365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

15. Which be the malefactors?

with one comment

Okay, not the malefactors. I just wanted an excuse to use that line that Lucas Hall has recently made into one of my favorites.

Actually, I got curious tonight about which of Shakespeare’s plays are the most popular. My highly unscientific and late-night research (which was pretty much only one Google search and then going on to one website) yielded these as the top six plays, in order of most popular to least popular:




Romeo and Juliet

The Tempest

Julius Caesar

Now, this surprised me a little. At least, the last two did. I would have thought A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Much Ado About Nothing would have made the list, since most people I know list those two as at least one of their favorites. But then when I really thought about it, these six plays are easily the most quoted. “To be or not to be…” “O Brave new world that has such people in it…” “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” We hear these plays quoted almost every day, and just about all of us can at least recognize the quote as being “from Shakespeare”, even if we don’t necessarily identify which play or character. We don’t hear Midsummer or Much Ado quoted in popular culture all that much. Which is kind of a shame, since they’re both hilarious.

I might try and start a new trend and boost the popularity of those two. Join me in my quest! Tell your co-workers to give you their hands “if we be friends” after you give a presentation. Describe banks where wild thyme blows in great detail before handing out tasks to your classmates for your group project. Start fast-paced battles of wits by the water cooler. The sky’s the limit!

  • Hamlet – most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Othello – second most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Macbeth – third most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Romeo and Juliet – fourth most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • The Tempest – fifth most famous of the William Shakespeare plays
  • Julius Caesar – sixth most famous of the William Shakespeare plays

Written by Caroline Mincks

October 16, 2009 at 12:15 AM

One Response

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  1. Completely understand what your stance in this matter. Although I would disagree on some of the finer details, I think you did an awesome job explaining it. Sure beats having to research it on my own. Thanks

    Jae Sitzler

    March 4, 2010 at 11:44 PM

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