Word count of all Shakespeare plays

From 1589 until 1613, William Shakespeare wrote 37* plays, with word counts ranging from 14.7 thousand words, to 30.6 thousand. This data includes all words written in the play, such as stage directions and descriptions, and not just dialogue. From the graph we can see that Shakespeare's tragedies tend to be the longest of his works, as six of his eight longest works are in this genre, while the other two are histories.
The shortest of Shakespeare's works are his comedies, although there are also some tragedies, such as Macbeth, that have relatively low word counts. The longest play is Hamlet, which is the only Shakespeare play with more than thirty thousand words, and the shortest is The Comedy of Errors, which is the only play with fewer than fifteen thousand words. Shakespeare's 37 plays have an average word count of 22.6 thousand words per play.

Total number of words written in each William Shakespeare play

Richard III-29,278-
King Lear--26,145
Henry V-26,119-
Troilus and Cressida--26,089
Henry IV - Part 2-25,689-
Henry VI - Part 2-25,439-
The Winter's Tale24,914--
Antony and Cleopatra--24,905
Henry VIII-24,629-
Henry IV - Part 1-24,579-
Romeo and Juliet--24,545
Henry VI - Part 3-24,294-
All's Well That Ends Well23,009--
Richard II-22,423-
The Merry Wives of Windsor21,845--
Measure for Measure21,780--
As You Like It21,690--
Henry VI - Part 1-21,607-
Love's Labour's Lost21,459--
The Merchant of Venice21,291--
Much Ado About Nothing21,157--
The Taming of the Shrew21,055--
King John-20,772-
Titus Andronicus--20,743
Twelfth Night19,837--
Julius Caesar--19,703
Pericles, Prince of Tyre-18,529-
Timon of Athens--18,216
The Two Gentlemen of Verona17,129--
The Tempest16,633--
A Midsummer Night's Dream16,511--
The Comedy of Errors 14,701--
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Release date

October 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

1589 to 1613

Supplementary notes

* The Two Noble Kinsmen, which is not included in this graph but is becoming increasingly accepted in Shakespeare's canon of work, has a word count of approximately 24 thousand words.

Release date is date of extraction.

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