Category Archives: Roughly Chronological Re-read

The Roughly Chronological Reread: The Chronology

As I launch into my first big personal project for 2017, the Roughly Chronological Re-read, I’d like to acknowledge the amount of guesswork that’s going into this. There is no clear chronology for Shakespeare’s plays. I don’t claim to have discovered one. What I have done is read a lot of other people’s suggestions and drawn up a reading order. I don’t claim that my decisions are anything other than arbitrary. You’re welcome to argue the toss with me. I’ll probably argue it with myself as I go.

So here’s the order I’m planning to use:

Week 1: Two Gentlemen of Verona

Week 2: The Comedy of Errors

Week 3: Henry VI Part II

Week 4: Henry VI Part III

Week 5: Titus Andronicus

Week 6: Richard III

Week 7: The Taming of the Shrew

Week 8: Henry VI Part 1

Week 9: Love’s Labours Lost

Week 10: Romeo & Juliet

Week 11: Richard II

Week 12: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Week 13: King John

Week 14: The Merchant of Venice

Week 15: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Week 16: Henry IV Part 1

Week 17: Henry IV Part 2

Week 18: Much Ado About Nothing

Week 19: As You Like It

Week 20: Henry V

Week: 21: Julius Caesar

Week 22: Hamlet

Week 23: Twelfth Night

Week 24: Troilus & Cressida

Week 25: All’s Well That Ends Well

Week 26: Othello

Week 27: Measure for Measure

Week 28: King Lear

Week 29: Timon of Athens

Week 30: Macbeth

Week 31: Anthony & Cleopatra

Week 32: Pericles

Week 33: Coriolanus

Week 34: Cymbeline

Week 35: A Winter’s Tale

Week 36: The Tempest

Week 37: Henry VIII

Week 38: The Two Noble Kinsmen


A Project for 2017

Hello again, internet. 2016 wasn’t one of my more talkative years online, and much of my blogging was devoted to the mental health side of things. While I plan to continue that, I want to get back into writing a bit more about the arts.

Ermagherd Sherksper

Gotta catch ’em all!

One of my projects for 2017 will be a complete chronological re-read of all of Shakespeare’s plays. While I’ve read them all at some point or other, there are several that I haven’t revisited for over ten years and the order of reading was quite haphazard. I’m interested to see whether there are any insights to be gained from a chronological read. So here’s the plan:

  • I’ll be using a rough chronology based on the RSC’s timeline. Want to talk about disputed chronology? Be my guest!
  • Each week I’ll read one play and post whatever thoughts I have about it.
  • By “each week” I mean “roughly every seven consecutive days but perhaps more like ten or sometimes fourteen because #freelancelife and also being quite distractible”.
  • I’m not sticking to any particular edition. I assembled my collection of individual plays from charity shops, so I have whatever edition I happened to find.
  • If you want to read along and share your thoughts, that would be delightful. I’ll post a link to the full text for each play for anyone who doesn’t have a Complete Works to hand.
  • If you want to dispute authorship that’s fine, but only if you can both spell and formulate an argument. If you include a link to your book about how Shakespeare’s mum or his third cousin or some completely unrelated person who died a hundred years earlier wrote the plays, I probably won’t approve your comment.

I’ll be starting off with thoughts on Two Gentlemen of Verona in about a week’s time. Join me?