Click on the play below to read the Shakespeare’s original text, split into Acts and Scenes. The original play texts are taken from Shakespeare’s complete works, published as the First Folio. A couple of things to bear in mind when reading Shakespeare’s original texts:
As well as dialogue the texts also include stage directions – direction to the theatre company performing the play as to what’s happening around the drama, who’s on the stage and who isn’t, when they arrive, when they leave, where they are on the stage, when music should be played, bugles sounded, and so on. Stage directions in these texts are italicised. Read our article on understading the stage directions in Shakespeare’s texts.
Reflected in the original text is that the language used in Shakespeare’s day was slightly different to today’s modern English. Our article on Shakespeare & early modern English, or our Shakespeare dictionary, will help you to understand the language as you read through the original text.
Shakespeare’s Texts by Play:
- Edward III
- Sir Thomas Moore
Alternatley, why not try reading Shakespeare’s plays translated into modern English >> ?