Reading Will

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 

First Folio 1623; Title Page
First Folio 1623; Title Page

Ben Jonson assessed Shakespeare's longevity with, “He was not of an age, but for all time.” The publication of the First Folio in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare's death, did help ensure his immortality. Without it, of his thirty-eight plays, eighteen might have been lost because they had not been previously published. Civilization is forever indebted to Shakespeare's friends and fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, for saving these works in the First Folio.


  • Note on the Sources
    Attribution of the sources for these versions of Shakespeare's works
  • Apologia
    To those who object to plucking quotations from writings, especially from Shakespeare
  • Publication History
    A table in chronological order of the writing and printing (in quarto and octavo editions) of Shakespeare's plays and poetry up to the publication of the first folio
  • First Folio
    An overview of the contents of the First Folio as well as to the works that were not included
  • The Plays
    An alphabetical list of his plays including brief information and links to quotations from each
  • The Poems
    Information about his two long poems and one short poem with links to quotations from each
  • The Sonnets
    Information about the Sonnets with links to quotations from each