Goodreads Blog

What Shakespeare Play Should I Read? An Infographic

Posted by Hayley on April 19, 2016
In honor of #ShakespeareWeek, try our helpful infographic to find out what celebrated play you should read next.



Where did you end up—comedy, history, or tragedy?
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Comments (showing 1-40 of 40) (40 new)

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message 1: by E (new)

E Awesome - FBed it :) I got Cymbeline which I have yet to read, so all's good!


message 2: by Emma Jade (new)

Emma Jade Much Ado About Nothing - gotta look into that one!


message 3: by Bellatrix (new)

Bellatrix Lestrange whoa i'm mind blown. So far, all I've read of will's is Romeo and Juliet, and that's only halfway. whoa. I want to read ALL


message 4: by mona (new)

mona greattttttttt


message 5: by Saskia (new)

Saskia Hui, thank your for the post! I got "Much Ado About Nothing" and will definitely check it out. Also, if it's Shakespeare week now that's the perfect time to start reading that collected works edition that's been sitting on my shelf for like a year. :D


message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary What? What? No Merchant of Venice? No greatest hero/heroine: Portia? A pox upon you!


message 7: by Erin (new)

Erin Mary wrote: "What? What? No Merchant of Venice? No greatest hero/heroine: Portia? A pox upon you!"

Merchant of Venice is there. It's connected to the "not politically correct " choice


message 8: by Duygu (new)

Duygu MAC FRIGGIN BETH HERE WE GO BRING ON THE SOLILOQUIES


message 9: by Sadjad (new)

Sadjad Abedi Oh! That's great.


message 10: by Mary (new)

Mary Erin wrote: "Mary wrote: "What? What? No Merchant of Venice? No greatest hero/heroine: Portia? A pox upon you!"

Merchant of Venice is there. It's connected to the "not politically correct " choice"


My Bad, Erin.... I was an engl lit major in college so I've read most of the comedies and tragedies, and a few of the historicals (my least fav). Portia is my favorite heroine, Twelfth Night my fav rom/com.


message 11: by Kristin (new)

Kristin  Buckner I really enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing!


message 12: by Tahsina (new)

Tahsina Syeda Brilliant! XD


message 13: by Kay (new)

Kay J Maybe I'll read some of his sonnets that i have.


message 14: by Oli (new)

Oli This was super cool! I'm excited that it's shakespeare week. I'm probably going to read "Much Ado About Nothing".


message 15: by M.M. (new)

M.M. Holaday I'm a devoted Shakespeare fan, but I believe his plays should be enjoyed as performances. I'd rather watch them than read them, much like preferring to attend a concert over reading the sheet music! That said, Much Ado About Nothing is my clear favorite.


message 16: by Alvaro (new)

Alvaro Excellent!
A great tool to decide what to read or watch from the great bard.
Do you plan somthing in the line on Cervantes. The other great in his 400 years anniversary.


message 17: by Julie (new)

Julie Bozza LOL! I got Much Ado About Nothing. Not bad. :-)


message 18: by Exanimis (new)

Exanimis Fantastic! Thank you for posting. Looks like Macbeth is next on my to read list.


message 19: by Fran (new)

Fran I can fix this for you in one easy step: don't read, watch!

Unless you're performing a dramatic reading with a group of friends (which is a lot of fun), then watching a performance should be your primary route into Shakespeare. I recommend the Globe, they know their Shakespeare; you can buy the 'Globe on Screen' productions on DVD or rent them from Digital Theatre. You're welcome!


message 20: by Jaksen (new)

Jaksen Titus Andronicus.

I recently read it, had never done so, and enjoyed it more than I thought possible. Then I saw the movie, Titus, and liked that, too. The movie was very stylized, though, and would not be to everyone's taste.

As for brutality, the play is the worst - best? - and quite comparable to the worst - best - horror movies being produced today.

I am currently working my way through all the plays, btw, including those I first read in high school and several I never have read at all.


message 21: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Much Ado About Nothing. Why do the first timers get all the good stuff?


message 22: by Bill (new)

Bill I've read all these. I'd like to read the lost plays, but I can't find them anywhere. Yuck, yuck. I know, I know. What stone does yonder window break? Do tell, Brutus, you brute. I exit, anon.


message 24: by Alexia (new)

Alexia Bocchini Much Ado About Nothing!!! Plus, I loved the Joey Tribbiani reference ; )


message 26: by Anna (last edited Apr 19, 2016 10:00PM) (new)

Anna Mary wrote: "Erin wrote: "Mary wrote: "What? What? No Merchant of Venice? No greatest hero/heroine: Portia? A pox upon you!"

Merchant of Venice is there. It's connected to the "not politically correct " choice..."


I love Merchant of Venice!! Portia is fabulous.


message 27: by Anna (new)

Anna Much Ado about Nothing!


message 28: by Caroline (new)

Caroline This is great!!
I now have to admit to only ever watching Shakespeare performed but have never read any of his books. Forsooth!!


message 29: by Sonja (new)

Sonja Fantastic!


message 30: by Ujjwala (new)

Ujjwala Singhania going through this inforgraphic made me want to read all that I haven't read so far, and re-read the ones that I have already read in the past (in some cases more than once)...Now is it Comedy? or Tragedy?


message 31: by Alexandra (last edited Apr 20, 2016 04:11AM) (new)

Alexandra Awesome indeed! =O I dindt know that Shakespeare had written so many books! I have a looot to read! =)


message 32: by Aishwarya (new)

Aishwarya From one of my favorite Shakespeare fans, GoodTickleBrain: http://goodticklebrain.com/home/2016/...


message 33: by Jaksen (new)

Jaksen Way to 'read' the plays:

Use an annotated (or somewhat annotated) version as so many words have changed meaning; some actually mean the exact opposite of what they do today. I often get lost in the language but once I sort it out, it's great. And read it OUT LOUD if you can. Once you get into the rhythm, you won't want to stop.

Then find a play on Youtube, etc.., and watch it! (Even filmed high school versions are often very good as the kids will struggle to get it right.) Okay, they often edit the live plays, leaving out scenes or lines when passages get overly long or repetitious, but it's a great way to go. (Even professional theatrical companies do this, I've found.) So you read it; you see it. Of course going to a live performance is the best.


message 34: by Joyce (new)

Joyce Merchant of Venice


message 35: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore P. Thanks for this lovely infographic! I got The Winter's Tale :)


The Mad Hatter ~I'd rather have my kingdom fall than lose you to hatred's call~ I got "A midsummer night dream" and "the tempest" Can't wait to read them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 37: by Eden (new)

Eden R Kay wrote: "Maybe I'll read some of his sonnets that i have."

Shakespeare's sonnets are, in my humble opinion, most definitely among the greatest works of literature ever penned. If you're thinking of reading them, I suggest reading them all in sequence without skipping any, as you'll find that they do, in their own way, actually tell a complete story. Enjoy!


message 38: by Esilda (new)

 Esilda Trushaj Really interesting,thank you Goodreads


message 39: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Lee HAHAHA This is awesome, Goodreads. :)


message 40: by Willa (new)

Willa Valentine (paper.seas) :D So cool!

I'm a comedy gal.


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