Whenever Shakespeare’s anniversary comes up, you always hear about his classics. Hamlet. Othello. Macbeth. These are fantastic plays, there is no doubt. But what about Shakespeare’s other works? In honour of the anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, we have put together a list of his lesser known works, his weird and wonderful titles that don’t get the attention they deserve.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
There is much academic debate concerning the authorship of this play, though it is largely agreed upon that Shakespeare is at least partly responsible for penning it, if not the sole author. The play’s story spans two generations, and features what T.S. Eliot referred to as “finest of all the ‘recognition scenes’”.
Timon of Athens
Another potentially collaborative work, ‘Timon of Athens’ is the story of a wealthy Athenian who generously hands out money to his friends, but in his own time of need finds that his generosity is not reciprocated. This is a tale of cynicism, misanthropy, and corruption that urges audiences to be cautious of who their real friends are.
The Phoenix and the Turtle
One of Shakespeare’s most obscure works, this is a poem about the death of perfect love. The ‘Turtle’ in the title refers to a turtle dove rather than the reptile, and all the characters are birds attending the funeral of the turtle dove and the phoenix. It is widely believed that this poem is allegorical, and that each bird represents a member of the royal court, with the phoenix as Queen Elizabeth I.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
This comedy focuses on Sir John Falstaff, who previously appeared in both parts of ‘Henry IV’. He arrives in Windsor without much money and decides to woo two married women in order to get gifts of money out of them. However, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page are not so easily fooled, and play him at his own game, resulting in a great deal of embarrassment for Falstaff.
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