The problem with any timeline of Shakespeare's works is that most dates are subject to interpretation. While it is easy to say that The Comedy of Errors is an early work and The Tempest is quite later, exact dates are not - and may not ever be -proved.
1598 ? - 1597 1593 Love's Labor's Lost 1597 1592 - 1597 1592 Richard III 1623 ? - 1592 1592 1 Henry VI 1595 ? - 1592 1591 3 Henry VI 1594 ? - 1592 1591 2 Henry VI 1623 ? - 1594 1591 The Taming of the Shrew 1594 ? - 1594 1590 Titus Andronicus 1623 ? - 1594 1590 The Comedy of Errors First Published Date Range Date Written Title
1600 1599 1599 Henry V 1600 1598 - 1600 1598 Much Ado About Nothing 1623 1598 - 1600 1598 As You Like It 1602 1597 - 1602 1597 The Merry Wives of Windsor 1600 1596 - 1598 1597 Henry IV Part 2 1598 1595 - 1598 1596 Henry IV Part 1 1600 1594 - 1598 1596 The Merchant of Venice 1623 ? - 1598 1596 King John 1597 1595 - 1597 1595 Richard II 1597 ? - 1597 1595 Romeo and Juliet 1600 1594 - 1598 1594 A Midsummer Night's Dream 1623 ? - 1598 1593 Two Gentlemen of Verona
1623 1612 - 1613 1613 Henry VIII 1623 1610 - 1611 1611 The Tempest 1623 1598 - 1611 1610 A Winter's Tale 1623 1598 - 1611 1609 Cymbeline 1623 1598 - ? 1608 Coriolanus 1609 1598 - 1608 1607 Pericles Prince of Tyre 1623 1598 - ? 1606 Timon of Athens 1623 1598 - 1608 1606 Antony and Cleopatra 1623 1603 - 1611 1606 Macbeth 1608 1598 - 1606 1605 King Lear 1622 1598 - 1604 1604 Othello 1623 1598 - 1604 1604 Measure For Measure 1623 1598 - ? 1603 All's Well That Ends Well 1609 1601 - 1603 1602 Troilus and Cressida 1603 1599 - 1601 1601 Hamlet 1623 1600 - 1602 1600 Twelfth Night 1623 1598 - 1599 1599 Julius Caesar
Containing some of the greatest lyric poems in English literature, Shakespeare’s Sonnets are not just the easy love sentiments of "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day." Many of the poems are bleak cries of emotional torment and spiritual exhaustion. They tell a story of the struggle of love and forgiveness against anguish and despair. It is this tragic portrait of human love that makes the sonnets immortal.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date: Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature's changing course un-trimm'd; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st; So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee
Shall I compare you to a summer's day? You are more lovely and more moderate: Harsh winds disturb the delicate buds of May, and summer doesn't last long enough. Sometimes the sun is too hot, and its golden face is often dimmed by clouds. All beautiful things eventually become less beautiful, either by the experiences of life or by the passing of time. But your eternal beauty won't fade, nor lose any of its quality. And you will never die, as you will live on in my enduring poetry. As long as there are people still alive to read poems this sonnet will live, and you will live in it.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou seest the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by. This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
In me you can see that time of year When a few yellow leaves or none at all hang On the branches, shaking against the cold, Bare ruins of church choirs where lately the sweet birds sang. In me you can see only the dim light that remains After the sun sets in the west, Which is soon extinguished by black night The image of death that envelops all in rest. In me you can see the glowing embers That lie upon the ashes remaining from the flame of my youth, As on a death bed where it (youth) must finally die Consumed by that which once fed it. This you sense, and it makes your love more determined To love more deeply that which you must give up before long.
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun, Coral is far more red, than her lips red, If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun: If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head: I have seen roses damasked, red and white, But no such roses see I in her cheeks, And in some perfumes is there more delight, Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know, That music hath a far more pleasing sound: I grant I never saw a goddess go, My mistress when she walks treads on the ground. And yet by heaven I think my love as rare, As any she belied with false compare.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments, love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove. O no, it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wand'ring bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come, Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom: If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved .
No longer mourn for me when I am dead, Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell Give warning to the world that I am fled From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell: Nay if you read this line, remember not, The hand that writ it, for I love you so, That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot, If thinking on me then should make you woe. O if (I say) you look upon this verse, When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay, Do not so much as my poor name rehearse; But let your love even with my life decay. Lest the wise world should look into your moan, And mock you with me after I am gone.