Shakespeare set the tone for the future of culture and literature, inspiring the subject and themes of Western literature for centuries. But which Shakespeare are you reading? His works have been passed down in various records and editions throughout the centuries—leaving open-ended the question of which is closest to the original. Textual studies on some of the oldest versions have distinguished between the various Quartos (Qq) texts and the collection put together by his colleagues, called the First Folio (F), both surprisingly different in content and language.
In this completely free and comprehensive Shakespeare collection produced by Folger Digital Texts, textual differences are marked clearly in the body of the text. You’ll not only get all of Shakespeare’s works—again, for free—but be able to see on the page how different each masterwork would have been.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) remains one of the most (if not, the single most) influential English writers. His works exist in every major world language and are still incredibly popular in theater, film, and literature. Some of his major works include Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, and Romeo and Juliet. Over the last 400 years, but especially the last 200, his works have been reproduced countless times.