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The plays in these listings represent the extant titles that were
  1. performed (or were likely performed)
  2. on stage
  3. in English.
Other plays–such as closet drama, masques, Latin drama, and street pageants–are listed separately but are not given synoptic treatment.

Ongoing, idiosyncratic, obscure, and/or very recent arguments favoring one date or author over another are not necessarily reflected in these listings. The scholar is advised to update information found here with additional and in-depth research where questions of date or attribution are crucial to the scholar's investigation.

Plays in these listings (with some exceptions) follow the ascriptions of Author and Date provided in Harbage and Schoenbaum's Annals of English Drama 975–1700. London: Methuen & Co. 1964.

Following please find a description of the nature of dating and ascription used in these listings.

In many cases Harbage and Schoenbaum list a span of possible years (1611–1613 for example) and yet list the work under a single year (1611). For ease of finding, the COMPENDIUM OF RENAISSANCE DRAMA follows this procedure.

The play title will be found in the list under the date assigned by Harbage and Schoenbaum. Clicking on that title will take the scholar to a page where the date is more fully elaborated.

The scholar is strongly cautioned not to rely upon the dates as found in the listings. The scholar should in all cases go to the individual page(s) to read more about the dates listed.

In many cases dates are conjectural even in the individual pages. As much as possible, the editors and contributors have attempted in the individual pages to reflect the current state of knowledge regarding dates.

Much the same as reflected in the dating notes above, the Authorial Ascriptions found in these lists reflect the ascriptions found in Harbage and Schoenbaum with the following exceptions:

Where evidence and knowledge of authorship has been advanced since 1964, and generally accepted, playwrights have been changed from the Harbage and Schoenbaum ascription. For example, THE REVENGER'S TRAGEDY may be found listed under Anonymous, Tourneur, and Middleton. Clicking on that title will reveal, however, that Tourneur is now generally discounted as the playwright.

In the PLAYWRIGHTS section, under each playwright's name, all titles belonging to that playwright are listed whether certain, conjectural, or a reflection of co-authorship.

  1. Where a work is certainly the playwright's sole work, it is listed without further elaboration.

  2. Where a work is only questionably written by the playwright under which it is listed, the scholar will find a tag indicating this status, thus:


  3. Where a work is certainly a collaborative effort and the playwright is a co-author, the scholar will find a tag indicating this status, thus:

    LOVE'S CURE, or THE MARTIAL MAID [collaboration] 1605

  4. Where a work is conjecturally a collaborative effort and the playwright is possibly or probably a co-author (but could also be the sole author or contrarily have no hand in the work), the scholar will find a tag indicating this status, thus:


  5. Where a work has been later revised, the scholar will find a tag indicating this status, thus:

    (under CHAPMAN)
    CHABOT, ADMIRAL OF FRANCE [J. Shirley, 1635 reviser] 1622

  6. Where a work is a revision by the playwright of an earlier work, the scholar will find a tag indicating this status, thus:

    (under SHIRLEY)
    CHABOT, ADMIRAL OF FRANCE [reviser] 1635

  7. Where a work is possibly a collaborative effort and/or the playwright may be a reviser, the scholar will find a tag indicating this status, thus:

    (under CHETTLE)
    JOHN OF BORDEAUX, or THE SECOND PART OF FRIAR BACON [collaboration? reviser?] 1592

In this manner, the editors of THE COMPENDIUM OF RENAISSANCE DRAMA hope to give the scholar a better overview of any given playwright's complete opera.

In every case the scholar is strongly advised to visit the individual page for any given play. If an elaboration on dating or authorship is available, that is where it will be found.

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