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Cover of "William Shakespeare Complete Works," co-edited by Jonathan Bate.
May 2022
Modern Library

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William Shakespeare Complete Works

Second Edition
William Shakespeare
Edited by: 
Jonathan Bate
Eric Rasmussen

The newly revised, wonderfully authoritative First Folio of William Shakespeare’s Complete Works, edited by acclaimed Shakespearean scholars and endorsed by the world-famous Royal Shakespeare Company. 

Skillfully assembled by Shakespeare’s fellow actors in 1623, the First Folio was the original Complete Works — arguably the most important literary work in the English language. But starting with Nicholas Rowe in 1709 and continuing to the present day, Shakespeare editors have mixed Folio and Quarto texts, gradually corrupting the original Complete Works with errors and conflated textual variations. 

The second edition of the Complete Works features annotations and commentary from Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen — two of today’s preeminent Shakespeare scholars — as well as cutting-edge textual design, on-page glossaries for contemporary readers, stage directions from RSC directors, a 16-page insert of photographs from RSC production shorts, a timeline of the plays and poems, and family trees for the Histories. 

Combining innovative scholarship with brilliant commentary and textual analysis that emphasizes performance history and values, this landmark edition is indispensable to students, theater professionals and general readers alike.


Sir Jonathan Bate is a Foundation Professor with a joint appointment in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and the Department of English at ASU.

Praise for this book

“There may never be an absolutely definitive collection of Shakespeare’s plays, but this may be as close as we ever come. Clear, user-friendly and meticulous, this is the edition we all need.”

David Tennant

“All of humanity in all of its complexity is contained within these plays, so much so that it’s hard to imagine that Shakespeare will ever be surpassed as the world’s greatest and most beloved playwright. It’s therefore fitting to have this edition that displays his work’s continuing relevance and resonance to his ongoing audience.”

David Oyelowo