William Shakespeare's Works/Comedies

Prospero and Miranda, from The Tempest.

The Comedies of Shakespeare


Shakespeare covered a wide range of themes and characters in his comedies. Three comedies that were performed and published in 1594, towards the end of the first period, will show this neatly.

For example, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, he covered marriage in Fairyland, with well-known characters such as Titania and Oberon (the king and queen of Fairyland), and more purely comic characters such as Bottom. The scenery is often very lavish for this play, and many performances take place outdoors.

In The Taming of the Shrew, another play about marriage and love, Katherine is the headstrong daughter of a king, until she meets her match in Petruchio.

The Merchant of Venice is all about the lives of Venetian merchants.

Twelfth Night was commissioned for James I and played when Shakespeare was a member of the King's Men, or about that time. It is a play about the English tradition of Epiphany, which is on January 6.

The Plays