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Chronology of Shakespeare's Plays
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How Many Plays Did Shakespeare Write?
Shakespeare's Plays Before the publication of the First Folio in , nineteen of the thirty-seven plays in Shakespeare's canon had appeared in quarto format. With the exception of Othello , all of the quartos were published prior to the date of Shakespeare's retirement from the theatre in about It is unlikely that Shakespeare was involved directly with the printing of any of his plays, although it should be noted that two of his poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were almost certainly printed under his direct supervision.
The question of how many plays William Shakespeare wrote is one of some dispute among scholars. There are of course the various factions that believe he did not write any of the works attributed to him. The majority of Shakespearean scholars agree that he wrote 38 plays: 12 histories, 14 comedies, and 12 tragedies. But several theories persist that question that total. It's hard to say when, or if, it will be universally recognized among Shakespeare's other plays.