Number of characters in all Shakespeare plays

Along with varying word counts and numerous locations, William Shakespeare's plays also have wide ranging numbers of characters in each play. The range in the number of characters with spoken parts in Shakespeare's plays is as little as 17, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, to as much as sixty, in Henry VI: Part Two. There is an average of almost 34 characters per play.
There is some correlation between the word count, number of speeches and number of characters, as the majority of plays that have above-average word counts are also above average in the other graphs, although this correlation is not very strong as there is no play that is in the top five of these three lists, and only one play (The Comedy of Errors) is in the bottom five of all three lists.

Total number of characters* in each William Shakespeare play

Number of words
Henry VI - Part 2 60
Henry VI - Part 1 54
Richard III 53
Antony and Cleopatra 53
Henry IV - Part 2 52
Coriolanus 49
Timon of Athens 48
Julius Caesar 47
Henry V 44
Pericles, Prince of Tyre 43
Henry VIII 43
Henry VI - Part 3 43
Macbeth 38
Cymbeline 37
Richard II 34
The Taming of the Shrew 34
Henry IV - Part 1 34
The Winter's Tale 33
Romeo and Juliet 32
Hamlet 30
Troilus and Cressida 27
King John 27
As You Like It 26
King Lear 25
Othello 25
Titus Andronicus 24
The Merry Wives of Windsor 23
Measure for Measure 23
Much Ado About Nothing 23
The Merchant of Venice 22
All's Well That Ends Well 22
A Midsummer Night's Dream 22
Love's Labour's Lost 19
The Comedy of Errors 19
The Tempest 19
Twelfth Night 18
The Two Gentlemen of Verona 17
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Release date

October 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

1589 to 1613

Supplementary notes

* Characters with more than one name in the same play have been counted as one character. When multiple characters speak in unison, this has not been included (e.g. these characters are often listed as "all", "both", "citizens", "princes", etc).
Please note: The figures in this graph may be smaller than in other lists online, however this is because other sources often use crawling software that counts the same characters twice (when they speak in unison with other characters, or when their name appears in the title),

Release date is date of extraction.

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Statistics on "Theatre and the West End in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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