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100 Best Plays of All Time: Comedies, Tragedies and Tragicomedies.

Kumar Paral is a writer, a culture enthusiast, and a bibliophile.

100 Great Plays of the World

Plays are one of the earliest form of literature in the world. The term "play" refers the written works of playwrights for theatrical performance or reading. Both the terms Play and drama are used interchangeably now.

Folk arts, harvest festivities, religious performances and rituals had contributed much in the origin of plays. It is believed that classical drama, the earliest systematized form of drama, first appeared in Greece and Rome in the west and in India in the east.

The earliest records indicate that the Sanskrit dramas of ancient India had been performed even before the beginning of Christian Era. The origin of western drama also dates back to early Christian era. The greatest classical dramatists were Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in Greek, Seneca in Latin and Kalidsa, Bhasa and Bhavabhuti in Sanskrit.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Plays were the most important medium of entertainment till the advent of cinema in the early 20th century. Though it has lost the former glory now, still it is considered as the one of the serious mode of entertainment all over the world. Still plays are produced, enjoyed and discussed as a genre of literature which is very relevant in the contemporary life.

This Top 100 Plays of the World is a list of my favorite plays. It comprises the plays which are written or translated in English. Your opinions and comments are welcome.

Samuel Beckett

Top 100 Great Plays of the World

  1. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  2. Shakuthala by Kalidasa
  3. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  4. Karna-bhara by Bhasa
  5. Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett
  6. Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
  7. Othello by William Shakespeare
  8. Faust by Goethe
  9. The Palace of Eternal Life by Hong Sheng
  10. The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
  11. Arms And The Man by George Bernard Shaw
  12. Harivamsa by Bhasa
  13. Pratima-nataka by Bhasa
  14. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  15. Udhwastha Dharmashala by Govind Purushottam Deshpande
  16. Blood Knot by Athol Fugard
  17. Saturday Night at the Palace by Paul Slabolepszy.
  18. Madhyama-vyayoga by Bhasa
  19. A Dance of the Forests by Wole Soyinka'
  20. Vikramōrvaśīyam by Kalidasa

Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot in Doon School

Waiting for Godot in Doon School

Top 100 Great Plays of the World

21. The Story of the Western Wing by Wang Shifu

22. Before the Blackout by Wole Soyinka

23. Duta-Ghattotkacha by Bhasa

24. Madmen and Specialists by Wole Soyinka'

25. Death and the King's Horseman by Wole Soyinka'

26. Panch-ratra by Bhasa

27. The Black Hermit by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

28. Volpone, Or The Fox by Ben Johnson

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29. A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen

30. Uttararamacharit by Bhavabhuti

31. King Lear by William Shakespeare

32. Andhar Yatra by Govind Purushottam Deshpande

33. The Injustice to Dou E by Guan Hanqing

34. The Jade Hairpin by Gao Lian

35. Chandalika By Rabindranath Tagore

36. Agra Bazar by Habib Tanvir

37. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

38. Tartuffe by Moliere

39. Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov

40. Malatimadhava by Bhavabhuti


Top 100 Great Plays of the World

41. Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw

42. The Frogs by Aristophanes

43. Playboy of the Western World by John Millington Synge

44.Rhinocerous by Eugene Ionesco

45. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

46. She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

47. Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw

48. Abhisheka-natka by Bhasa

49. Mahaviracharita by Bhavabhuti

50. Tughlaq by Girish Karnad

51 Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

52 Mother Courage by Bertolt Brecht

53 No Exit by JP Sartre

54 The Peony Pavilion by Tang Xianzu

55 The Peach Blossom Fan by Kong Shangren

56 The Orphan of Zhao by Ji Junxiang

57 Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

58 The School For Scandal by R.B. Sheridan

59 Oedipus At Colonus by Sophocles

60 A Street car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams

Tennessee Williams

Top 100 Great Plays of the World

61 Pygmalian by George Bernard Shaw

62 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard

63 Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot

63 Medea by Euripides

65 Hayavadana by Girish Karnad

66 Anthony And Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

67 The Lady's Not for Burning by Christopher Fry

68 Urubhanga by Bhasa

69 Look Back in Anger by John Osborne

70 Roots by Arnold Wesker

71 Duta-Vakya by Bhasa

72 The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka'

73 The Gods Are Not To Blame by Ola Rotimi

74 The Tempest by William Shakespeare

75 American Buffalo by David Mamet

76 The Balcony by Jean Genet

77 The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

78 The Clouds by Aristrophanes

79 Mitti ki Gaadi by Habib Tanvir

80 Saturday Night at the Palace by Paul Slabolepszy.

Henrik Ibsen

Top 100 Great Plays of the World

81 The Black Hermit by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

82 A Dance of the Forests by Wole Soyinka'

83 Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya by Habib Tanvir

84 Mālavikāgnimitram by Kalidasa

85 Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey

86 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

87 Henry VI Part I by William Shakespeare

88 Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen

89 Panch-ratra by Bhasa

90 The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill

91 The Oresteia by Aeschylus

92 The Misanthrope by Moliere

93 Three penny Opera by Bertolt Brecht

94 Devil's Disciple George Bernard Shaw

95 Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey

96 Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neil

97 An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

98 The Sea Gull by Anton Chekhov

99 The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

100 Caligula by Albert Camus

Play : All My Sons By Arther Miller


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Who is author of "Oedipus the King" ?
    • Sophocles
    • Kalidasa

Answer Key

  1. Sophocles

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Kumar Paral

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