Bard Bits: Time to See a Play
Let’s return to school for just a moment. Did you study any of these plays as a student?
- Romeo and Juliet
- Julius Caesar
- King Lear
- Taming of the Shrew
- Midsummer Night’s Dream
- The Tempest
Now, let’s take a quick quiz. In what order do you think the plays were presented?
Here’s some appropriate music to play in the background while you are thinking. Thinking–not consulting Siri or Googling your request.
Here is the dated order (per scholarly agreement):
Romeo and Juliet: 1593-96
Julius Caesar: 1599
King Lear: 1606
Taming of the Shrew: 1590
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 1595-96
The Tempest: 1611
While these are not always studied in schools, most people are familiar with them. According to the list Romeo and Juliet would be among his earliest plays, along with The Taming of the Shrew The Tempest among his last. Going from the consequences of hasty decisions and dysfunctional families to prolonged revenge definitely showcases how Shakespeare was able to present a range of human emotion during the span of his stage career.