10 Shakespeare Plays Every Thespian Should Read

10 Shakespeare Plays Every Thespian Should Read

To read or not to read? It's not even a question.


Shakespeare was the greatest writer in the English language who ever lived. Lucky for every theatre kid out there, he dealt mainly in our language: plays.

If you know you should be reading Shakespeare, but don't know where to start, you should pick up one of these ten plays.

1. Hamlet


Known by many as Shakespeare's greatest play, Hamlet is chock full of kings, ghosts, soliloquies, tragic love stories, madness, sword fighting, and everything else Shakespeare is known for.

2. As You Like It


As You Like It features one of Shakespeare's most empowered heroines in Rosalind, who pulls the various strings of the play until the correct characters are in love with each other.

3. King Lear


Although King Lear seems intimidating in scope, it is absolutely worth the read (better yet, the watch, if you can find a performance). It an epic and heartbreaking story of the disintegration of a king, family, and country.

4. Julius Caesar


I didn't like Julius Caesar upon the first read, but this is one that grows on you. The deeper you dive the more you understand the kind of moral complexities Julius Caesar raises.

5. Romeo and Juliet


Romeo and Juliet may be the most popular, the most scorned, the most cliche, and the most eyeroll-inducing play. At least, to those who haven't read it. Sure, Romeo is annoying, but there's a reason this play has endured so long in the capacity it has. It contains some of the finest writing and purest tragedy in all of Shakespeare's works.

6. Much Ado About Nothing


If you've never read Shakespeare before, Much Ado About Nothing is the perfect place to start. Its writing is more easily understandable than much of Shakespeare's verse, it's hilarious, and it has the perfect happy ending.

7. The Tempest


The Tempest is one of Shakespeare's rare romances--a play that can't fit into any of the tragical, comical, or historical categories most of his works do. The Tempest has a unique sparse and yet fantastical environment, and its strong characters give the audience a special way to imagine everything else.

8. Twelfth Night


Twelfth Night is an absolute joy. It has the best cross-dressing-induced chaos of any comedy--no character is spared from the madness.

9. Richard III


Although I don't care for Shakespeare's histories as much as I do his other works, every well-read thespian needs to read Richard III. As far as the histories go, it's one of the best out there.

10. Macbeth


Macbeth is deliciously wicked, a sit-forward-in-your-chair horror story of the downfall of one ruler. It's practically Biblical in its scope.

Popular Right Now

6 Major Health Benefits Of A Crazy Road Trip

Take that sick road trip you've been wanting to go on, it's actually super good for your health.


We all have a crazy adventure planned, that we live out solely through our Pinterest boards. It wasn't until recently, when I myself took the trip of a lifetime with two of my best friends, that I realized how good road trips can actually be for both your mind AND body.

Driving = Hippocampus Expansion

Taylor Kellogg

Driving, especially long distances, helps your brain with spatial reasoning. A Sunny Afternoon explains that driving actually helps this region of the brain make calculations and increases brain power. Kinda like sudoku... but on wheels.

New places, faces and experiences = MENTAL WORKOUT

Taylor Kellogg

Think of all the cool things you will see, the hundreds of different people you could meet, and the awesome places you'll explore. This overload of new information to process will help your brain build its capacity.


Taylor Kellogg

Fresh air and sunshine is the key to bettering your mind, which leads to bettering your body. Not only do your lungs get a break from pollution-filled air, but the sun boosts the Vitamin D levels in your body to put you in a better mood.

Good company = good mood.

Taylor Kellogg

Choose your travel buddies wisely. Yes, you'll be stuck in the car with them for a LONG period of time, but they also can help with your mental health. The happier you are and the more you laugh, the bigger boost your serotonin levels will get.

You (most likely) will get a lot of good exercise.

Taylor Kellogg

OK, hear me out... I know being cooped up in the car on a road trip isn't very good exercise. It's so important to pick a place that features some sort of physical aspect (I just took a hiking trip to a few national parks in Utah) so you can stretch those legs.

Your mind will thank you for finally going tech-free.

Taylor Kellogg

We're all obsessed with our phones (you are... admit it). Going on a road trip is the perfect way to go unplugged and give your eyes/mind a rest. Less smartphone/email/social media time means less stress.

If you need some backup for convincing your parents to let you go on a road trip, show them this article. You're welcome and travel safe!!!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating
Facebook Comments