Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Complete Works” as Want to Read:
The Complete Works
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Complete Works

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  53,046 ratings  ·  885 reviews
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Merry Wives of Windsor
Measure for Measure
Comedy of Errors
Much Ado About Nothing
Love's Labour's Lost
Midsummer Night's Dream
Merchant of Venice
As You Like It
Taming of the Shrew
All's Well That Ends Well
Twelfth Night
Winter's Tale
King John
King Richard II
King Henry IV. Part 1
King Henry IV. Part 2
King Henry V
King Henry VI. Part 1
Leather Bound, 1248 pages
Published September 8th 1990 by Gramercy (first published 1623)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Complete Works, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Edward Richmond Yes, this is the whole thing. Hence "Complete Works."

Everything in it was written by Shakespeare. Nobody else, unless you believe the wild theories th…more
Yes, this is the whole thing. Hence "Complete Works."

Everything in it was written by Shakespeare. Nobody else, unless you believe the wild theories that say it was all secretly the work of Sir Francis Bacon (I don't).(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  53,046 ratings  ·  885 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Complete Works
I did it.

38 plays, 2 long poems, and 154 sonnets in 2462 onion-paper pages. I read them all. ALL. I think I deserve a self-congratulation for this. Yes. Good job!

It took me more than two months of intense reading that toughened my wrists and arms from reading it on the train standing, hardened my heart with stony indifference against people's perplexed and peering gazes thrown at me even to the point of leaning in from the side to see what the hell I'm reading, and made me utterly fearless again
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ya'll already knew this was coming because I did the same thing for Oscar but these compilations of my reviews are so damn satisfying to me.

The Comedies
As You Like It
The Comedy of Errors
Love’s Labour’s Lost
The Merry Wives of Windsor
A Midsummer Nights’ Dream
Much Ado About Nothing
The Taming of the Shrew
Twelfth Night
Two Gentlemen of Verona

The Tragedies
Titus Andronicus
Romeo and Juliet
Julius Caesar
King Lear
Antony and Cleopatra

The Hist
Sean Barrs
May 31, 2017 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare, plays, poetry
I plan to read many Shakespeare plays this summer. I won’t complete the full works, but finishing them all is one of my major reading goals. It might take me a few years to do it, but I shall get there eventually!

Here’s where I’m up to at the moment:

1 Two Gentlemen of Verona
2 Taming of the Shrew
3 Henry VI, part 1
4 Henry VI, part 3
5 Titus Andronicus
6 Henry VI, part 2
7 Richard III
8 The Comedy of Errors
9 Love's Labours Lost
10 A Midsummer Night's Dream
11 Romeo and Juliet
12 Richard II
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare, drama

1. Two Gentlemen of Verona (1589–1591) - January 1, 2017
2 The Taming of the Shrew (1590–1591) - January 5, 2017
3 Henry VI, Part 2 (1591) - February 1, 2017

4 Henry VI, Part 3 (1591) - February 3, 2017
5 Henry VI, Part 1 (1591–1592) - January 21, 2017
6 Titus Andronicus (1591–1592) - February 9, 2017

7 Richard III (1592–1593) - March 4, 2017
8. The Comedy of Errors (1594) - March 11, 2017
9. Love's Labour's Lost (1594–1595) - March 27, 2017

10. Richard II (1595) - April
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have I read this book? Only part of it.

Even so, why argue about that rating?

See bottom of review for a list of the plays in order

What follows is little more than the GoodReads description of the edition pictured. But I feel I can do that, since I wrote the description.

This tome includes all 37 of Shakespeare's plays, as well as his poems and sonnets. It was produced "for college students in the hope that it will help them to understand, appreciate, and enjoy the works for themselves. It is not i
Daniel Cowan
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, When you have The Complete Works of William Shakespeare you have one of the best works of literature ever written. I would definitely place it in the top 10 best works of literature of all time. I bought this book at special price from here:
Celebrity Death Match Special: The Complete Works of Shakespeare versus Deep Learning

Ubergeek Andrej Karpathy had the bright idea of training a recurrent neural network on the complete works of Shakespeare. It produces remarkably good output for an algorithm which not only knows nothing about Shakespeare, but can't even tell a noun from a verb! Here is the first of the two samples he gives:

Alas, I think he shall be come approached and the day
When little srain would be attain'd into bein
Vanessa J.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it

It all ended so fast. I feel like it's just January, but look at the calendar - it's December! You surely remember earlier in the year when I said I had put a challenge for myself. This was the Shakespeare Challenge, in which I had to read all the works known by William Shakespeare. Guess what? I finally read them all!

It started in January. I was bored and I didn't know what to read. One day I went to the library and checked out a book that contained 4 of Shakespeare's best plays. I read it
Apr 23, 2012 is currently reading it
I understand now why I have such a hard time reading Shakespeare. It's not that it's hard to understand. There are enough translations and self help guides to get you through the plot of any of the plays. And once I started reading and translating, I started to get the hang of it, and had fewer words and phrases that I had to look up. No, it's not that. Simply put, it's a play, and not meant to be read. I know there are some who might disagree with me, however, that's my opinion. I revel in the ...more
Sarah (needs a break from reviewing)
19/10 - I've just started a course on Shakespeare through FutureLearn and the first play that we are studying is The Merry Wives of Windsor, which is one I know absolutely nothing about. So far, I've read about three pages, or to the end of scene one and what I understand is that while I can barely understand the language, I can get the general gist of what's going on (or at least I think I can). There are many instances where God is Got, better is petter, brings is prings, very is fery, good is ...more
Bionic Jean
Please note, this is a review of this particular edition of the "Complete Works of William Shakespeare" from 1923. For reviews of various individual plays by Shakespeare, please see my shelves. **

This edition was published by "The Literary Press, London" on fine paper, to traditional standards, with each section sewn into the spine rather than glued. The top edge of the volume is gilt-edged. It has a soft cover with a burgundy leatherette finish, and gold lettering, plus a gold embossed design o
Sep 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shakespeare
For Harold Bloom*:

Can 35 Thousand Literary Critics and 3 Million Groundlings Be Wrong? Yes.

Taking arms against Shakespeare, at this moment, is to emulate Harry Potter standing up to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Simply opposing Lord V-- won't end him. The Shakespeare epiphenomenon will go on, doubtless for some time, as J. R. R. Tolkien did, and then wane. Or so one can hope.

The official newspaper of our dominant counter-culture, The New York Times, has been startled by Shakespeare's plays into est
Jan 10, 2021 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
*i didn't actually read this collection: this book is being used as "all shakespeare ever written."*

after finishing a blissful little re read of The Tempest, i hopped over to goodreads to review it... and literally experienced an existential crisis.

why, you may ask? i realized -horror of horrors- i haven't shelved a single shakespeare play on here. and im walking around saying he's my favorite author!!!

so i compiled, firstly, a list of the shakespeare i've read, so i could shelve and review i
Oct 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an exquisite edition of one of the greatest works in the Western canon. Armed with an authoritative editorial team, Professor Jonathan Bate has reworked all of Shakespeare's plays, as well as his poems. The footnotes are extensive and cover all meanings of words (including the more salacious ones that many school texts leave out), while also providing informative historical and contextual information.

This edition seeks to give us every word attributed to Shakespeare (although, as it points
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama-theater
If the question is "do you recommend Shakespeare?" the answer would be of course, in what universe would he not be recommended?
So I guess the one that would get any conversation whatsoever would be "would you recommend I read the complete works"? Well it certainly is a ride, a journey, there's quite a bit of stuff in here. One thing I'll say is I'm still not entirely convinced of literature's claim on Shakespeare because when I read these plays there's a yearning for performance, for interpretat
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Update: Seven plays into my current spree, I'm going to have to put this on hold due to a lack of time. I've now read 17 total- my most severe weakness is the histories (have only read Richard III and Henry IV). When I come back to this project, I think that I will be reading those in order.

1st: Macbeth (finished-review posted)
2nd: Two Gentlemen of Verona (finished-review posted)
3rd: King Lear (finished-review posted)
4th: Merchant of Venice (finished-review posted)
5th: Othello (finished-review p
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My reading Shakespeare journey is complete!

I started with the plays back in 2010, and then again in 2015. It took me until the end of 2018 to finish all of the plays, and it was quite an amazing journey. I found that I am a sucker for the tragedies but don't often love the comedies. Histories were hit and miss, I loved Henry the Fourth Parts I & II, Henry V and Richard III. In fact, Richard III is in the running for my all time favourite, up there with Macbeth and King Lear. I have a side proje
Peter Beck
Well that was a quick read--for Yale’s recently departed Harold Bloom, who could read 400 pages an hour and recall them with his photographic memory. Long ago I vowed to read all of Shakespeare as I thought it would get easier and more rewarding with age. So I recently bought Longman’s door stop because I liked the binding and it includes 200+ pages of commentary by Shakespearean scholar David Bevington. One of my 2020 New Year’s resolutions is to read at least one or two works a year, so I will ...more

There's special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.

If readiness be all, then this volume is a staple on any bookshelf. Ready to be opened for quick quote checks, ready to be heaved at home intruders (it's really heavy), it is useful in so many ways. It stays open on the window shelf, so the afternoon breeze can choose its special pages. Additionally, there are several
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
And so my hypothesis is wrong. I was going to say that my Yale Shakespeare makes Bottom's Dream look like kiddie=play. But, no. Only 1517 pages. Two column. But it is BIG. FAT and TALL and THICK. .....BUT, you'll notice that the 406 editions of the Complete Shakespeare as listed on gr have garnered a total of 45,434 Ratings & 742 Reviews. In other words, there are more people who have read ALL of Shakespeare than are dreamt of in your dreams of slender volumes. Bottom's Dream ain't so bad..... ...more
Jay Daze
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
Very heavy. Do not read in bath. Oh, and some great plays.
Carol Bakker
I listed the plays individually on Goodread in order to write my responses to each one. This volume stands for Shakespeare's sonnets and poems.

And what is to be said? He's brilliant. That's all.

Would I read all the works again? Only a few sonnets. I have a "never again" list of plays. But I plan to keep reading my favorites.

This edition is frill-free. No introductions, no illustrations, no footnotes, no gloss. I liked that. It was good to come to the bard with my wits, such as they are, and a d
Jane Scholey
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: play-scripts
Makes me feel sad that people dislike Will due to the way he was introduced to them at school. He’s one of the funniest writers ever. Sorry, clever, sad, empathetic. As you like it is still one of my fave plays ever.
Jazzy Lemon
A most beautiful and aesthetically pleasing book.
Not quite complete as it lacks The Two Noble Kinsmen.
L.G. Cullens
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A shelf book I've had since the 1980s, that I turn to occasionally. My favorite in the book is Macbeth.

It seems this Cambridge University Press edition is no longer in print. The content can be seen in other publishings, but the physical book I have is cherished.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Always a pleasure
Syl Sabastian
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At this point in time a review of William's collected works seems redundant. However, the experience of reading all his works as a single book is worth noting. I have read The Collected Works twice. Both times I did so in one go. Read slept read slept read etc. until finished. (I would read while eating and other activities, so really only stopped for sleeping.)

This practice with this particular work is extremely beneficial. William is not an easy read, at first. That difficulty in the beginnin
J. Alfred
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Young Frankie in Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes says that "Shakespeare is like mashed potatoes; you can never have too much." It's a compliment both to the poet and the potato, and I agree wholeheartedly. To read the ol' Swan of Avon straight through has, I believe, made me legitimately smarter, and not just in a know-more-stuff-in-my-chosen-profession sense, but in a understand-the-world-around-me sense. Eliot says that Shakespeare and Dante "divided the world between them, and there is no thir ...more
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not finished this yet, although David gave it to me for Christmas about 15 years ago (clearly not the Kindle edition, but I can't seem to change that). Some of my favorites are Henry V, Hamlet and King Lear. I don't care so much for the comedies. I think everyone should read Shakespeare to know what good writing is, and to get an idea of the impact of human behavior for better and for worse. There are so many wonderful and relevant lines that I wish I could commit more to memory. During t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What is your favourite Shakespeare play? 1 4 Jun 11, 2020 05:22AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add cover photo 3 20 Sep 18, 2017 01:06PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 1 12 Mar 15, 2017 05:18PM  
Blog Post! 1 5 Oct 20, 2013 10:50AM  
How to Promote YO...: Selling your book 3 33 Aug 06, 2012 12:37PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect ISBN 1 37 Oct 21, 2011 11:22PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Complete Stories and Poems
  • The Complete Stories and Poems
  • Complete Works of Oscar Wilde
  • The Complete Works of Agatha Christie
  • The Selected Poems
  • Major Barbara
  • The Raven and Other Poems
  • Making Hearts
  • The Poetry of Robert Frost
  • Colour Runner
  • The Iliad/The Odyssey
  • Selected Poems
  • The Complete Novels
  • The Complete Plays
  • Collected Works Of George Bernard Shaw
  • Finnegans Wake
  • The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
See similar books…
See top shelves…
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more

Related Articles

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
73 likes · 21 comments
“Who knows himself a braggart, let him fear this, for it will come to pass that every braggart shall be found an ass.” 97 likes
“The fine purple cloaks, the holiday garments, elsewhere signs of gayety of mind, are stained with blood and bordered with black. Throughout a stern discipline, the axe ready for every suspicion of treason; “great men, bishops, a chancellor, princes, the king’s relations, queens, a protector kneeling in the straw, sprinkled the Tower with their blood; one after the other they marched past, stretched out their necks; the Duke of Buckingham, Queen Anne Boleyn, Queen Catherine Howard, the Earl of Surrey, Admiral Seymour, the Duke of Somerset, Lady Jane Grey and her husband, the Duke of Northumberland, the Earl of Essex, all on the throne, or on the steps of the throne, in the highest ranks of honor, beauty, youth, genius; of the bright procession nothing is left but senseless trunks, marred by the tender mercies of the executioner.” 4 likes
More quotes…