________________ CM . . . . Volume III Number 16 . . . . April 11, 1997

The Complete Works of Shakespeare.

URL: http://the-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/works.html

Review by Mary Marshall.

Reprinted from the EdRes mailing list.


The Complete Works of Shakespeare web site is an extremely comprehensive site produced by Jeremy Hylton. This site is a tremendous resource for teachers, students and Shakespeare enthusiasts.

The site's home page users features a picture of "The Immortal Bard" along with a clearly laid out table of contents with the following eight links:

  1. Shakespeare Discussion Area
  2. Search The Complete Works
  3. Shakespeare Resources on the Internet
  4. What's New on this Server
  5. Chronological and Alphabetical Listing of Plays
  6. Frequently Asked Questions,
  7. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
  8. About the Glossary
Below the table of contents, four columns organize the titles of all of Shakespeare's works into the categories; history, tragedy, comedy and poetry. Each title is a link to the complete text of the poem or play in question. This is followed by a brief explanation of the reasons and methods behind this categorization.

The "Shakespeare Discussion Area" is, in my opinion, one of the most useful and interesting features at this site. The works discussed in this section are again separated into lists by category (ie. comedy, tragedy). Clicking on a title accesses a main page where discussion of the particular work begins. These main pages provide helpful links to the actual text of the work under discussion. With hundreds of messages in this discussion area, this format efficiently helps users find personally relevant discussions.

Links providing users with chronological and alphabetical listings of plays are valuable resources for students and teachers. The list of resources in the "Shakespeare Resources on the Internet" section is impressive in its variety. Resources include other net versions of the collected works of Shakespeare, university course web sites, and databases for Shakespeare works on film and Shakespeare festivals!


If you're looking for wild colors and neat graphics, this site is not for you. However, the simple and coherent organization of vast amounts of information on this site compensate for the lack of flash. For example, the table of titles listed by category makes locating a specific work very easy and allows users to quickly link to any of Shakespeare's works directly from the home page. Each work is complete. The texts of the individual plays offer helpful links to lists of characters as well as links to individual scenes within each act.

Another helpful feature is the ability to click on highlighted words within these texts to link directly to the site's glossary; a very helpful feature when reading Shakespeare. There is however a weakness on this site as its glossary does not always provide the correct definition of a word according to its context.

The well organized format and excellent content of this site makes it an extremely useful tool for the English/Language Arts classroom. The research and learning opportunities presented by the list of internet resources are endless. Having any of Shakespeare's works available at the click of a mouse is certainly advantageous for students and teachers. Even more significant is the chance to discuss these works in an open forum. Getting students involved in these discussions can promote creative and independent thinking as students learn that their opinions are just as valuable as their teachers'. Interesting ideas from the site can also be made the subjects of lively classroom debates. The discussion skills learned from this site could promote more active, interactive and student-centered ways of learning.

DISCLAIMER: We do our best to verify the information in C-EDRES posts, but we do not guarantee accuracy nor agree with every opinion expressed. Please report inaccuracies to C-EDRES-request@unb.ca. For questions about this resource, please contact the site, not C-EDRES.

Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364