books The Greatest Playwrights in History

15k votes 2.5k voters 146k views 176 items Embed

List Rules Top writers of theatre and stage plays, including musicals

List of the best playwrights ever that span all time periods and issues in the plays that they wrote. Well known playwrights such as William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller are included on this list along with more modern playwrights that have yet to have the same kind of recognition as these big names and their classic plays.

A playwright writes dramatic literature or a drama and can be used as performance pieces or as closet dramas that are not performed and only read as literary works. Recognizable titles are listed with the author’s name, like “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare or “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.

This list of the best playwrights asks the question, "Who is the best playwright ever?" and can be voted on by readers to change the order of who is on top. Each playwright is listed with a picture of themselves and have some of their most famous works listed next to their name to be identified easier. If you do not see a popular or your favorite playwright on the list, be sure to add them to have others be able to vote on them, as well.
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Biljana Srbljanović is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Biljana Srbljanović Porodične priče, The Fall, Skakavci

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Stephen Sondheim is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Stephen Sondheim Into the Woods, Company

53
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Noël Coward is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Noël Coward Private Lives, Hay Fever, Tonight at 8:30

54
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Martin McDonagh is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Martin McDonagh Seven Psychopaths, In Bruges, The Pillowman

55
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Niccolò Machiavelli is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince, Discourses on Livy, Florentine Histories - La Mandragola (The Mandrake)

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Alfred Jarry is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Alfred Jarry Ubu Roi, Supermale

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Sławomir Mrożek is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Sławomir Mrożek DOS Cartas, Das dramatische Werk in sieben Bänden, Vatzlav

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Gabriele d'Annunzio is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Gabriele d'Annunzio Cabiria, The Triumph of Death, Halcyon

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Sarah Kane is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Sarah Kane Blasted, Crave, Cleansed

60
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Caryl Churchill is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Caryl Churchill Top Girls, Cloud Nine, Mad Forest

61
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Milena Markovic is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Milena Markovic White White World, Tomorrow Morning

62
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Simon Stephens is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Simon Stephens On the Shore of the Wide World, Harper Regan, Port

63
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Ivor Martinić is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History

64
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Ben Jonson is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Ben Jonson The Alchemist, Volpone, Every Man in His Humour

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Carlo Goldoni is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Carlo Goldoni Servant of Two Masters, The Venetian Twins, The Venetian Twins

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Tena Štivičić is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Tena Štivičić Fragile!

67
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Elfriede Jelinek is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Elfriede Jelinek The Piano Teacher, Malina, Greed

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Dario Fo is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Dario Fo Master Breasts: Objectified, Aesthetisized, Fantasized

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David Mamet is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
David Mamet Race, Glengarry Glen Ross

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Guillaume Apollinaire is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Guillaume Apollinaire L'hérésiarque et Cie, Les Onze Mille Verges ou les Amours d'un hospodar, Alcools

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Federico García Lorca is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Federico García Lorca Blood Wedding, Yerma

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Lillian Hellman is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Lillian Hellman The Children's Hour, Another Part of the Forest, The Lark

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Pierre de Beaumarchais is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Pierre de Beaumarchais The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Le vœu de toutes les nations

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Rainer Werner Fassbinder Berlin Alexanderplatz, Querelle, World on a Wire

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Pier Paolo Pasolini is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Pier Paolo Pasolini La Dolce Vita, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Nights of Cabiria

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Botho Strauß is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Botho Strauß The Distant Land, Theaterstücke 3. 1993 - 1999, Schlußchor. Drei Akte

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Conor McPherson is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Conor McPherson The Eclipse, I Went Down, This Lime Tree Bower: Three Plays

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Thomas Bernhard is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Thomas Bernhard Extinction, Correction, Old Masters

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Friedrich Dürrenmatt is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Friedrich Dürrenmatt The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi, It Happened in Broad Daylight, The Judge and His Hangman

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Seán O'Casey is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Seán O'Casey Juno and the Paycock, Juno and the Paycock, The Plough and the Stars

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Witold Gombrowicz is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Witold Gombrowicz Three Plays, Trans-Atlantyk, Les Envoûtés

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Yasmina Reza is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Yasmina Reza Carnage, Art, God of Carnage

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Georg Büchner is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Georg Büchner Werke und Briefe, Briefe von ihm und Briefe an ihn, Woyzeck

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Pierre de Marivaux is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Pierre de Marivaux L' épreuve, Le préjugé vaincu, La Vie de Marianne

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Tracy Letts is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Tracy Letts Killer Joe, August: Osage County, Bug

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Lin-Manuel Miranda is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History

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Denis Diderot is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Denis Diderot Memoirs of a Nun, Rameau's Nephew, Encyclopédie

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John Osborne is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
John Osborne Tom Jones, The Entertainer, The Charge of the Light Brigade

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William Inge is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
William Inge Splendor in the Grass, Let's Make It Legal, Come Back

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Mark Ravenhill is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Mark Ravenhill Faust, Bette Bourne: It Goes with the Shoes, Pool (No Water) & Citizenship

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Vladimir Mayakovsky is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Vladimir Mayakovsky Mystery-Bouffe, Night & Morning, The bedbug

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Sam Shepard is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Sam Shepard True West, Fool for Love, Cowboy Mouth

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Ludovico Ariosto is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Ludovico Ariosto Sir John Harington's translation of Orlando Furioso, Il negromante, Orlando Furioso

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Marius von Mayenburg is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Marius von Mayenburg Fireface, The Ugly One

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Karel Čapek is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Karel Čapek War with the Newts, Adam the creator, R.U.R.

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Mikhail Bulgakov is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Mikhail Bulgakov The Master and Margarita, The White Guard, Heart of a Dog

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Peter Weiss is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Peter Weiss Marat/Sade

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W. Somerset Maugham is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
W. Somerset Maugham Of Human Bondage, The Razor's Edge, The Unfaithful

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Émile Zola is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Émile Zola Nana, Germinal, Thérèse Raquin

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Seneca the Younger is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Greatest Playwrights in History
Seneca the Younger De clementia, De Providentia, Ausgewählte moralische Briefe