The Plays of William Shakespeare and the “good quartos” tradition

The VERSE project will focus on the plays from the good quarto tradition. Below is a chronological list of Shakespeare’s plays considered to be the first “good” quartos because they are recognized as closest to authorial intention even though degraded by the printing process and clearly showing signs of compositor’s accidentals. Some were reproduced in the first folio in a substantially different form from the quartos. Those reprinted in the folio tradition without substantial alteration are indicated by †. The year of publication is given in parentheses.


  • Titus Andronicus, Q1 (1594)
  • Richard the Second, Q1 (1597)
  • Richard the Third, Q1 (1597)
  • Love’s Labor’s Lost, Q1 (1598) †
  • Henry the Fourth, part one, Q1 (1598) †
  • Romeo and Juliet, Q2 (1599) †
  • Henry the Fourth, part two, Q (1600)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Q1 (1600) †
  • The Merchant of Venice, Q1 (1600) †
  • Much Ado About Nothing, Q (1600) †
  • Hamlet, Q2 (1604)
  • King Lear, Q1 (1608)
  • Troilus and Cressida, Q (1609)
  • Pericles, Q3 (1611)
  • Othello, Q1 (1622)