The texts of the plays on this web-site are adapted from books published before 1923 – that is, they are all in the public domain. The source for each play is identified in the download of each play.
Each play is available both in annotated versions – our Annotated Popular Editions™, and “Play Only” editions, which come without line numbers or annotations.
The Annotated editions can be downloaded in either pdf or html (text) formats; the Play Only editions in html (text) format only. Both Annotated and Play Only editions can be downloaded to and read on any e-reader as well (except for Kindle, sorry about that).
Text files can be read online, or you may choose to copy and paste them onto a blank Word page, so that you can format them for printing in a manner that is most convenient for you. Of course, both pdf and text files can be printed as-is off your computer as well.
Character lists, the dramatis personae, in Elizabethan plays were always divided into separate lists of male and female characters; as this makes understanding the relationships between the characters difficult to follow, I have generally taken the liberty of rearranging the list of characters so as to make them much more easy to digest; in addition, in some plays, the interweaving of connections and relationships between the characters is quite complex. For these plays, a “Family Tree”, which diagrams these connections, is provided. You may wish to print out this Family Tree to use as a quick reference to remind you of who is who as you are reading.
It is my intention that all of the works here, with or without the annotations, may be printed, copied, and distributed, freely and free of charge, so long as no profit is taken from my work. As I mentioned, the plays are in public domain; but my annotations are protected by copyright.
The plays have been proofread multiple times, and so I hope they are largely error-free. It is likely, however, that occasional mistakes find their way into the site. If you, the reader, find any such as errors, I would appreciate being notified. In fact, any comments or suggestions will be warmly received. It is my intention to eventually build this site up to be a complete library of early English drama. If you would like to be notified whenever new plays are posted, let me know. My email address is Peter@ElizabethanDrama.org.
Finally, many plays of the era included at the top a dedication by the author to some worthy patron; I have decided to not include these dedications on this site, as they tend to be so obsequious and formulaic as to likely remain unread by most readers.