About Early Modern English Drama

A Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama opens a window on the vibrant theatrical community in which Shakespeare built his career. Unlike other Folger resources about Shakespeare and his plays, Early Modern English Drama (EMED) features the plays by other playwrights, illuminating an extraordinary era of artistic ferment.

In addition to Shakespeare’s plays (which are available in Folger Digital Texts), hundreds of works were written and performed during London’s first period of commercial theater, from 1576 to 1642. A total of 403 of these plays by other writers still exist in early printed editions. EMED provides a wealth of data on each of them, which you can browse or search online or download in a variety of formats.

EMED also includes full texts of a number of the plays in the original spelling as well as with some regularized forms. The textually encoded files are available, too. Whether you read the plays, discover new insights through data exploration, devise college and graduate curricula, or work toward scholarly editions, EMED widens our horizon to different plays and to new questions as we consider the drama of Shakespeare's time.