William Shakespeare’s plays are considered among the finest works of dramatic literature ever written. Most notable are his seminal tragedies: Romeo and Juliet (New Theatre), Hamlet (Chapel Street Theatre), and Macbeth (John Street Theatre). His plays are performed more than any other playwright, and have been translated into almost every living language in the world.
Shakespeare’s plays were written in a combination of prose and blank verse. He is perhaps the most masterful poetic genius ever to live, manipulating words and syllables in iambic pentameter, and even inventing many words and expressions that we still commonly use today. He was the first to explore the theme of “romance” in tragedy. His use of punctuation, spelling, and grammar greatly shaped modern English rules. He invented many of plot structures and characterization techniques that are still used today, and is perhaps the greatest single influence on modern literature and theatre.