Authors and Books Every Writer Should Read 1: The Complete Plays of Shakespeare

This is my 100th post. I had decided a while back that I was going to wait until I had a very good idea before writing this post. I don’t discuss writing advice much on this blog, but I think that is something I’m going to change. So, this post is the beginning of something new.

Writers constantly get the advice that the best way to improve writing is to read as much as possible. However in some (not all mind you but some) of the encounters I have had with writers, I have found that some of these writers have never read books or authors I think are important to help a writer understand the art and science of writing. I have compiled a list of works and authors I think every writer should read.

Over the coming posts, I will be laying out an argument for different works and why I think they should be read. I myself have followed these rules. Does that make a fantastic writer? No, but it makes me well-versed writer. This post will conclude with my first choice.

Every writer should read the complete plays of Shakespeare

This might be a tall order for some, but the fact is the Bard is the greatest writer in the English language. He might be the greatest writer in history. The language he uses is archaic, but the stories are timeless. Think of all the words Shakespeare gave the English language, not to mention idioms and other phrases.

Not all of his plays are homeruns. As Shakespeare would say, “everything that glisters isn’t gold.” Despite this, even the bad plays have good points.

If you can’t stomach the complete plays, at least consider reading the complete tragedies. In my opinion, Shakespeare is at his best with his tragedies. If that seems too much to take in, consider these essential plays:


Mac Beth

King Lear

Othello (This play has one of the best villains ever written.)

Romeo and Juliet (For no other reason than to prove that Taylor Swift doesn’t know that it’s not a love story.)

Richard III

Henry V

The Tempest

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Merchant of Venice

The Taming of the Shrew.

If you are bolder, throw in, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar, and Henry IV parts 1 and 2.

A writer needs to know Shakespeare. His plays have endured the test of time. You can draw inspiration from them. They can educate you on storytelling.

Look for other post about other essential writers and works as the weeks pass.


Vic Kerry

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