Shakespeare’s Longest Play: Characters, Cover Story & Other Lengthy Stories

Here is the longest play that was written by William Shakespeare.

We’re going to talk about Shakespeare’s longest play. But before that, let’s briefly look at the author of the play. It’s possible; that there are some readers who know nothing about the author.

So grab this opportunity.

Longest Shakespeare Play

William Shakespeare is a great English playwright, actor, and poet. He was nicknamed the ‘England’s national poet’ and ‘bard of Avon’ because of his great achievement in literature.

Shakespeare’s existing collaborations and works include 39 plays, three long narrative poems, 154 sonnets, and a few lines whose author is uncertain. So far, his works are still in the process of exploration and reinterpretation.

Of all the plays of William Shakespeare, there is one which is considered the longest of them. If you are on this page to search about it, then you are in the right place.

About the Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in a city known as Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.

He got married to his beloved wife Anne Hathaway at the age of 18 and was blessed with three children.  In April 1616 Shakespeare was baptized at the age of 52.

However, around 1585 to 1592, William Shakespeare began a successful career as an actor, writer, and part-owner of some play firms. One of thems is the Chamberlain’s Men.

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The majority of Shakespeare’s early plays were comedies and stories. But later wrote tragically comical stories.

Some of these plays include Othello, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, and many more.

There is so much to talk about William Shakespeare that time will not allow us to, and for the interest of our discussion, let us get down to business. At least you have gotten an overview of the author.

The Longest Play by Shakespeare

«HAMLET» was considered the longest of all Williams Shakespeare collections. Would you like to know why? The play has a total number of words amounting to 29,551 (3,901 lines).

Hamlet falls under the genre of tragedy and was written around 1601. One of the most evident themes in the play was «Vengeance» with an idea of appearance and reality.

Other themes include death, suicide, and morality.

Characters in the Play   

One of the principal figures in the play is Hamlet, the son of the king who was killed by his brother. Claudius is another wonderful character who played the role of an evil brother of the departed king.

Gertrude was the name of the late king’s spouse (Hamlet’s mother), who later married Claudius. Polonius takes on the role of Lord Chamberlain of Denmark.

Some of the other characters are Ophelia, who was the daughter of Polonius, then Horatio, a best friend of Hamlet. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Hamlet’s academic colleagues.

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Francisco was a soldier, Fortinbras a prince of Norway, and many others.

If you want more details on the play’s characters, visit or check out the game and read it.

Cover story

The King of Denmark was murdered and his absent son, Hamlet, was called home to attend his father’s funeral. Upon arriving, a ghost appears and pretends to be the deceased king.

According to the ghost, the king was assassinated by his dear brother (Hamlet’s uncle), who later married his mother Gertrude and assumed the throne.

To discover the truth, Hamlet pretends to be crazy and mistreats his girlfriend Ophélie to deflect Claude’s suspicions. Hamlet also organizes a few actors for a performance where they will recreate the king’s murder, to assess Claudius’ response.

While spying on his uncle, he inadvertently became angry and killed Polonius, Ophelia’s father.

To have Hamlet executed for his crime, his uncle Claudius sent him on a covert mission to England. But Hamlet managed to escape and come home just in time for Ophelia’s father’s funeral.

I suppose the story is now becoming interesting, but we’re going to hang in here for now.

Other Shakespeare’s Lengthy Plays

Besides Hamlet, there are other plays written by this veteran writer and this content has a significant number of words.

  • Richard III

After Hamlet, it is Shakespeare’s second-longest play with around 3886 lines. The play was written about 1592-94 and made history in the First Folio. Quarto edition regards Richard III as a tragedy.

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Furthermore, some of the content is often shortened for the sake of brevity while removing the peripheral characters.

  • Coriolanus

Coriolanus is the third-longest Shakespearean play believed to have been written in 1605-1608.  This is a tragic play that is composed of the life of a legendary Roman leader known as Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

The name Coriolanus was given to the Roman General for his military achievements against various uprisings that defied the Roman regime.

  • Cymbeline

It is the fourth-longest play written by William Shakespeare with around 3813 lines. Although there is no precise date when the play was composed, historians believe it was written as early as 1611.

At first, Fabio classified Cymbeline as a tragic play, but modern critics classify it under romance and comedy in some cases.

  • Othello

Some people refer to it as “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice”.

This is the fifth-longest written by Shakespeare around 1603 and contains 3672 lines. The play is based on the story of A Capitano Moro and runs through the Ottoman-Venetian War.

  • Antony and Cleopatra

William Shakespeare’s sixth-longest play is Antoine et Cléopâtre, with 3,630 lines.

It is a tragic play that was written around 1607 and interpreted by the King’s Men at the Black Brothers Theatre and the Globe Theatre.

However, the story was written from the English translation of Thomas North’s Plutarch Lives in 1579.

Hamlet is one of William Shakespeare’s most powerful and influential works in his literary collections.

Being Shakespeare’s longest play, the story has an endless repetition and adaptation by several individuals throughout the world.

At least, based on what we have described above, you can see William Shakespeare’s longest piece and five others.