Number of speeches in all Shakespeare plays

In the 37 canonized plays in William Shakespeare's body of work, the number of speeches in each play ranges from 605 to 1,361 separate speech entries. These speeches are when characters speak, (which can be entire soliloquies, or simple one-word answers) as well as narrations and stage directions. The plays with the most separate speech entries are Antony and Cleopatra, Othello and Triolus and Cressida, all of which have over 1.3 thousand speeches. Although Hamlet is the Shakespeare play with the highest word-count, it has only the fourth highest number of speeches (Hamlet is also famous for its numerous soliloquies, such as "To be or not to be").
There are three Shakespeare plays with fewer than 650 separate speech entries, which are Richard II, King John and A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Comedy of Errors, which has the lowest word count of any Shakespeare play, has only the fifth fewest speech entries.

Total number of speeches* written in each William Shakespeare play

Number of speeches
Antony and Cleopatra 1,361
Othello 1,309
Troilus and Cressida 1,301
Hamlet 1,250
Coriolanus 1,240
Richard III 1,224
King Lear 1,181
The Merry Wives of Windsor 1,163
Love's Labour's Lost 1,123
Much Ado About Nothing 1,062
All's Well That Ends Well 1,034
Twelfth Night 1,031
Romeo and Juliet 989
Measure for Measure 987
Henry IV - Part 2 987
Cymbeline 979
The Taming of the Shrew 965
Henry VI - Part 3 949
The Two Gentlemen of Verona 943
Henry VI - Part 2 921
Julius Caesar 895
As You Like It 872
Timon of Athens 870
Henry V 853
The Winter's Tale 814
Henry VIII 788
Henry VI - Part 1 787
Henry IV - Part 1 787
Macbeth 765
Pericles, Prince of Tyre 756
The Merchant of Venice 722
The Tempest 702
The Comedy of Errors 664
Titus Andronicus 662
Richard II 636
King John 621
A Midsummer Night's Dream 605
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Release date

October 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

1589 to 1613

Supplementary notes

* According to Open Source Shakespeare "A "speech" consists of either words spoken by a character, or a stage direction — anything from a one-word shout to a long soliloquy."

Release date is date of extraction.

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