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All Shakespeare Comedies, Ranked

Updated March 6, 2019 3.5k votes 1.4k voters 99.3k views16 items

This list includes all Shakespeare comedies, ranked in order of popularity. William Shakespeare's comedic plays are among the most famous of all time. Are the Shakespearean comedies better than the Shakespeare tragedies? Fans will, and have, argued this forever. The fact is, if you love great comedy with a lot of wit and some genuine laugh out loud moments, you'll probably love most, if not all, of these great Shakespeare plays. Vote for your favorites and vote down any you didn't find all that funny.

One point should definitely be made: Some of the Shakespeare comedies are so-called "problem plays." What, pray tell, is a problem play? It's one that is difficult to categorize as a comedy *or* a tragedy, because it contains elements of both. The three main Shakespeare problem plays that are comedies are All's Well That Ends Well, The Merchant of Venice, and Measure for Measure. Each of these plays could certainly be considered comedic, but all of them also contain much darker elements and undertones.

The Shakespeare comedies listed here include some of the most memorable, hilarious characters that the famed playwright ever created. Who can deny that Sir Toby Belch from Twelfth Night isn't perfectly, ridiculously hilarious, for example? And Sir John Falstaff, who appears in the notable Shakespeare comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, is certainly witty. One of the great things about Shakespeare, in addition to his memorable works, was that he actually created all kinds of words! Wasn't he cool?!

From the downright slapstick comedy of The Comedy of Errors to the witty Much Ado About Nothing and the all-out battle of the sexes in The Taming of the Shrew, this list represents all of William Shakespeare's comedies: The funniest, the most memorable and the plays with the happiest of endings. For more great Shakespeare-related information, and the top Shakespeare plays, check out these lists of the best William Shakespeare quotes, books and poems.
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    A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus,...  more

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    Much Ado About Nothing is a play by William Shakespeare....  more
  • 3
    Twelfth Night; or, What You Will is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601–02 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. The play...  more
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    As You Like It is a play by William Shakespeare....  more
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    The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in 16th century Venice must default on a large loan provided by an abused Jewish moneylender. It is believed to have been...  more
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    The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island,...  more
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    The Comedy of Errors is one of William Shakespeare's early plays. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humour coming from slapstick and mistaken...  more
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    The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592. The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the Induction, in which a...  more
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    The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare, first published in 1602, though believed to have been written prior to 1597. The Windsor of the play's title is a reference to Windsor...  more
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    Love's Labour's Lost is one of William Shakespeare's early comedies, believed to have been written in the mid-1590s for a performance at the Inns of Court before Queen Elizabeth I. It follows the...  more
  • 11
    All's Well That Ends Well is a play by William Shakespeare, published in the First Folio in 1623, where it is listed among the comedies. There is a debate regarding the dating of the composition of...  more
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    Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. Originally published in the First Folio of 1623, where it was listed as a comedy, the play's first...  more
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    The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1589 and 1592. It is considered by some to be Shakespeare's first play, and is often seen as...  more
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    The Winter's Tale is a play by William Shakespeare....  more
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    Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a Jacobean play written at least in part by William Shakespeare and included in modern editions of his collected works despite questions over its authorship, as it was not...  more
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    The Two Noble Kinsmen is a Jacobean tragicomedy, first published in 1634 and attributed to John Fletcher and William Shakespeare. Its plot derives from "The Knight's Tale" in Geoffrey Chaucer's The...  more