Shakespears' 2nd Globe Theatre

Second Globe Theatre built in 1614, after the first one burned down during a performance of Henry VIII.

To celebrate William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, I read all of his works and blogged about and rated each play. I also posted my thoughts after reading all of Shakespeare. My blogs are divided into Tragedies, Histories and Comedies, and each is listed within those categories by Bard Rating (see explanation below). I don't attempt serious analysis, but my blogs did get much more detailed--with information that helped me appreciate the plays more--as I went. The Bard Ratings: The system is based on how much I personally enjoyed the play compared to other Shakespeare plays: one to five Bards, five being the most enjoyable for me. I gave 11 plays five Bards,  six plays four Bards, six plays three Bards, three plays two Bards, and 11 plays one Bard. One important note here, two plays are fabulous plays (The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew), but I was extremely uncomfortable with their treatment respectively of Jews and women and rated them poorly. (Credit for the rating idea goes to the Washington Post and their Pinocchio rating system for political honesty.) Here were my superficial thoughts at half-way point: Thoughts after one year reading the Bard. As part of the effort, I also read his poems--Venus and AdonisThe Rape of LucreceSonnetsA Lover's ComplaintThe Passionate PilgrimSonnets to Sundry Notes of Music, and The Phoenix and the Turtle. I will not blog or comment on the poems, but I have included favorite quotes from each in links above. I was actually pleasantly surprised by Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, but found little to appreciate in his sonnets.

Blogs on the Completed Plays listed by Category and Ratings:



Recipients of Five Tragic Bards

Shakespeare's Best Comedies and Romances



Julius Caesar

King Lear



Romeo and Juliet


Recipient of Four Overly Generous Bards

Timon of Athens Earns 4 bards

Timon of Athens


Recipients of One Hopeless Bard

Reading Shakespeare to mark 450 years

Antony and Cleopatra

Titus Andronicus

Troilus and Cressida



Recipients of Five Royal Bards

Shakespeare's Best Comedies and Romances

King Henry IV, First Part

Richard II


Recipient of Four Conniving Bards

Cymbeline earns 4 bards

Richard III

Recipients of Three Middling Bards

Shakespeare Play Henry V Earns Three Bards

Henry V

Henry VI, Part Two


Recipient of Two Wimpy Royal Bards

Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part One

Henry VI, Part One


Recipients of One Dead-King Bard

Reading Shakespeare to mark 450 years

Henry IV, Part Two

Henry VI, Part Three

Henry VIII

King John


Comedies and Romances

Recipients of Coveted Five Happy Bards

Shakespeare's Best Comedies and Romances

Much Ado About Nothing

The Winter's Tale


Recipients of Four Pleasant Bards

Cymbeline earns 4 bards


Love's Labours Lost

Measure for Measure

Twelfth Night; or, What You Will


Recipients of Three Romantic Bards

Three Bard Rating

All's Well that Ends Well

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

The Comedy of Errors

The Taming of the Shrew


Recipients of Two Sort-of Comedic Bards

The Merchant of Venice

The Tempest


Recipients of the Dreaded One Bard for Happy Endings

Reading Shakespeare to mark 450 years

A Midsummer Night's Dream