Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Dramatic Works

Results per page: 30 | 60 | 100
  • <
  • Page 2 of 3 
  • >
Book type:
Sort by:
View by:

By: Sophocles (c. 497 BC - c. 406 BC)

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles Oedipus Rex

Oedipus the King (often known by the Latin title Oedipus Rex) is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles's three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chronology, followed by Oedipus at Colonus and then Antigone. Over the centuries, it has come to be regarded by many as the Greek tragedy par excellence.

Antigone by Sophocles Antigone

This is the final installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays, following Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. Oedipus's daughter Antigone deliberately breaks the laws of Thebes when she buries her brother's body and is sentenced to death. She clashes with Creon, the King of Thebes, over what constitutes justice and morality: the laws of the state or the laws of the individual.

Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus

This is the second installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays that chronicles the tragic fates of Oedipus and his family. After fulfilling the prophecy that predicted he would kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus blinds himself and leaves Thebes, to wander in the wilderness accompanied by his daughters Antigone and Ismene.

Book cover Electra

Sophocles' play dramatizes the aftermath of Agamemnon's murder by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. His daughter Electra is hungry for revenge and longs for the return of her brother Orestes to help her achieve her ends.

By: Anne Brontë (1820-1849)

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey is the daughter of a minister, whose family comes to financial ruin. Desperate to earn money to care for herself, she takes one of the few jobs allowed to respectable women in the early Victorian era, as a governess to the children of the wealthy. In working with two different families, the Bloomfields and the Murrays, she comes to learn about the troubles that face a young woman who must try to rein in unruly, spoiled children for a living, and about the ability of wealth and status to destroy social values. After her father's death, Agnes opens a small school with her mother and finds happiness with a man who loves her for herself.

By: Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, normally known simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe The Jew of Malta

Christopher “Kit” Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death. The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean...

Tamburlaine the Great by Christopher Marlowe Tamburlaine the Great

Tamburlaine the Great is the name of a play in two parts by Christopher Marlowe. It is loosely based on the life of the Central Asian emperor, Timur 'the lame'. Written in 1587 or 1588, the play is a milestone in Elizabethan public drama; it marks a turning away from the clumsy language and loose plotting of the earlier Tudor dramatists, and a new interest in fresh and vivid language, memorable action, and intellectual complexity. Along with Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, it may be considered the first popular success of London's public stage...

Book cover Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1616 version)

The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play. "No Elizabethan play outside the Shakespeare canon has raised more controversy than Doctor Faustus. There is no agreement concerning the nature of the text and the date of composition...

Book cover Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1616 version)

The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play. "No Elizabethan play outside the Shakespeare canon has raised more controversy than Doctor Faustus. There is no agreement concerning the nature of the text and the date of composition...

By: J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)

Book cover Dear Brutus

At a house in the country 8 guests are invited to enter a magical wood to see what might have happened had they made a different choice in life. Even though they are warned away from the wood, they take a chance and enter. The title comes from Shakespeare: "The fault lies in our selves, dear Brutus, not in our stars...," and summarizes the theme of this play: given a second chance, will people still make the same mistakes?

By: George Bernard Shaw

Candida by George Bernard Shaw Candida

Candida, a comedy by playwright George Bernard Shaw, was first published in 1898, as part of his Plays Pleasant. The central characters are clergyman James Morell, his wife Candida and a youthful poet, Eugene Marchbanks, who tries to win Candida's affections. The play questions Victorian notions of love and marriage, asking what a woman really desires from her husband. The cleric is a Fabian Socialist, allowing Shaw—himself a Fabian—to weave political issues, current at the time, into the story.

Book cover Major Barbara

George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara focuses on the family of aristocratic Lady Britomart Undershaft and her estranged husband Andrew, a millionaire armaments manufacturer. Their daughters Sarah and Barbara are both engaged to be married, and Lady Britomart decides to ask Andrew for monetary support. Barbara is a Major in the Salvation Army, and agrees to let her father visit the mission in the East End of London where she works. In exchange, she agrees to visit his munitions factory. The conflict between Barbara's philanthropic idealism and her father's hard-headed capitalism clash when he decides he wants to fund the Salvation Army...

Book cover Caesar and Cleopatra

By: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

Miss Civilization by Richard Harding Davis Miss Civilization

Miss Civilization, a one act comedy, tells the story of a young woman who matches wits with three burglars attempting to rob her house.

By: Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824)

Manfred by Lord George Gordon Byron Manfred

Manfred is a dramatic poem in three acts by Lord Byron, and possibly a self confessional work. A noble, Manfred, is haunted by the memory of some unspeakable crime. In seeking for forgetfulness and oblivion, he wanders between his castle and the mountains. He has several encounters with the people who try to assist him, as well as spirits that rule nature and human destiny. The poem explores themes of morality, religion, guilt and the human condition.

By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

Swan Song by Anton Chekhov Swan Song

In 'The Swan Song' an aging actor reminisces about his life and the parts he's played. The piece takes a tragic look at ambition and the sacrifices that must be made in order to succeed. Chekhov’s ability to capture and explore human nature and experience is showcased here.

Book cover Ivanov

Nicolai (anglicised Nicholas in this translation) Ivanov, a middle-aged public servant, is unhappy. His wife Anna, disinherited by her family after converting from Judaism, is dying of tuberculosis. He is deeply in debt. And his best friend’s daughter is infatuated with him. Comedy and tragedy ensue in truly Chekhovian fashion. An example of the young Chekhov’s maturing style, Ivanov is an early harbinger of themes that would recur throughout his work.

Book cover Ivanov

Nicolai (anglicised Nicholas in this translation) Ivanov, a middle-aged public servant, is unhappy. His wife Anna, disinherited by her family after converting from Judaism, is dying of tuberculosis. He is deeply in debt. And his best friend’s daughter is infatuated with him. Comedy and tragedy ensue in truly Chekhovian fashion. An example of the young Chekhov’s maturing style, Ivanov is an early harbinger of themes that would recur throughout his work.

By: August Strindberg (1849-1912)

Countess Julie by August Strindberg Countess Julie

August Strindberg’s naturalistic one-act drama has only three characters: Julie, a passionate young noblewoman; Jean, her father’s ambitious valet; and Kristin, the cook, who is also Jean’s fiancee. The play is set on Midsummer Eve, when everyone is reveling, and Julie and Jean get a bit too intimate – with tragic results.

Book cover Creditors

Creditors is an 1889 tragicomedy by August Strindberg that plumbs the depths of the twisted triangular relationship between Tekla, her husband Adolph, and her ex-husband Gustav.

Book cover There are Crimes and Crimes

By: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781)

Miss Sara Sampson by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing Miss Sara Sampson

G.E. Lessing, widely regarded by students of theater as the world's first dramaturg, was also one of the first proponents of the German bourgeois tragedy. Miss Sara Sampson, in which a young woman runs off with a ne'er-do-well who is still entangled with his former mistress, was a reaction against the Voltarian verse drama popular in the eighteenth century.

By: Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Pippa Passes by Robert Browning Pippa Passes

Pippa Passes was a dramatic piece, as much play as poetry, by Robert Browning published in 1841 as the first volume of his Bells and Pomegranates series. The author described the work as the first of a series of dramatic pieces. His original idea was of a young, innocent girl, moving unblemished through the crime-ridden neighbourhoods of Asolo. The work caused outrage when it was first published, due to the matter-of-fact portrayals of many of the area’s more disreputable characters – notably the adulterous Ottima – and for its frankness on sexual matters...

By: Aeschylus (525/524 BC - c. 455/456 BC)

The Oresteia by Aeschylus The Oresteia

The Oresteia is a trilogy by Aeschylus, one of the foremost playwrights of ancient Greece. It encompasses three plays: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Furies. It tells the tragic tale of the House of Atreus, whose inhabitants have been cursed and are doomed to play out their bloody, vengeful destinies. At the beginning of the first part, the Trojan War has ended and the Greek general, Agamemnon, is returning victorious to his wife Clytemnestra. Yet she finds it difficult to forgive his sacrifice of their daughter, Iphigenia, who was killed to ensure the Greek fleet fair winds in their voyage to Troy...

By: Maria Thompson Daviess (1872-1924)

Book cover Heart's Kingdom

Nickols Powers is in love with the beautiful Charlotte and desperate to marry her. Charlotte however, is independent and reluctant to accept his religious views as a good wife should. However, she may still be convinced by the charismatic preacher building a new church in her own backyard.

By: John Webster (c.1580 - c.1634)

The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster The Duchess of Malfi

John Webster's bloody Jacobean tragedy exposes the decadence of the Italian court. The virtuous Duchess of Malfi, a young widow, secretly marries her steward Antonio, and is subsequently persecuted by her brothers: the sexually obsessed and eventually mad Ferdinand, and the corrupt Cardinal.

By: Euripides (480-406 BC)

The Bacchae by Euripides The Bacchae

This tragedy is based on the mythological story of King Pentheus of Thebes and his mother Agave, and their punishment by the god Dionysus (who is Pentheus' cousin) for refusing to worship him.

The Trojan Women by Euripides The Trojan Women

Euripides' play follows the fates of the women of Troy after their city has been sacked, their husbands killed, and as their remaining families are about to be taken away as slaves. However, it begins first with the gods Athena and Poseidon discussing ways to punish the Greek armies because they condoned Ajax the Lesser for dragging Cassandra away from Athena's temple. What follows shows how much the Trojan women have suffered as their grief is compounded when the Greeks dole out additional deaths and divide their shares of women.

By: Charles Monroe Sheldon (1857-1946)

Book cover In His Steps

In His Steps takes place in the railroad town of Raymond. The main character is the Rev. Henry Maxwell, pastor of the First Church of Raymond, who challenges his congregation to not do anything for a whole year without first asking: “What Would Jesus Do?” (taken from Wikipedia)

By: Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965)

The Adventures of Mr. Mocker by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Mr. Mocker

When an innocent blue jay starts talking in his sleep, it’s up to him to find out what’s going on in this fun, naturalistic, Southern-style children’s story.

The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat

Join us as we follow Jerry Muskrat and his friends on an adventure to discover what is threatening their homeland; The Laughing Brook and The Smiling Pool.

Book cover Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse (dramatic reading)

Danny begins his tale regretting the length of his tail until he is corrected by Mr. Toad. Then he has a series of stalkings by Reddy and Granny Fox. He is captured by Hooty the Owl and escapes mid-flight to Peter Rabbit's briar patch. Peter goes to Farmer Brown's peach orchard and gets caught in a snare and barely escapes himself. Finally Danny gets trapped in a tin can and must use his wits to escape Reddy Fox again.

By: George Gissing (1857-1903)

The Paying Guest by George Gissing The Paying Guest

Clarence and Emmeline Mumford are in for a real treat when they take in the young, outspoken Miss Louise Derrick as their guest. Shedding a light on class struggles in the Victorian era, The Paying Guest offers a look at just what "proper society" expects.

By: Susan Glaspell (1876-1948)

Book cover Trifles

On the surface, this short play is a slice-of-life story about a murder investigation in the rural United States. However, it is also a story about the relationships between men and women, husbands and wives, and the often-overlooked "trifles" which can say so much about a person's life.

By: Joseph Smith Fletcher (1863-1935)

Book cover Orange-Yellow Diamond

By: Ruth Plumly Thompson (1891-1976)

The Royal Book of Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson The Royal Book of Oz

The Royal Book of Oz (1921) is the fifteenth in the series of Oz books, and the first to be written by Ruth Plumly Thompson after L. Frank Baum’s death. Although Baum was credited as the author, it was written entirely by Thompson. The Scarecrow is upset when Professor Wogglebug tells him that he has no family, so he goes to where Dorothy Gale found him to trace his “roots.” Then he vanishes from the face of Oz. Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion mount a search for their friend, but when that is successful, they will need to become a rescue party!

By: Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816)

The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan The Rivals

The play is set in Bath in the 18th century, a town legendary for conspicuous consumption and fashion at the time. Wealthy, fashionable people went there to "take the waters", which were believed to have healing properties. The plot centres on the two young lovers, Lydia and Jack. Lydia, who reads a lot of popular novels of the time, wants a purely romantic love affair. To court her, Jack pretends to be "Ensign Beverley", a poor officer. Lydia is enthralled with the idea of eloping with a poor soldier in spite of her guardian, Mrs...

By: Aristophanes (446BC - 385BC)

Lysistrata by Aristophanes Lysistrata

Lysistrata read by the Classics Drama Company at DePaul. The Classics Drama Company at DePaul is a new gathering of Thespians and Classicists dedicated to performing and understanding ancient literature. If you live in Chicago and attend DePaul University, we welcome new additions to our group. Contact Dr. Kirk Shellko (kshellko@depaul.edu), if interested.First performed in classical Athens c. 411 B.C.E., Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is the original battle of the sexes. One woman, Lysistrata, brings together the women of all Greece, exhorting them to withhold sexual contact from all men in order that they negotiate a treaty...

By: Charles Goddard (1879-1951)

Book cover The Perils of Pauline

The Perils of Pauline is one of the first damsel in distress serials. The story is complete with undaunted hero, courageous damsel, unscrupulous villains galore, and other worldly interest. Before getting married, Pauline wants to experience the world and have adventures. When her guardian dies and leaves her an estate in trust of his secretary, adventures suddenly become more hazardous. Pauline charters aeroplanes, meets untrustworthy pirates, braves dangerous China Town, flies in a hot air balloon, adventures in the Wild West, encounters international spies, and escapes many other perils with the aid of her would-be fiancé, Harry, and an Egyptian mummy.

By: Charles Goddard and Paul Dicky

Book cover The Ghost Breaker

The Ghost Breaker is a drama and haunted house horror complete with heroes, villains, and a Princess. The Ghost Breaker was originally a screenplay and would later be made a drama film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.

By: Langdon Mitchell (1862-1935)

The New York Idea by Langdon Mitchell The New York Idea

I find it very hard to classify "The New York Idea" under any of the established rubrics. It is rather too extravagant to rank as a comedy; it is much too serious in its purport, too searching in its character-delineation and too thoughtful in its wit, to be treated as a mere farce. Its title—not, perhaps, a very happy one—is explained in this saying of one of the characters: "Marry for whim and leave the rest to the divorce court—that's the New York idea of marriage." Like all the plays,...

By: William Congreve (1670 -1729)

The Way of the World by William Congreve The Way of the World

The Way of the World is a play written by British playwright William Congreve. It premiered in 1700 in the theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields in London. It is widely regarded as being one of the best Restoration comedies written and is still performed sporadically to this day.The play is based around the two lovers Mirabell and Millamant (originally famously played by John Verbruggen and Anne Bracegirdle). In order for the two to get married and receive Millamant's full dowry, Mirabell must receive the blessing of Millamant's aunt, Lady Wishfort...

By: Eugene O'Neill

Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill Anna Christie

Eugene O'Neill's drama Anna Christie was first produced on Broadway in 1921 and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1922. It focuses on three main characters: Chris Christopherson, a Swedish captain of a coal barge and longtime seaman, his daughter Anna, who has grown up separated from her father on a Minnesota farm, and Mat Burke, an Irish stoker who works on steamships. At the beginning of the play Chris and Anna are reunited after fifteen years apart. Anna comes to live on her father's coal barge, but hides the secret of her past from him. When she meets Mat after an accident in the fog, they almost immediately fall in love - but Anna finds that forging a new future will not be easy.

By: Amelia E. Barr (1831-1919)

Book cover Maid of Maiden Lane

The Maid of Maiden lane is a wonderful love story in which Mrs. Barr intertwines the hot political and social issues that were occurring in America during the last decade of the 18th century with an excellent love story plot. Some of those issues include: the moral dilemma and debate over the French Revolution, and how that event touched the lives of the immigrants in America; the prejudices between the immigrants from England, and those from France or Holland, and how those animosities affected the ordinary lives of the people; and the political debate over titles, foreign policy, and such things(for example)as where the capital of the nation was to reside, New York or Philadelphia...

By: Florence Holbrook (1860-1932)

Book cover Dramatic Reader for Lower Grades

Despite the title's bland sounding name, this book is a charming collection of 16 plays for children. These little plays—well-known stories done into dialogue—were written for children who like to imagine themselves living with their favorite characters in forest, in palace, or in fairyland. Included are Cinderella, Robin Hood, William Tell, Hansel and Gretel and many more.

By: Thomas Kyd (1558-1594)

The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd The Spanish Tragedy

The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo is Mad Again is an Elizabethan tragedy written by Thomas Kyd between 1582 and 1592. Highly popular and influential in its time, The Spanish Tragedy established a new genre in English theatre, the revenge play or revenge tragedy. Its plot contains several violent murders and includes as one of its characters a personification of Revenge. The Spanish Tragedy was often referred to (or parodied) in works written by other Elizabethan playwrights, including William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, and Christopher Marlowe...

By: William S. Gilbert (1836-1911)

The Pirates of Penzance by William S. Gilbert The Pirates of Penzance

The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic finds out, however, that he was born on 29 February, and so, technically, he only has a birthday each leap year...

By: Francis Beaumont (1584-1616)

The Maid's Tragedy by Francis Beaumont The Maid's Tragedy

Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy (first published 1619) is a sensational Jacobean sex tragedy. When gentleman soldier Melantius returns to Rhodes, he finds his dear friend Amintor is recently married - but not to his troth-plight love Aspatia (the maid of the title). Instead, the King has arranged a match between Amintor and Melantius' sister, the beautiful Evadne. On his wedding night, Amintor finds that his new wife has married him under false pretenses - and this unleashes a torrent of dire consequences, sexual, emotional, and ultimately political.

By: Jane D. Abbott (1881-1968)

Book cover Highacres (Dramatic Reading)

The story of a young mountain girl and her first year of city living and going to a high school. She knows nothing of town life, but she had dreams and longs to learn more and discover what the world is like outside of her mountain home. Go with her to the Westley's home, where she finds everyone kind, except the Wesley's oldest daughter, Isobel, who is proud and snubs her. With determination, and courage she enjoys her first year, and longs to continue at Highacres.

By: David Belasco (1853-1931)

Book cover Return of Peter Grimm

By: August von Kotzebue (1761-1819)

Lover's Vows by August von Kotzebue Lover's Vows

Lovers' Vows (1798), a play by Elizabeth Inchbald arguably best known now for having been featured in Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park (1814), is one of at least four adaptations of August von Kotzebue's Das Kind der Liebe (1780; literally "Child of Love," or "Natural Son," as it is often translated), all of which were published between 1798 and 1800. Inchbald's version is the only one to have been performed. Dealing as it does with sex outside marriage and illegitimate birth, Inchbald in the Preface to the published version declares herself to have been highly sensitive to the task of adapting the original German text for "an English audience...

By: Frances Browne (1816-1879)

Granny's Wonderful Chair by Frances Browne Granny's Wonderful Chair

Her most famous work, Granny's Wonderful Chair, was published in 1856 and it is still in print to this day. It is a richly imaginative book of fairy stories and has been translated into many languages. This work, read as a child by Frances Hodgson Burnett, inspired the writings of Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories

By: Frederick Arnold Kummer (1873-1943)

Book cover Film of Fear

(Written under the pseudonym, Arnold Fredericks.) Ruth Morton is a world-renowned film actress who seems to have it all: youth, beauty, wealth, and a viable career. But she soon becomes the target of a malicious stalker who begins sending her a series of cryptic threats. Dismissed at first, the stalker soon emerges as a legitimate -- and mysterious -- threat. She soon must call for the services of Richard and Grace Duvall, a husband and wife detective team who soon find themselves ensnared in a mystery where everyone soon becomes a target.

By: Jesse Lynch Williams (1871-1929)

Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams Why Marry?

Why Marry? is a comedy, which "tells the truth about marriage". We find a family in the throes of proving the morality of marriage to a New Age Woman. Can the family defend marriage to this self-supporting girl? Will she be convinced that marriage is the ultimate sacredness of a relationship or will she hold to her perception that marriage is the basis of separating two lovers."Why Marry?" won the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

By: Mary Ella Lyng

Book cover History Plays for the Grammar Grades

A charming collection of 14 short American history plays for the very young - ranging from Christopher Columbus to George Washington to Susan B Anthony.

By: Kenneth McGaffrey (??-1938)

Book cover The Sorrows of a Show Girl

Originally printed in The Morning Telegraph in New York, this is the story of Miss Sabrina, the show girl, and her ups and downs with the unpredictable theatrical industry and the Great White Way, the lights and glamour of Broadway. "In order to set myself right with both the public and the vast army of Sabrinas that add youth and beauty to our stage, and brilliancy and gaiety to our well known cafes, I wish to say that she is all that she should be...”- Kenneth McGaffrey

By: Unknown

One-Act Play Collection by Unknown One-Act Play Collection

One-Act Play Collection includes 6 one-act plays in the public domain.

Everyman by Unknown Everyman

The Somonyng of Everyman (The Summoning of Everyman), usually referred to simply as Everyman, is a late 15th-century English morality play. Like John Bunyan's novel Pilgrim's Progress, Everyman examines the question of Christian salvation by use of allegorical characters, and what Man must do to attain it. The premise is that the good and evil deeds of one's life will be tallied by God after death, as in a ledger book. The play is the allegorical accounting of the life of Everyman, who represents all mankind...

By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare Coriolanus

Shakespeare was passionately interested in the history of Rome, as is evident from plays like Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, and Antony and Cleopatra. His tragedy Coriolanus was probably written around 1605-07, and dramatizes the rise and fall of a great Roman general, Caius Martius (later surnamed Coriolanus because of his military victory at Corioli). This play is unusual in that it provides a strong voice for the ordinary citizens of Rome, who begin the play rioting about the high price of food, and who continually clash with Coriolanus because of his contempt for plebians.

By: Elizabeth Klett (1867-1936)

Six Characters in Search of an Author by Elizabeth Klett Six Characters in Search of an Author

Six Characters in Search of an Author (Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore) is the most famous and celebrated play by the Italian writer Luigi Pirandello. Pirandello, in the preface to the play, says that whenever a reader opens Dante’s Inferno, Francesca will drift down from the dark wind in her circle of Hell and tell the Pilgrim her story; and it will always be for the first time – just as the Mother in Pirandello’s play at one point makes an agonizing cry, always for the first time. Each character sees events and the other characters differently...

By: Ben Jonson (1572-1637)

The Alchemist by Ben Jonson The Alchemist

An outbreak of plague in London forces a gentleman, Lovewit, to flee temporarily to the country, leaving his house under the sole charge of his butler, Jeremy. Jeremy uses the opportunity given to him to use the house as the headquarters for fraudulent acts. He transforms himself into 'Captain Face', and enlists the aid of Subtle, a fellow conman and Dol Common, a prostitute. In The Alchemist, Jonson unashamedly satirizes the follies, vanities and vices of mankind, most notably greed-induced credulity...

By: Various

One-Act Play Collection 003 by Various One-Act Play Collection 003

This collection of ten one-act dramas features plays by Edward Goodman, Alice Gerstenberg, Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy, Anton Chekhov, Frank Wedekind, Moliere, Theresa Helburn, John Kendrick Bangs, and Harold Brighouse.

By: Euripides (480-406 BC)

Book cover Medea

Euripides' tragedy focuses on the disintegration of the relationship between Jason, the hero who captured the Golden Fleece, and Medea, the sorceress who returned with him to Corinth and had two sons with him. As the play opens, Jason plans to marry the daughter of King Creon, and the lovesick Medea plots how to take her revenge.

By: Molière

Tartuffe by Molière Tartuffe

Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Among Molière's best-known works is Tartuffe or The Hypocrite, written in 1664. Though Tartuffe was received well by the public and even by Louis XIV, its popularity was lessened when the Archbishop of Paris issued an edict threatening excommunication for anyone who watched, performed in, or read the play.Tartuffe, a pious fraud who pretends to speak with divine authority, has insinuated himself into the household of Orgon...

By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

The Machine by Upton Sinclair The Machine

Upton Sinclair is best known for his novel The Jungle, an expose of the meatpacking industry. He was also a playwright whose works for the stage reflected the same progressive viewpoints found in his other writing. In The Machine, published as part of Sinclair's 1912 collection Plays of Protest, Socialist activists show a rich man's daughter the truth about the society in which she has been raised.

By: Various

One-Act Play Collection 002 by Various One-Act Play Collection 002

This collection of eight one-act dramas features plays by Eugene O'Neill, George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, Susan Glaspell, William Dean Howells and John Millington Synge. It also includes a dramatic reading of a short story by Frank Richard Stockton.

By: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

The Wild Duck by Henrik Ibsen The Wild Duck

The Wild Duck (1884) (original Norwegian title: Vildanden) is by many considered Ibsen's finest work, and it is certainly the most complex. It tells the story of Gregers Werle, a young man who returns to his hometown after an extended exile and is reunited with his boyhood friend Hjalmar Ekdal. Over the course of the play, the many secrets that lie behind the Ekdals' apparently happy home are revealed to Gregers, who insists on pursuing the absolute truth, or the "Summons of the Ideal". Among these truths: Gregers' father impregnated his servant Gina, then married her off to Hjalmar to legitimize the child...

By: Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953)

Beyond the Horizon by Eugene O'Neill Beyond the Horizon

Beyond the Horizon is a 1920 play written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill. It was O'Neill's first full-length work, and the winner of the 1920 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play focuses on the portrait of a family, and particularly two brothers Andrew and Robert. In the first act of the play, Robert is about to go off to sea with their uncle Dick, a sea captain while Andrew looks forward to marrying his sweetheart Ruth and working on the family farm as he starts a family.

By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a Jacobean play written at least in part by William Shakespeare and included in modern editions of his collected works despite questions over its authorship, as it was not included in the First Folio. Modern editors generally agree that Shakespeare is responsible for almost exactly half the play—827 lines—the main portion after scene 9 that follows the story of Pericles and Marina. Modern textual studies indicate that the first two acts of 835 lines detailing the many voyages of Pericles were written by a mediocre collaborator, which strong evidence suggests to have been the victualler, pander, dramatist and pamphleteer George Wilkins.

By: John Webster (1580-1634)

The White Devil by John Webster The White Devil

John Webster's The White Devil (1612) is a Jacobean revenge tragedy, replete with adultery, murder, ghosts, and violence. The Duke of Brachiano and Vittoria Corombona decide to kill their spouses, Isabella and Camillo, in order to be together, aided by the crafty and ambitious Flamineo, Vittoria's brother. Their actions prompt vows of revenge from Isabella's brother Francisco, the Duke of Florence, and Count Lodovico, who was secretly in love with her. The title refers to the early modern proverb that "the white devil is worse than the black," indicating the hypocrisy practiced by many of the characters in the play.

By: Sophocles (495-406 BC)

Book cover Philoctetes

Sophocles' play recounts an episode from the Trojan War, in which the wily Odysseus and Achilles' son Neoptolemus travel to a remote island to persuade Philoctetes to come with them to Troy. A prophet has foreseen that the Greeks will need Philoctetes and his bow (given to him by Heracles before his death) in order to defeat the Trojans. The problem is that years before Odysseus had engineered Philoctetes' abandonment on the island, due to a festering, stinking wound he had received from a snakebite. Will Philoctetes forgive and forget, or will he take his revenge?

By: Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker

Book cover The Roaring Girl

The Roaring Girl is a rip-roaring Jacobean comedy co-written by Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker and first published in 1611. The play is a fictionalized dramatization of the life of Mary Frith, known as "Moll Cutpurse", a woman who had gained a reputation as a virago in the early 17th century. (The term "roaring girl" was adapted from the slang term "roaring boy", which was applied to a young man who caroused publicly, brawled, and committed petty crimes.) The play combines the exploits of the cross-dressed Moll with the amorous adventures of a trio of merchants' wives, and the forbidden romance between Sebastian Wengrave and Mary Fitzallard.

By: Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen Rosmersholm

Rosmersholm is a play written in 1886 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. In the estimation of many critics the piece is Ibsen’s masterwork, only equalled by The Wild Duck of 1884. As expressed by the protagonist, Rosmer, the theme of the play is social and political change, in which the traditional ruling classes relinquish their right to impose their ideals on the rest of society, but the action is entirely personal, resting on the conduct of the immoral, or amoral, “free thinking” heroine, Rebecca, who sets herself to undermine Rosmer’s religious and political beliefs because of his influential position in the community...

By: Unknown

The Drama: A Quarterly Review by Unknown The Drama: A Quarterly Review

This is a collection of theatrical essays from the American quarterly The Drama, including six non-fiction works -- 3 profiles: Schnitzler, Andreyev, and O'Neill, and 3 articles: Characterization vs Situation, The Actor in England, & The Evolution of The Actor.

By: Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934)

The Amazons: A Farcical Romance by Arthur Wing Pinero The Amazons: A Farcical Romance

This 1895 farce inspired by the outlandish idea of women wearing pants, centers around the predicament of the three daughters of the eccentric Marchioness of Castlejordan, who determined to have sons, raised them like boys. She encouraged them to dress and act like boys at home, yet dress like ladies when out. As the girls come of age, they are conflicted. They want to please mother by acting as her sons, but, suddenly smitten with three gentlemen, they are compelled to grow up and be ladies. When their suitors secretly come to woo, they aren’t sure what to do……and what will mother do if she finds out?

By: Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

The Strange Gentleman by Charles Dickens The Strange Gentleman

Before he became a novelist, Dickens wrote several successful plays. This one from 1836, his first, he called, "A Comic Burletta in Two Acts". Characters arrive at a village inn called "The St. James Arms" and much confusion ensues.

By: Various

One Act Play Collection 004 by Various One Act Play Collection 004

This collection of twelve one-act dramas features plays by James Allen, John Kendrick Bangs, Gordon Bottomley, Charles Dickens, Lord Dunsany, Susan Glaspell, George Bernard Shaw, August Strindberg, Marion Craig Wentworth, and William Butler Yeats. The plays were coordinated by Elizabeth Barr, Margaret Espaillat, Amanda Friday, Elizabeth Klett, Kristingj, David Lawrence, Algy Pug, Todd, and Chuck Williamson.

By: Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866)

Book cover Headlong Hall

Headlong Hall is the first novel by Thomas Love Peacock, published in 1815 (dated 1816). As in his later novel Crotchet Castle, Peacock assembles a group of eccentrics, each with a single monomaniacal obsession, and derives humor and social satire from their various interactions and conversations. The setting is the country estate of Squire Harry Headlong Ap-Rhaiader, Esq. in Wales.

By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Book cover Shakespearean Dialogues Collection

This is a collection of scenes from Shakespeare's plays, mainly comprising dialogues between two characters. The theme for this collection is "Wooing, Wedding, and Repenting" (inspired by a line from Much Ado About Nothing).

By: Moliere (1622-1673)

Book cover The Imaginary Invalid

The Imaginary Invalid is a three-act comédie-ballet by the French playwright Molière. It was first performed in 1673 and was the last work he wrote. The plot centers around Argan, the 'imaginary invalid' who is completely dependent on his doctors and wants to marry his daughter to a doctor against her will, so that he will always have medical care freely available to him. In an ironic twist of fate, Molière collapsed during his fourth performance as Argan on 17 February and died soon after.

By: Thomas Middleton (1580-1627)

Book cover Women Beware Women

Thomas Middleton's masterful 17th century tragedy is packed with adultery, incest, intrigue, revenge, and inventive methods for murder. Leantio elopes with Bianca against her family's wishes and tries to hide her in the house he shares with his widowed mother. Yet the Duke sees Bianca at the window and is powerfully attracted to her, threatening Leantio's security. Livia, a wealthy widow, delights in intrigue, aiding the Duke to satisfy his desires with Bianca, and bringing together her brother Hippolito with her niece Isabella, despite their familial relationship...

By: August Strindberg (1849-1912)

The Ghost Sonata by August Strindberg The Ghost Sonata

The Ghost Sonata (Spoksonaten) is a play in three acts by Swedish playwright August Strindberg. Written in 1907, it was first produced at Strindberg's Intimate Theatre in Stockholm on 21 January 1908... The Ghost Sonata is a key text in the development of modernist drama and a vivid example of a chamber play. In it, Strindberg creates a world in which ghosts walk in bright daylight, a beautiful woman is transformed into a mummy and lives in the closet, and the household cook sucks all the nourishment out of the food before she serves it to her masters...

By: Frank Wedekind

Book cover The Awakening of Spring

The Awakening of Spring is the German dramatist Frank Wedekind's first major play and a seminal work in the modern history of theatre. It is the source material for the contemporary rock musical Spring Awakening. The play criticises the sexually-oppressive culture of fin de siècle Germany and offers a vivid dramatisation of the erotic fantasies that it breeds. Due to the nature of its content, the play has often been banned.

By: Aeschylus (c. 525 BCE - c. 456 BCE)

Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus Seven Against Thebes

In this, the only extant tragedy from Aeschylus' trilogy about the House of Oedipus, Thebes is under siege from Polynices, a former prince of Thebes. After King Oedipus left his city and cursed the princes, Polynices and his brother, Eteocles, decided to rule alternately, switching at the end of every year. However, at the end of his year as king, Eteocles refused to turn power over to his brother and exiled him, fulfilling his father's curse that the two brothers could not rule peacefully. In the action of the play, Polynices and a group of Argive soldiers are attacking Thebes so that he can take his place as ruler...

By: Myrtle Reed (1874-1911)

A Spinner in the Sun (dramatic reading) by Myrtle Reed A Spinner in the Sun (dramatic reading)

Myrtle Reed may always be depended upon to write a story in which poetry, charm, tenderness and humor are combined into a clever and entertaining book. Her characters are delightful and she always displays a quaint humor of expression and a quiet feeling of pathos which give a touch of active realism to all her writings. In "A Spinner in the Sun" she tells an old-fashioned love story, of a veiled lady who lives in solitude and whose features her neighbors have never seen. There is a mystery at the heart of the book that throws over it the glamour of romance.

By: Euripides (480 BC - 406 BC)

Book cover Hippolytus

Eurpides' tragedy tells of Theseus' chaste son Hippolytus, who refuses to worship Aphrodite in favor of Artemis. Aphrodite gets revenge by causing Hippolytus' stepmother Phaedra to fall in love with him, unleashing a chain of tragic events.

By: Henry Fielding

The Old Debauchees by Henry Fielding The Old Debauchees

Young Laroon plans to marry Isabel, but Father Martin manipulates Isabel's father, Jourdain, in order to seduce Isabel. However, other characters, including both of the Laroons, try to manipulate Jourdain for their own ends; they accomplish it through disguising themselves as priests and using his guilt to convince him of what they say. As Father Martin pursues Isabel, she is clever enough to realize what is happening and plans her own trap. After catching him and exposing his lust, Father Martin is set to be punished.

By: Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC)

Book cover Orestes

In accordance with the advice of the god Apollo, Orestes has killed his mother Clytemnestra to avenge the death of his father Agamemnon at her hands. Despite Apollo’s earlier prophecy, Orestes finds himself tormented by Erinyes or Furies to the blood guilt stemming from his matricide. The only person capable of calming Orestes down from his madness is his sister Electra. To complicate matters further, a leading political faction of Argos wants to put Orestes to death for the murder. Orestes’ only hope to save his life lies in his uncle Menelaus, who has returned with Helen after spending ten years in Troy and several more years amassing wealth in Egypt...

By: Susan Glaspell (1876-1948)

Inheritors by Susan Glaspell Inheritors

Inheritors, (1921) by American dramatist Susan Glaspell concerns the legacy of an idealistic farmer who wills his highly coveted midwest farmland to the establishment of a college (Act I.) Forty years later, when his granddaughter stands up for the rights of Hindu nationals to protest at the college her grandfather founded, she jeopardizes funding for the college itself and sets herself against her own uncle, president of the institution's trustees (Acts II & III.) Ultimately, she defies her family's wishes, and as a consequence is bound for prison herself (Act IV...

By: Stanley Houghton (1881-1913)

Book cover Hindle Wakes (with accompanying essay)

Alan Jeffcote, son of Nat Hawthorn, Hindle's richest factory owner, meets Fanny Hawthorn, daughter of Nat's 'slasher' and oldest friend, in Blackpool and the two go off for what they believe to be secret fling in Llandudno. But after the death of Fanny's friend, Mary, in a pleasure boat accident at Blackpool the secret is revealed and the the two families are thrown into disarray. The leading light of the so-called Manchester School of realist dramatists, Stanley Houghton wrote Hindle Wakes in 1911 and it was a hit both in Mrs...

By: John Fletcher (1579-1625)

Book cover The Woman's Prize, or The Tamer Tamed

John Fletcher's comedy (probably written and performed around 1611) is a sequel to Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, in which, as the title suggests, the tamer will be tamed. Petruchio, the shrew-tamer, has been widowed, and marries a second wife, Maria, a "chaste witty lady." At the instigation of her cousin Bianca, and with the fellowship of her sister Livia, Maria decides to go on strike for equal rights, refusing to behave as a proper 17th century wife. Fletcher's play addresses the issue of men and women's roles within marriage, a controversial issue for his day.

By: Nahum Tate (1652-1715)

The History of King Lear by Nahum Tate The History of King Lear

The History of King Lear is an adaptation by Nahum Tate of William Shakespeare's King Lear. It first appeared in 1681, some seventy-five years after Shakespeare's version, and is believed to have replaced Shakespeare's version on the English stage in whole or in part until 1838. Unlike Shakespeare's tragedy, Tate's play has a happy ending, with Lear regaining his throne, Cordelia marrying Edgar, and Edgar joyfully declaring that "truth and virtue shall at last succeed." Regarded as a tragicomedy, the play has five acts, as does Shakespeare's, although the number of scenes is different, and the text is about eight hundred lines shorter than Shakespeare's...

By: Aristophanes (446-389 BCE)

Book cover Clouds

Strepsiades is an Athenian burdened with debt from a bad marriage and a spendthrift son. He resolves to go to the Thinking Shop, where he can purchase lessons from the famous Socrates in ways to manipulate language in order to outwit his creditors in court. Socrates, represented as a cunning, manipulative, irreverent sophist, has little success with the dull-witted Strepsiades, but is able to teach the old man's son Phidippides a few tricks. In the end, the play is a cynical, clever commentary on Old Ways vs. New Ways, to the disparagement of the former.

By: Gordon Bottomley (1874-1948)

Gruach by Gordon Bottomley Gruach

Gordon Bottomley's verse drama in two scenes is a prequel to Shakespeare's Macbeth. He provides Lady Macbeth with a name - Gruach - and imagines her family life and how she meets Macbeth.

By: Anthony Munday (1560? -1633)

Book cover Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More is a collaborative Elizabethan play by Anthony Munday and others depicting the life and death of Thomas More. It survives only in a single manuscript, now owned by the British Library. The manuscript is notable because three pages of it are considered to be in the hand of William Shakespeare and for the light it sheds on the collaborative nature of Elizabethan drama and the theatrical censorship of the era. The play dramatizes events in More's life, both real and legendary, in an episodic manner in 17 scenes, unified only by the rise and fall of More's fortunes.

By: William Shakespeare (1554-1616)

Book cover Reign of King Edward the Third
Book cover Reign of King Edward the Third

By: L. Frank Baum (1856-1919)

Book cover Marvelous Land of Oz (version 2) (Dramatic Reading)

The Marvelous Land of Oz Being an account of the further adventures of the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman and also the strange experiences of the highly magnified Woggle-Bug, Jack Pumpkin-head, the Animated Saw-Horse and the Gump; the story being A Sequel to The Wizard of Oz.

By: William Shakespeare (1554-1616)

Book cover As You Like It (version 2)

Shakespeare's pastoral comedy was written and first performed around 1599, and presents some of his familiar motifs: a cross-dressing heroine, a wise-cracking fool, brothers usurping their brothers' power, a journey from the court to the country, and various romantic entanglements.


Page 2 of 3   
Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books