About the Book  
Shakespeare's Words was published by Penguin Books in hardback (UK) and paperback (US) in 2002. A UK paperback edition was published on 23 April 2004. It consists of the following elements, all of which have been incorporated into the present website.
  • Preface, by Stanley Wells
  • Introduction
  • Abbreviations, symbols, and conventions
  • List of Glossary Panels, distributed throughout the A-Z section
  • Frequently Encountered Words
  • A to Z
  • Shakespearean Circles, Synopses, and Dramatis Personae
  • Text Chronology
  • List of Characters' Names
  • Appendices of Beings, Times, Places, Languages and Dialects


The content of the website database differs in two main respects:

Because of space limitations, the book was able to include no more than six quotations from the plays/poems to illustrate each of the words and senses contained in the Glossary. The website contains all relevant quotations for each word and sense - around 50,000 in total.

It includes a fullly searchable text of the plays and poems, so that any word or string of words can be found, not just those contained in the Glossary.