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Shakespeare Online

While the face of literature is always evolving, some works never seem to lose their influence or popularity. Certainly the writings of William Shakespeare are among these. For many generations, people of all ages have marveled at Shakespeare's subtle characterizations and adept representations of society and life. His works are among those most often read by school children. They have been adapted for film and television more than 275 times. His presence is certainly felt online. Sites offer resources for all areas of Shakespearean interest, including electronic texts, children's versions of the works, biographical information, criticisms, and some resources that are just plain fun.

The Works

  • PlayShakespeare.com
    The ultimate free Shakespeare resource, this site includes the complete works as well as reviews, news, podcasts, features and more.

  • Charles and Mary Lamb -- Tales from Shakespeare
    In 1806, these renderings of 20 of the Bard's plays were published for children. The stories are a useful introduction to the works for readers of all ages.

  • Sparknotes - Shakespeare Study Guides
    A very thorough resource to help you get through the bard's famous plays. Includes videos, plot overview, character list, analysis, quizzes and more for 38 plays.

  • Bartleby Shakespeare Collection
    Bartleby.com has placed the 1914 Oxford edition of the "Complete Works of William Shakespeare" online. The anthology's 37 plays and 154 sonnets can be browsed or searched by keyword. Bartleby also offers more than 1,500 Shakespeare quotations selected by John Bartlett and essays on the Bard, including T.S. Eliot's "Hamlet and His Problems."




  • Absolute Shakespeare
    This site offers a true wealth of information about Shakespeare and his works, including full texts of plays and poems, famous quotes, paintings, trivia, a biography and much more.

  • Courtesy of iTunes, this complete lecture series by now-retired University of Michigan Professor Ralph Williams recaps some of Shakespeare's most beloved works, from Henry IV to King Lear. You can also indulge in an interactive Shakespeare experience with new iPad applications from Cambridge University Press, available worldwide on Apple's App Store. Be sure to check out YouTube Edu and Ted-Ed for more interactive resources.

    Biographical and Critical Resources:

  • Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet
    This is one of the most complete guides to Shakespeare resources on the Internet, and it offers a wealth of on-site information. You'll find wonderful background information on Shakespeare's life, including a helpful timeline. Check out the criticism section for an extensive list of annotated links.

  • Shakespeare's Globe
    This is an online guide to the reconstructed Globe playhouse in London. It provides pictures and historical information about the Globe, and gives an idea of what performances must have been like in Shakespeare's time.

  • Shakespeare's Life and Times
    This site provides information on what life was really like in Shakespearean society. The site takes a look at history, politics, literature, art and music.

  • Shakespeare Illustrated
    This is a work in progress from Harry Rusche, an English professor at Emory University. It explores 19th century paintings, criticisms and productions of Shakespeare's plays and their influences on one another.

    Just for Fun

  • ShakespeareInsults
    Have fun generating insults based on adjectives and nouns used in the collected works of Shakespeare. Choose one word from each column, preface with "thou" and you're set! Thou gorbellied milk-livered canker-blossom! Thou dissembling elf-skinned hugger-mugger! Thou... well, you get the idea.




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