The 199 Greatest Plays of All Time

Click linked titles and authors for commentaries
BCE
472
The Persians
Aeschylus
Greece
Play
458
The Oresteia
Aeschylus
Greece
Plays
c.450–425
Prometheus Bound
Aeschylus
Greece
Play
442–441
Antigone
Sophocles
Greece
Play
431
Medea
Euripides
Greece
Play
430
Oedipus Rex
Sophocles
Greece
Play
428
Hippolytus
Euripides
Greece
Play
c.428
Andromache
Euripides
Greece
Play
423
The Clouds
Aristophanes
Greece
Play
422
The Wasps
Aristophanes
Greece
Play
c.420–410
Electra
Sophocles
Greece
Play
418
Electra
Euripides
Greece
Play
415
The Trojan Women
Euripides
Greece
Play
414
The Birds
Aristophanes
Greece
Play
412
Helen
Euripides
Greece
Play
411
Lysistrata
Aristophanes
Greece
Play
405
The Frogs
Aristophanes
Greece
Play
406
The Bacchae
Euripides
Greece
Play
 
Oedipus at Colonus
Sophocles
Greece
Play
CE
c.50
Media
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Rome
Play
 
Hercules Furens
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Rome
Play
c.300
The Vision of Vasavadatta
Bhasa
India
Play
c.400
The Recognition of Sakuntala
Kalidasa
India
Play
c.1400
Atsumori
Zeami Motokiyo
Japan
Play
1586
The Spanish Tragedy
Thomas Kyd
England
Play
1587
Tamburlaine the Great
Christopher Marlowe
England
Play
 
Doctor Faustus
Christopher Marlowe
England
Play
1591
Richard III
England
Play
c.1591
The Taming of the Shrew
England
Play
1592
Christopher Marlowe
England
Play
1594
A Midsummer Night's Dream
England
Play
c.1595
Richard II
England
Play
1597
Love's Labour's Lost
England
Play
 
Henry IV, Part 2
England
Play
1598
The Peony Pavilion
Tang Xianzu
China
Play
1599
As You Like It
England
Play
 
Henry V
England
Play
 
Much Ado About Nothing
England
Play
1601
England
Play
c.1601
Twelfth Night
England
Play
1603
A Woman Killed with Kindness
Thomas Heywood
England
Play
c.1603
Measure for Measure
England
Play
1604
England
Play
1604–1605
The Honest Whore
Thomas Dekker
England
Play
1606
Volpone
Ben Jonson
England
Play
c.1606
England
Play
 
England
Play
c.1608
Coriolanus
England
Play
1610
The Alchemist
Ben Jonson
England
Play
1611
The Winter's Tale
England
Play
1613
Henry VIII
William Shakespeare, John Fletcher
England
Play
 
The Duchess of Malfi
John Webster
England
Play
1622
The Changeling
Thomas Middleton, William Rowley
England
Play
1633
John Ford
England
Play
1635
Life Is a Dream
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Spain
Play
1637
Le Cid
Pierre Corneille
France
Play
1643
The Mayor of Zalamea
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
Spain
Play
1662
The School for Wives
France
Play
1664
France
Play
1666
France
Play
1667
Andromaque
Jean Racine
France
Play
1668
The Miser
France
Play
1673
The Imaginary Invalid
France
Play
1675
The Country Wife
William Wycherley
England
Play
1676
The Plain Dealer
William Wycherley
England
Play
1677
The Rover
Aphra Behn
England
Play
 
Phèdre
Jean Racine
France
Play
1691
Athalie
Jean Racine
France
Play
1700
The Way of the World
William Congreve
England
Play
1703
The Love Suicides at Sonezaki
Chikamatsu Monzaemon
Japan
Play
1728
The Beggar's Opera
John Gay
England
Play
1730
The Game of Love and Chance
Marivaux
France
Play
1753
The Mistress of the Inn
Carlo Goldoni
Italy
Play
1775
The Rivals
Richard Sheridan
England
Play
 
The Barber of Seville
Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
France
Play
1777
The School for Scandal
Richard Sheridan
England
Play
1779
Nathan the Wise
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Germany
Play
1784
The Marriage of Figaro
Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais
France
Play
1785
The Task
William Cowper
England
Play
1787
Don Carlos
Friedrich Schiller
Germany
Play
1798
Speed the Plough
Thomas Morton
England
Play
1804
William Tell
Friedrich Schiller
Germany
Play
1808–1832
Faust
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Germany
Play
1821
The Prince of Homburg
Heinrich von Kleist
Germany
Play
1831
Queen Margot
Alexandre Dumas
France
Play
1835
Chatterton
Alfred de Vigny
France
Play
1836
The Government Inspector
Nicolai Gogol
Russia
Play
1852
Camille
Alexandre Dumas (fils)
France
Play
1860
The Storm
Alexander Ostrovsky
Russia
Play
1867
Peer Gynt
Henrik Ibsen
Norway
Play
1879
Woyzeck
Georg Büchner
Germany
Play
 
A Doll's House
Henrik Ibsen
Norway
Play
1882
An Enemy of the People
Henrik Ibsen
Norway
Play
1884
The Wild Duck
Henrik Ibsen
Norway
Play
1887
The Father
August Strindberg
Sweden
Play
1889
Miss Julie
August Strindberg
Sweden
Play
1891
Hedda Gabler
Henrik Ibsen
Norway
Play
1892
Pelleas and Melisande
Maurice Maeterlinck
Belgium
Play
 
Lady Windermere's Fan
Oscar Wilde
ireland
Play
1893
The Master Builder
Henrik Ibsen
Norway
Play
 
The Second Mrs. Tanqueray
Arthur Wing Pinero
England
Play
1894
Arms and the Man
George Bernard Shaw
Ireland
Play
1895
An Ideal Husband
Oscar Wilde
Ireland
Play
 
The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde
Ireland
Play
1896
The Sea Gull
Anton Chekhov
Russia
Play
1898
Cyrano de Bergerac
Edmond Rostand
France
Play
1900
Uncle Vanya
Anton Chekhov
Russia
Play
1901
The Three Sisters
Anton Chekhov
Russia
Play
1902
The Lower Depths
Maxim Gorky
Russia
Play
1903
The Cherry Orchard
Anton Chekhov
Russia
Play
 
Man and Superman
George Bernard Shaw
Ireland
Play
1904
Riders to the Sea
John Millington Synge
Ireland
Play
 
Peter Pan
J.M. Barrie
Scotland
Play
1905
Major Barbara
George Bernard Shaw
Ireland
Play
 
Summerfolk
Maxim Gorky
Russia
Play
1906
Spring Awakening
Frank Wedekind
Germany
Play
1907
The Playboy of the Western World
John Millington Synge
Ireland
Play
1916
Pygmalion
George Bernard Shaw
Ireland
Play
1918
The Breasts of Tiresias
Guillaume Apollinaire
France
Play
1921
Six Characters in Search of an Author
Luigi Pirandello
Italy
Play
1922
Henry IV
Luigi Pirandello
Italy
Play
1923
Saint Joan
George Bernard Shaw
Ireland
Play
1924
Juno and the Paycock
Sean O'Casey
Ireland
Play
1926
Orpheus
Jean Cocteau
France
Play
 
The Plough and the Stars
Sean O'Casey
Ireland
Play
1928
The Three-Penny Opera
Bertolt Brecht
Germany
Play
 
Machinal
Sophie Treadwell
USA
Play
1930
Private Lives
Noel Coward
England
Play
1931
Mourning Becomes Electra
Eugene O'Neill
USA
Play
1933
Blood Wedding
Federico Garcia Lorca
Spain
Play
1934
Yerma
Federico Garcia Lorca
Spain
Play
 
Awake and Sing!
Clifford Odets
USA
Play
1938
Our Town
Thornton Wilder
USA
Play
1939
Lillian Hellman
USA
Play
 
Arsenic and Old Lace
Joseph Kesselring
USA
Play
1941
Blithe Spirit
Noel Coward
England
Play
1944
Antigone
Jean Anouilh
France
Play
 
No Exit
Jean-Paul Sartre
France
Play
1945
The Madwoman of Chaillot
Jean Giraudoux
France
Play
 
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Bertolt Brecht
Germany
Play
 
The Glass Menagerie
Tennessee Williams
USA
Play
1946
The Iceman Cometh
Eugene O'Neill
USA
Play
1947
The Maids
Jean Genet
France
Play
 
A Streetcar Named Desire
Tennessee Williams
USA
Play
1948
Ring Round the Moon
Jean Anouilh
France
Play
1949
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller
USA
Play
1950
The Bald Soprano
Eugene Ionesco
France
Play
 
Come Back, Little Sheba
William Inge
USA
Play
1952
The Chairs
Eugene Ionesco
France
Play
 
Waiting for Godot
Samuel Beckett
Ireland
Play
1954
Twelve Angry men
Reginald Rose
USA
Play
 
Under Milk Wood
Dylan Thomas
Wales
Play
1955
Inherit the Wind
Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee
USA
Play
1956
Look Back in Anger
John Osburn
England
Play
 
The Visit
Friedrich Dürrenmatt
Switzer.
Play
 
Long Day's Journey into Night
Eugene O'Neill
USA
Play
 
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Tennessee Williams
USA
Play
1957
Endgame
Samuel Beckett
Ireland
Play
1958
The Caretaker
Harold Pinter
England
Play
 
The Zoo Story
Edward Albee
USA
Play
1959
A Raisin in the Sun
Lorraine Hansberry
USA
Play
1960
A Man for All Seasons
Robert Bolt
England
Play
1962
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Edward Albee
USA
Play
1963
The Garden Party
Vaclav Havel
Czech.
Play
 
Marat/Sade
Peter Weiss
Germany
Play
 
The Crucible
Arthur Miller
USA
Play
1965
The Homecoming
Harold Pinter
England
Play
1967
Fortune and Men's Eyes
John Herbert
Canada
Play
 
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Tom Stoppard
USA
Play
1968
Les Belles-sœurs
Michel Tremblay
Canada
Play
 
The Lion in Winter
James Goldman
USA
Play
1969
What the Butler Saw
Joe Orton
England
Play
1973
Equus
Peter Shaffer
England
Play
1978
Buried Child
Sam Shepard
USA
Play
1979
Cloud 90
Caryl Churchill
England
Play
 
Amadeus
Peter Shaffer
England
Play
 
Faith Healer
Briabn Friel
Ireland
Play
1982
Top Girls
Caryl Churchill
England
Play
 
Noises Off
Michael Frayn
England
Play
 
"Master Harold"...and the Boys
Athol Fugard
S. Africa
Play
1984
Glengarry Glen Ross
David Mamet
USA
Play
1985
Fences
August Wilson
USA
Play
1990
Dancing at Lughnasa
Brian Friel
England
Play
 
Six Degrees of Separation
John Guare
USA
Play
1992
Angels in America
Tony Kushner
USA
Play
 
Oleanna
David Mamet
USA
Play
1993
Arcadia
Tom Stoppard
England
Play
1998
Copenhagen
Michael Frayn
England
Play
 
Frozen
Bryony Lavery
England
Play
2009
Jerusalem
Jez Butterworth
England
Play

 
How works were selected | What columns mean