What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote?

What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote?
What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote?. Photo © NYPL Digital Gallery

Question: What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote?

Answer:

It is widely believed that the first play written by Shakespeare was Henry VI Part II, a history play, first performed in 1590-1591.

However, "What Was The First Play Shakespeare Wrote?" is not an easy question to answer. Unfortunately, there is no definitive record of the chronology of Shakespeare’s plays – or even exactly how many he wrote!

Although we know when the plays were printed, it doesn’t necessarily follow that this is the order the plays were produced in.

A rough chronology has been put together by scholars by drawing upon a range of sources including historical events alluded to in specific plays and diary entries from people that went to see some of the plays.

Our list of Shakespeare plays brings together all 38 plays in the order in which they were first performed. You can also read our study guides for the Bard’s most popular plays.