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Shakespearean Play Genres
Updated: 4/17/2018
Shakespearean Play Genres
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Types of Shakespeare Plays

By Rebecca Ray and Kristy Littlehale

No matter what they were named, William Shakespeare’s plays would still be great works of art, so it may not matter what we call them. Generally though, Shakespeare wrote three types of plays: Tragedy, Comedy, and History. These names help us understand the archetypes of a play and better analyze its events. After all, The Comedy of Romeo and Juliet would be a very different play from The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps it would be a farce about two star-crossed lovers, doomed to suffer humorous mistakes of identity and bumbling servants. It wouldn’t be the story of woe we are all so familiar with.

Narrative Structure

By Rebecca Ray

Literature has many forms, and each form has its own unique structure for telling a story. When studying, teaching, or learning about narration in literature, it is also important to understand its underlying arrangement. How is it created? What are the parts of a story? What aspects differ from one form to another?

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Storyboard Description

Types of William Shakespearean plays - Shakespearean tragedy, comedy, history

Storyboard Text

  • Tragedies (10 Written)
  • Histories (10 Written)
  • Comedies (18 Written)
  • • Serious Themes and Motifs • Death is Important • Contains a (Tragic) Hero with a Fatal Flaw; often a Nobleman
  • Elements of Tragedies
  • • Propaganda for Shakespearean Current Events • Real Figure from England's History • Embellishment of Plot and Characters
  • Elements of Histories
  • • Comedic Language • Plot Twists • Mistaken Identity • Wedding(s) or Reunion(s) • Love Obstacles
  • Elements of Comedies
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