in early modern English, otherwise known as Shakespearean?: question on Quora, with answers by an acting teacher and a few other people (native speakers of English).
- (What are good ways to learn Early Modern English (for example, the English written by Shakespeare and Milton)? Are there any books that systematically elaborate the grammar and vocabulary of it?: another question on Quora.)
- English Handwriting 1500-1700: An Online Course: online course developed by a team of researchers as Cambridge University.
Insults, Curses & Insult Generators
- Churchwell, Sarah: Why a foul mouth can be a force for good, The Guardian, 7 May 2017.
- Suzanne Gordon: The Elizabethan Insult and Curses of an Elizabethan Nature or, How to Cuss Like an Elizabethan Sailor.
Shakespeare Insult Generator:
book that helps you generate
157,464 different insult combinations; all you need to do then is put “thou” before them.
- Shakespearean Insulter.
- Trevor Stone: Elizabethan Curse Generator. (The source code is available on GitHub and has been put in the public domain.)
- Shakespearean Insults Generator on the website LiteraryGenius.info.
- No Sweat Shakespeare: Shakespeare Insults: a "top 50" list of insults from Shakespeare's plays.
- Source code for adding an insult generator to your own website is available in several open source code repositories. Note that source code without a licence can be studied but should not be copied into “serious” content or software projects.
Performances of Shakespeare's Works
Below is a list of video and audio recordings of performances of Shakespeare's plays and some recording of plays by other Elizabethan or Jacobean playwrights.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has a YouTube channel with archived audio recordings of performances, with the following plays, in the order in which they were recorded:
- The Comedy of Errors (15 August 1950),
- The First Part of King Henry the Fourth (Henry IV) (16 August 1950),
- Antony and Cleopatra (1950),
- Twelfth Night (9 August 1951),
- Measure for Measure (10 August 1951),
- King Lear (11 August 1951),
- The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth (Henry IV) (12 August 1951),
- Julius Caesar (16 August 1952),
- The Tempest (17 August 1952),
- Henry the Fifth (Henry V) (18 August 1952),
- Much Ado about Nothing (19 August 1952),
- Coriolanus (22 August 1953),
- The Merchant of Venice (24 August 1953),
- King Henry the Sixth, Part One (25 August 1953),
- The Taming of the Shrew (26 August 1953),
- Hamlet (18 August 1954; 3 hours),
- The Winter's Tale (19 August 1954),
- The Merry Wives of Windsor (20 August 1954),
- King Henry the Sixth, Part Two (21 August 1954),
- All's Well That Ends Well (19 August 1955),
- King Henry the Sixth, Part Three (20 August 1955),
- Macbeth (22 August 1955),
- Timon of Athens (23 August 1955),
- Cymbeline (1956),
- Richard III (21 August 1956),
- Love's Labour's Lost (22 August 1956),
- Romeo and Juliet (23 August 1956),
- Titus Andronicus (24 August 1956),
- Othello (31 August 1957),
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona (27 August 1957),
- King Henry the Eighth (Henry VIII) (28 August 1957),
- Pericles, Prince of Tyre (29 August 1957)
- Troilus and Cressida (8 August 1958),
- King John (18 August 1959),
- Richard II (9 August 1960).
- Beaumont and Fletcher: The Knight of the Burning Pestle (1964).
Other Recordings or Videos
Other recordings organised by play, in chronological order (the approximate order of composition; see Chronology of Shakespeare's plays on Wikipedia).
The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1589–1591)
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona - Shakespeare in the Park 2013 (College TV Fort Wayne; open-air performance filmed on 3 August 2013)
The Two Gentlemen of Verona,
dress rehearsal of a performance by Aalborg University Shakespeare Company on 26 March 2015.
Final performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona with additional jokes (107 minutes).
- Two Gentlemen of Verona (part 1), Two Gentlemen of Verona (part 2), open-air performance, GreenStageShakes, Seward Park, Seattle, 2007.
The Taming of the Shrew (1590–1591)
- The Taming of the Shrew, performance at the Theatre Workshop Coulsdon (UK), directed by Lucy-Ann Martin, recorded in 2013 (or possibly earlier).
- The Taming of the Shrew (part 1) (65 minutes), The Taming of the Shrew (part 2) (66 minutes), GreenStageShakes, directed by Marc Moser, Shakespeare in the Park (outdoor performance), Seattle, August 2012.
- University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Department of Theatre & Dance: The Taming of the Shrew, directed by David Edgecombe, 25 November – 11 December 2011.
- Athenian Berean Community Players (ABC Players): The Taming of the Shrew (part 1), The Taming of the Shrew (part 2), directed by Celeste Parsons, performed at the Stuart's Opera House, Nelsonville, Ohio on 10 May 2012 (75 minutes).
- The Taming of the Shrew, Bexhill Amateur Theatrical Society, directed by Mike Poole and Sandra Bunday and set in the 1920s, filmed in April 2014.
- Battle Ground Highschool (BGHS) drama department: The Taming of the Shrew, performed on 20 February 2016 (95 minutes). The text seems to be partly modernised. The actors' voices are recorded with wireless microphones.
- The Taming of the Shrew (part 1), The Taming of the Shrew (part 2), St. Louis Shakespeare, Grandel Theatre, St. Louis, Missouri, July 2010.
- The Taming of the Shrew outdoor performance by the Chesapeake Shakespeare Corps, 82 minutes, uploaded on 12 July 2015; not so great and strongly shortened.
Henry VI, Part 2 (1591)
- Henry VI, Part 2 directed by John Freimann and Patrick Tyson, Harper Joy Theater, Whitman College, 1992 (71 minutes).
- Henry IV by the Brussels Shakespeare Company, directed by Sven Delarivière, performed at the Petit Varia in Brussels in late 2017.
Henry VI, Part 3 (1591)
(No performances listed.)
Henry VI, Part 1 (1591–1592)
- Henry VI, Part 1 directed by John Freimann and Patrick Tyson, Harper Joy Theater, Whitman Collge, January 1992 (77 minutes).
Titus Andronicus (1591–1592)
- Titus Andronicus, Seoul Shakespeare Company, 14 June 2015.
- Titus Andronicus, GreenStageShakes, directed by Tony Driscoll, 2009.
- Syracuse Shakespeare Festival: Titus Andronicus, directed by Dan Stevens (outdoors performance, 142 minutes, uploaded on 22 January 2014).
- Black Hole Theatre Company: Titus Andronicus, recorded on 17 November 2014 (161 minutes, uploaded on 21 January 2015).
- Titus Andronicus, produced by Paul Carmichael, 22 June 2016 (138 minutes).
- Titus Andronicus, directed by Paul Carmichael, performed on 9 June 2006 (?) (124 minutes, recorded on VHS camera, uploaded on 14 September 2015).
Richard III (1592–1593)
- Richard III (part 1), Richard III (part 2), open-air performance, GreenStageShakes, Seward Park, Seattle, 2007.
directed by Paul Carmichael, recorded on 3 July 2014 (130 minutes, uploaded on 22 June 2015).
Filmed live on 3rd July 2014 this was a rather stressful piece of theatre. Due to a cast indisposition the lead actor was unable to take part on the opening night which meant that the Director (me) had to take to the stage and play one of the most demanding roles in English literature, script in hand! All this in a piece of theatre that was pulled together in just a few weeks!
Edward III (1592–1593)
performed by St. Louis Shakespeare at the Orthwein Theatre on the campus of MICDS, St. Louis, Missouri in March 2009 (113 minutes).
The Raigne of King Edward the Third was published anonymously in 1596. William Shakespeare and Thomas Kyd may have been co-authors of this play.
The Comedy of Errors (1594)
- The Comedy of Errors, an outdoor performance by the Theatre Workshop Coulsdon (UK), directed by Luke Argles, probably recorded in August 2008.
- The Comedy of Errors - Shakespeare in the Park 2014 by the Actor's Circle Theatre.
- The Comedy of Errors by the Montford Park Players, Asheville (uploaded in July 2011).
- A Taste 'O Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors, Longmont Performing Arts Center, Colorado in 2014 (113 minutes). Described as a full-length “steam-punk performance”.
Love's Labour's Lost (1594–1595)
- Love's Labours Lost - Shakespeare in the Park 2015 by the Actor's Circle Theatre.
- Love's Labour's Lost, outdoor performance by students—The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company— (96 minutes, uploaded on 4 August 2016).
- Love's Labour's Lost, by UCSB's hakespeare in the Park (THTR 194A), Anisq'Oyo' Park, 5 June 2016 (88 minutes).
- Lovees Labor Lost, by Performing Arts at Brookline High School (110 minutes, uploaded in December 2014).
Richard II (1595)
- The Tragedy of Richard II, by the Brussels Shakespeare Society directed by Charles Bouchard (uploaded in January 2017, 154 minutes, with subtitles).
Romeo and Juliet (1595)
- Providence College, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Film: Romeo and Juliet, student performance directed by John P. Garrity, recorded at the Angell Blackfriars Theatre, Providence, Rhode Island, on 6 November 2009.
- Romeo and Juliet, by X-Ray Ultra Studios and Plaza Theatrical Productions, recorded at a library in Long Island, NY, 11 August 2004 (88 minutes, low video and sound quality).
- Romeo and Juliet (two parts) by Lionface Productions (Bowling Green, Ohio, February 2014).
- Romeo and Juliet (outdoor performance by the Chesapeake Shakespeare Corps (strongly shortened, 88 minutes, uploaded on 18 July 2014).
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595)
- Shakespeare by the Sea travelling actors troupe: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare in the Park, Rossmoor, 2014 (115 minutes, recorded by Losal TV).
- A Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare in the Park 2016 open-air performance by the Actor's Circle Theatre, filmed on 7 August 2016 (120 minutes).
- College TV Fort Wayne: A Midsummer Night's Dream (2016, 127 minutes).
- Rice University Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts: A Midsummer Night's Dream (2013, 97 minutes).
- A Midsummer Night's Dream, Wichita Shakespeare Company, open-air performance, Shakespeare-in-the-Park series (2016?).
- University of California Television (UCTV): A Midsummer Night's Dream, adapted in 1960's style (with Theseus looking like John Lennon), recorded in 2010 (87 minutes, uploaded on 9 December 2010).
- Fresno State University Theatre: A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Kathleen McKinley, Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre, 30 October–3 November 2015.
King John (1596)
- Wichita Shakespeare Company: King John, open-air performance directed by Mark Schuster (113 minutes), Shakespeare-in-the-Park series, 2014.
The Merchant of Venice (1596–1597)
- UMASS Hillel Jewish Theatre Collective and the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies: The Merchant of Venice, directed by Dori A. Robinson (2013?).
- Baltimore Shakespeare Factory (BSF): The Merchant of Venice (part one) (68 minutes), The Merchant of Venice (part two) (51 minutes), directed by Tom Delise. (Uploaded on 10 July 2015).
Henry IV, Part 1 (1596–1597)
(No performances listed.)
The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597)
- Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival: The Merry Wives of Windsor (2015) (in an outdoor theatre in Flint Hills, Kansas).
- St. Louis Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor (part 1), The Merry Wives of Windsor (part 2), Grandel Theatre, St. Louis, Missouri, 2011.
Henry IV, Part 2 (1597–1598)
(No performances listed.)
Much Ado About Nothing (1598–1599)
- Rice University Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts: Much Ado About Nothing, set in 1840's Texas, recorded in October 2015 (106 minutes).
- Much Ado About Nothing, open-air performance by the Bexhill Amateur Theatrical Society, directed by Mike Poole, filmed in July 2013.
- University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA): Much Ado About Nothing, with music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, conducted by John Mauceri (116 minutes).
- Utah Valley University/ Utah Valley State College, Department of Theatrical Arts: Much Ado About Nothing, directed by John Graham, situated at the time of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, a beautiful production. (December 2010, 120 minutes).
- Lees-McRae College Performing Arts Department: Much Ado about Nothing (2011?).
Henry V (1599)
- St. Louis Shakespeare: Henry V (part 1), Henry V (part 2), Grandel Theatre, St. Louis, Missouri, 2011.
- Montford Park Players, Asheville: Henry V performed on 22 June 2014 (uploaded in June 2014).
- Chesapeake Shakespeare Corps: Henry V (outdoor performance, 72 minutes, uploaded on 16 July 2016).
Julius Caesar (1599)
- Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival: Julius Caesar (2016) (in an outdoor theatre in Flint Hills, Kansas).
- Chesapeake Shakespeare Corps: Julius Caesar (outdoor performance, 98 minutes, uploaded on 18 July 2015).
As You Like It (1599–1600)
- Flint Hills Shakespeare Festival: As You Like It (2014) (in an outdoor theatre in Flint Hills, Kansas).
- St. Louis Shakespeare: As You Like It (138 minutes), outdoors performance, 19 July 2013. (The actors wear wireless microphones.)
- Shakespeare by the Sea travelling actors troupe: As You Like It, Shakespeare in the Park, Rossmoor, 26 July 2015 (116 minutes, recorded by Losal TV).
- Aalborg University Shakespeare Company: As You Like It, edited together from several performances in 2016.
- Wichita Shakespeare Company: As You Like It, open-air performance (122 minutes; microphones far away from the stage capture a lot of traffic noise), Shakespeare-in-the-Park series (2015).
- Chesapeake Shakespeare Corps: As You Like It (outdoor performance, 76 minutes, uploaded on 18 July 2015).
- Seoul Shakespeare Company: Hamlet (April 2013).
- BLC Productions: BLC Theatre presents Hamlet by William Shakespeare (2 hours and 45 minutes, uploaded on 20 August 2013; date of performance not mentioned).
- Hamlet (part 1), Hamlet (part 2), Hamlet (part 3), open-air performance by the Bexhill Amateur Theatrical Society directed by Lawry Rhodes, July 2011.
- Hamlet, performed by the Primrose Players, Bothell Landing Auditorium (outdoord), 22 July 2017 (131 minutes).
- Hamlet, produced by Paul Carmichael, 8 June 2017 (137 minutes).
- Wichita Shakespeare Company: Hamlet, open-air performance (137 minutes), Shakespeare-in-the-Park series (2015?).
- Chesapeake Shakespeare Corps: Hamlet (outdoor performance, 64 minutes, uploaded on 18 October 2016).
Twelfth Night (1601)
- Twelfth Night, outdoor performance (Trinity College Gardens), directed by Simon Tavener and Moya Hughes, recorded in July 2016.
- Curio Theatre (Philadelphia): Twelfth Night, compiled from performances on 15 and 16 May 2010.
- X-Ray Ultra Studios and Queens Shakespeare, Inc.: Twelfth Night directed by Nanette Asher, recorded at the Flear Theater, Summer 2009 (152 minutes).
Troilus and Cressida (1600–1602)
- The Arden Shakespeare Gild: Troilus and Cressida, directed by Jim Ewald, outdoor performance (apparently near an airport), June 2016 (122 minutes).
Measure for Measure (1603–1604)
- Brookdale Shakespeare: Measure for Measure (outdoor performance, "Shakespeare on the Lawn", 2015).
- Shakespeare by the Sea travelling actors troupe: Othello, Shakespeare in the Park, Rossmoor, 23 July 2016 (111 minutes, uploaded on 2 August 2016, recorded by Losal TV).
- Sea View Playwright's Theatre Company: Othello, shot by Matthew Provenzano and Michael R. Anderson, edited by Matthew Provenzano (159 minutes, uploaded on 24 June 2015).
- UCD Film Society: Othello, directed by Sarah Munro, starring Fiachra Fallon Verbruggen as Iago, Ause Abdelhaq-Braike as Othello, Aisling Byrne as Desdemona and James Cooney as Roderigo. (157 minutes, uploaded on 19 June 2015).
- Wichita Shakespeare Company: Othello, open-air performance, Shakespeare-in-the-Park series (2016).
- Mixed Magic Theatre: Othello, performed on 13 December 2013 (126 minutes, uploaded on 25 November 2014).
All's Well That Ends Well (1604–1605)
- Shakespeare by the Sea travelling actors troupe: All's Well That Ends Well, Shakespeare in the Park, Rossmoor, 2013 (120 minutes, recorded by Losal TV).
- Plainfield Little Theatre (Vermont): All's Well That Ends Well, directed by Tom Blachly (155 minutes, uploaded on 21 February 2016).
- Montford Park Players, Asheville: All's Well That Ends Well, performed on 23 July 2011.
King Lear (1605–1606)
- King Lear by Bard in the Barracks who performed scenes performed outdoors and combined them to create a film-like result (2011).
- King Lear, directed by Paul Carmichael; a “Brechtian version” that resulted from the lead actor dropping out of the production, recorded in 2009 (141 minutes, uploaded on 24 December 2014).
- King Lear, directed by John R. Freimann, with Patrick Page as Lear, at Whitman College, 1985 (184 minutes). (another recording of the same production/performance).
- The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company & The Rhodes Junior Apprentices: King Lear (outdoor performance by students, 91 minutes, uploaded on 8 June 2016).
- King Lear – Part 1 (58 minutes), King Lear – Part 2 (51 minutes), King Lear – Part 3 (62 minutes), performed by the Christchurch Repertory Theatre, directed by Julian Anderson, 24 August – 9 September 2016 at Elmwood Auditorium, Christchurch.
Timon of Athens (1605–1606)
- St. Louis Shakespeare: Timon of Athens (part 1) (44 minutes), Timon of Athens (part 2) (45 minutes), directed by Milt Zoth, performed in the Hunter Theatre, St. Louis, July 2013.
- Macbeth by Bard in the Barracks who performed scenes performed outdoors and combined them to create a film-like result (May–June 2011).
- Macbeth, open-air performance by the Bexhill Amateur Theatrical Society, directed by Kerry Grant, August 2015.
- Macbeth directed by Paul Carmichael, and with jazz-muscial witches; recorded in 2008 (121 minutes, uploaded on 22 December 2014).
- Montezuma-Cortez High School (M-CHS: Macbeth in film noir style, recorded in Spring 2013 (135 minutes).
Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
(No performances listed.)
Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1607–1608)
- Murdoch University: Pericles, performed by Murdoch University's EGL 348 Shakespeare class on Thursday 10 November 2016 (104 minutes).
- Brussels Shakespeare Society: Coriolanus, by the Brussels Shakespeare Society directed by Charles Bouchard (uploaded in 2013, 145 minutes, with subtitles).
- St. Louis Shakespeare: Coriolanus (part 1), Coriolanus (part 2), Grandel Theatre, St. Louis, Missouri, July 2012.
The Winter's Tale (1609–1611)
- University of North Florida (NFU), Department of English: The Winter's Tale performed by members, community members and alumni of the Department of English, directed by Dr. Pam Monteleone. (143 minutes, uploaded on 30 June 2016).
- The Winter's Tale performed by French students and staff (in modern dress) in Poitiers, France, March 2014). (125 minutes, uploaded on 12 May 2014).
- Chesapeake Shakespeare Corps: The Winter's Tale (outdoor performance, 87 minutes, uploaded on 8 October 2016).
- Shakespeare by the Sea travelling actors troupe: Cymbeline, Shakespeare in the Park, Rossmoor, 2016 (116 minutes).
- Professional Actor Training Program at Wright State University: Cymbeline (student performance, 130 minutes, November 2009).
The Tempest (1610–1611)
- Savage Rose Theatre: The Tempest (2 hours; performed June 2014).
- The Tempest - Shakespeare in the Park 2012 by the Actor's Circle Theatre.
- The Tempest, performance at the Theatre Workshop Coulsdon (UK), directed by Dawn Lock and Paul M. Ford, probably recorded in April 2011.
- Another Door! Productions: The Tempest, performed at the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Stage in 2015 (92 minutes, uploaded 28 August 2015).
- Moving Stories Theatre: The Tempest, Minack Theatre (outdoors, on the coast), July 2014.
- Utah Valley University/ Utah Valley State College, Department of Theatrical Arts: The Tempest directed by Christopher Clark, a production that uses elements from Tudor and Jacobean masques (100 minutes, uploaded in April 2010).
- St. Louis Shakespeare: The Tempest (part 1), The Tempest (part 2), Grandel Theatre, St. Louis, Missouri, 2010.
- Central Washington University: The Tempest (directed by Keith Edie, 2012, 95 minutes).
- The Tempest (two parts) (The Tempest (part 1), The Tempest (part 2)); by Lionface Productions (Bowling Green, Ohio), outdoor performance (September 2011).
- The Tempest, a production by X-Ray Ultra Studios and Plaza Theatrical Productions, recorded in 2010; Brendan Hunt, who played Caliban, turned the footage into a video in 2014 (73 minutes).
- Individual Arts (Devon, UK):
directed by Chris Harknett. Description from YouTube:
Shakespeare's classic tale of shipwreck, treachery, love and magic. Performed by Individual Arts at several venues around the South West of England, March 2014. Incorporating elements of Steampunk, acrobatics and clowning alongside strong traditional Shakespearean performance techniques.(128 minutes, uploaded 25 June 2014; see also the description on the website).
- Montezuma-Cortez High School (M-CHS: The Tempest in 1950s science fiction B-move style, recorded in 2016 (146 minutes).
- BLC Productions: BLC Theatre presents The Tempest by William Shakespeare (2 hours; performed on 20 April 2012, Bethany Lutheran College).
- Chesapeake Shakespeare Corps: The Tempest (outdoor performance, 64 minutes, with some gaps in the recording, uploaded on 9 July 2014).
Henry VIII (1612–1613)
(No performances listed.)
The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613–1614)
- Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand: The Two Noble Kinsmen (student performance, directed by Lori Leigh, 2014; 140 minutes).
Performances of other English Renaissance plays:
- Theatre Workshop Coulsdon (UK):
- Oxford Theatre Guild:
- Christopher Marlowe: Doctor Faustus, directed by Mike Taylor, recorded in December 2013.
- Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York (UK):
- Boston University:
- John Marston: The Dutch Courtesan, recorded on 26 March 2009.
- Thomas Middleton and William Rowley: The Changeling, recorded on 31 March – 2 April 2010.
- Ben Jonson: Bartholomew Fair, recorded on 31 March 2011.
- Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher: A King and No King (published 1619), recorded on 5 April 2012.
- Anonymous: Arden of Faversham (published 1592), recorded 27 March 2014.
- Thomas Dekker: The Shoemaker's Holiday, student performance (Willing Suspension Productions), recorded on 3 April 2015.
- John Fletcher and Philip Massinger: The Sea Voyage, student performance (Willing Suspension Productions), recorded on 21–23 April 2016.
- Thomas Middleton: A Mad World, My Masters, student performance (Willing Suspension Productions), recorded on 6 March 2008.
- John Fletcher: The Tamer Tamed, student performance (Willing Suspension Productions), recorded on 29 March 2013. (The Woman's Prize, or the Tamer Tamed is a “reply” to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.)
- William Rowley, Thomas Dekker and John Ford: The Witch of Edmonton, student performance (Willing Suspension Productions), recorded on 16–18 March 2017.
- John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi, directed by Tony Driscoll, North Seattle College, 20 March 2016 (low sound quality).
- John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi, directed by Dan Horrigan, the New Players Theatre (or the Charing Cross Theatre?), London, 6 May, 2010. (Available under the Creative Commons Attribution licence.)
- Montford Park Players, Asheville:
- Productions directed by Paul Carmichael:
- Thomas Middleton:
The Revengers Tragedy,
described as follows:
It's cross-dressing and violence all the way in this production of Middleton's classic tale of lust and revenge filmed live in 2011.(134 minutes, uploaded on 19 December 2011). (This looks like a shorter version of a production that is 218 minutes long, uploaded on 10 June 2016.)
- John Ford: Tis Pity She's a Whore, recorded in 2012 (168 minutes, uploaded on 19 December 2014).
- John Ford:
The Broken Heart,
directed by Paul Carmichael, recorded in 2013. The description on YouTube says:
The Broken Heart is known as the "unperformable" (New York Times) play of the great tragedian John Ford, best known for writing Tis Pity She's A Whore (which can be found here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwWve... ) Touching on such issues as the aging process and eating disorders, Ford makes a complex Ancient Spartan society come to life in this tale of love, lust and revenge.(175 minutes, uploaded on 24 December 2014).
- Thomas Middleton: The Revengers Tragedy, described as follows:
- Nicholas Udall: Ralph Roister Doister (playlist with 27 videos), performed at the Players' Ring Theater, directed by Mike Gillett, on 3 June 2000. Ralph Roister Doister was once regarded as the oldest comedy in the English language.
- Cog Dog Theatre Troupe: Christopher Marlowe: The Jew of Malta (student performance, 88 minutes).
- Lionface Productions (Bowling Green, Ohio):
- Christopher Marlowe: Doctor Faustus (two parts) (directed by Christina Hoekstra, November 2012).
- Chimaera Productions: The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Dr. Faustus (Christopher Marlowe), directed by Alex Pryce in Edinburgh in 2008 (dress rehearsal; 82 minutes; sound quality is not ideal).
- West Suffolk College: Thomas Middleton: The Roaring Girl (91 minutes, uploaded on 5 June 2013).
- The Revellers: Ben Jonson: The Alchemist (Part 1 of 4, The Alchemist (Part 2 of 4, The Alchemist (Part 3 of 4, The Alchemist (Part 4 of 4, an outdoors performance directed by Paul Graves, Peterborough Festival, July 2011. (No stereo sound; some background noise.)
- The Studio Theatre, Drama Department, Royal Holloway, University of London: Elizabeth Cary: The Tragedy of Mariam, directed by Elizabeth Schafer, October 1995.
- W. Murison: Changes in the Language since Shakespeare’s Time, in The Cambridge History of English and American Literature: An Encyclopedia in Eighteen Volumes, Volume 14, English: The Victorian Age: Part Two: The Nineteenth Century: III, Cambridge, England: University Press, 1907–21.
- The History of London: Elizabethan theatre.
- Ross, John J.: Shakespeare's Chancre: Did the Bard Have Syphilis?, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 40 Issue 3 (1 February 2005).
- Matt Toronto (assistant professor, The School of Theatre at Penn State University): Understanding Shakespeare's Language (5 videos, YouTube, 2014): part 1 (7 minutes), part 2 (3 minutes), part 3 (4 minutes), part 4 (6 minutes), part 5 (11 minutes).