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Great Books of the World : Drama Rachel

Great Books of the World

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35 titles sorted by popularity

  • Hamlet William Shakespeare

    The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king's widow and Prince Hamlet's mother. The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness—from overwhelming grief to seething rage—and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.

  • Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

    Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.

  • The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde

    The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play.

  • Macbeth William Shakespeare

    Macbeth was written by William Shakespeare. It is considered one of his darkest and most powerful tragedies. Set in Scotland, the play dramatizes the corrosive psychological and political effects produced when evil is chosen as a way to fulfil the ambition for power.

  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare William Shakespeare

    William Shakespeare – 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream William Shakespeare

    A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play by William Shakespeare. It is believed that it was written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors, who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play, which is categorized as a comedy, is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.

  • Othello William Shakespeare

    The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story Un Capitano Moro by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his new wife, Desdemona; his lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted ensign, Iago. Because of its varied and current themes of racism, love, jealousy and betrayal, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatres alike and has been the basis for numerous operatic, film and literary adaptations.

  • King Lear William Shakespeare

    King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The title character descends into madness after disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king. It has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, and the role of Lear has been coveted and played by many of the world's most accomplished actors.

  • The Tempest William Shakespeare

    The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand.

  • Pygmalion Bernard Shaw

    Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological character. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1912.

  • Oedipus Trilogy Sophocles

    Oedipus was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. A tragic hero in Greek mythology, Oedipus fulfilled a prophecy that said he would kill his father, and thereby bring disaster on his city and family. The story of Oedipus is the subject of Sophocles's tragedy Oedipus the King, which was followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Together, these plays make up Sophocles's three Theban plays. Oedipus represents two enduring themes of Greek myth and drama: the flawed nature of humanity and an individual's role in the course of destiny in a harsh universe.

  • Faust Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play in two parts: Faust. Der Tragödie erster Teil and Faust. Der Tragödie zweiter Teil . Although rarely staged in its entirety, it is the play with the largest audience numbers on German-language stages. Faust is Goethe's most famous work and considered by many to be one of the greatest works of German literature.

  • An Ideal Husband Oscar Wilde

    An Ideal Husband is an 1895 comedic stage play by Oscar Wilde which revolves around blackmail and political corruption, and touches on the themes of public and private honour. The action is set in London, in "the present", and takes place over the course of twenty-four hours. "Sooner or later," Wilde notes, "we shall all have to pay for what we do." But he adds that, "No one should be entirely judged by their past." Together with The Importance of Being Earnest, it is often considered Wilde's dramatic masterpiece. After Earnest it is his most popularly produced play.

  • Julius Caesar William Shakespeare

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It portrays the 44 BC conspiracy against the Roman dictator Julius Caesar, his assassination and the defeat of the conspirators at the Battle of Philippi. It is one of several plays written by Shakespeare based on true events from Roman history, which also include Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra.

  • Oedipus King of Thebes Sophocles

    Oedipus the King , also known by the Latin title Oedipus Rex, is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles's three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Oedipus Rex chronicles the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes who was destined from birth to murder his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta. The play is an example of a classic tragedy, noticeably containing an emphasis on how Oedipus's own faults contribute to the tragic hero's downfall, as opposed to having fate be the sole cause. Over the centuries, Oedipus Rex has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.

  • King Richard III William Shakespeare

    Richard III is an historical play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1592. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. The play is grouped among the histories in the First Folio and is most often classified as such. Occasionally, however, as in the quarto edition, it is termed a tragedy. Richard III concludes Shakespeare's first tetralogy .

  • Medea of Euripides Euripides

    One of the most powerful and enduring of Greek tragedies, Euripides' masterwork centers on the myth of Jason, leader of the Argonauts, who has won the dragon-guarded treasure of the Golden Fleece with the help of the sorceress Medea — whom he marries and eventually abandons. Authoritative Rex Warner translation.

  • The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus Christopher Marlowe

    The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.

  • A Doll's House : a play Henrik Ibsen

    A Doll's House is a three-act play in prose by Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month.

  • Lysistrata Aristophanes

    Lysistrata is a comedy by Aristophanes. Originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BCE, it is a comic account of one woman's extraordinary mission to end The Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace — a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society. The dramatic structure represents a shift away from the conventions of Old Comedy, a trend typical of the author's career. It was produced in the same year as Thesmophoriazusae, another play with a focus on gender-based issues, just two years after Athens' catastrophic defeat in the Sicilian Expedition.

  • Hedda Gabler Henrik Ibsen

    Hedda Gabler is a play published in 1890 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. It premiered in 1891 in Germany to negative reviews, but has subsequently gained recognition as a classic of realism, nineteenth century theatre, and world drama. A 1902 production starring Minnie Maddern Fiske was a major sensation on Broadway and following its initial limited run was revived with the same actress the next year.

  • Lady Windermere's Fan Oscar Wilde

    Lady Windermere's Fan, A Play About a Good Woman is a four-act comedy by Oscar Wilde, first produced 22 February 1892 at the St James's Theatre in London. The play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde's comedies, it bitingly satirizes the morals of Victorian society, particularly marriage.

  • Tartuffe; Or, the Hypocrite Molière

    Tartuffe, or The Impostor , first performed in 1664, is one of the most famous theatrical comedies by Molière, and the characters of Tartuffe, Elmire, and Valère are considered among the greatest classical theatre roles.

  • Life Is a Dream Pedro Calderón de la Barca

    Part of the series Calderon's Dramas. First fully translated edition by Denis Florence Mac-Carthy in 1847.

  • Ghosts Henrik Ibsen

    Ghosts is a play by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. It was written in 1881 and first staged in 1882. Like many of Ibsen's better-known plays, Ghosts is a scathing commentary on 19th-century morality.

  • Arms and the Man Bernard Shaw

    Arms and the Man is a comedy by George Bernard Shaw, whose title comes from the opening words of Virgil's Aeneid in Latin: Arma virumque cano .

  • The Inspector-General Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

    The Government Inspector, also known as The Inspector General , is a satirical play by the Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist and novelist Nikolai Gogol. Originally published in 1836, the play was revised for an 1842 edition. Based upon an anecdote allegedly recounted to Gogol by Pushkin, the play is a comedy of errors, satirizing human greed, stupidity, and the extensive political corruption of Imperial Russia.

  • The Seven Plays in English Verse Sophocles

    Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays can still be read or performed, the others being Sophocles and Euripides. He is often described as the father of tragedy: Our knowledge of the genre begins with his work and our understanding of earlier tragedies is largely based on inferences from his surviving plays. According to Aristotle, he expanded the number of characters in plays to allow for conflict amongst them, whereas previously characters had interacted only with the chorus.

  • Phaedra Jean Racine

    Phaedra Jean Racine Robert Bruce Boswell

  • An Enemy of the People Henrik Ibsen

    An Enemy of the people is an 1882 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen wrote it in response to the public outcry against his play Ghosts, which at that time was considered scandalous. Ghosts had challenged the hypocrisy of Victorian morality and was deemed indecent for its veiled references to syphilis.

  • The Middle-Class Gentleman Molière

    Classic satire, one of the best by France’s greatest comedic playwright, pokes fun at the sham and hypocrisy of 17th-century French society. A wealthy tradesman, Monsieur Jourdain, yearns to become a gentleman in order to win the hand of a marchioness—disregarding the inconvenient fact that he is already married—but only succeeds in making a fool of himself.

  • The Miser Molière

    L'Avare is a 1668 five-act satirical comedy by French playwright Moli©·re. Its title is usually translated as The Miser when the play is performed in Engli

  • The Imaginary Invalid Molière

    Tartuffe, or The Impostor , first performed in 1664, is one of the most famous theatrical comedies by Molière, and the characters of Tartuffe, Elmire, and Valère are considered among the greatest classical theatre roles.

  • Volpone; Or, The Fox Ben Jonson

    Volpone is a comedy by Ben Jonson first produced in 1606, drawing on elements of city comedy, black comedy and beast fable. A merciless satire of greed and lust, it remains Jonson's most-performed play, and it is among the finest Jacobean Era comedies.

  • The Alchemist Ben Jonson

    The Alchemist is a comedy by English playwright Ben Jonson. First performed in 1610 by the King's Men, it is generally considered Jonson's best and most characteristic comedy; Samuel Taylor Coleridge claimed that it had one of the three most perfect plots in literature. The play's clever fulfilment of the classical unities and vivid depiction of human folly have made it one of the few Renaissance plays with a continuing life on stage .

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