The Most Famous English Playwright, Ranked

Choose the playwright you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 18, 2024 07:08
Assessing the impact of English playwrights offers a glimpse into the evolution of language, culture, and societal norms through stage performances. Voters find it beneficial to review and rank these artists based on their contributions to both art and society. This process not only highlights influential literary works but also fosters a deeper appreciation of the historical context in which these plays were written. By participating in this ranking, audiences contribute to a collective acknowledgement of artistic excellence, ensuring that noteworthy contributions are recognized and celebrated. Each vote helps to adjust the rankings, providing a dynamic reflection of public opinion and preferences. Thus, actively engaging in this process enriches the overall understanding of the theatrical arts.

Who Is the Most Famous English Playwright?

  1. 1
    William Shakespeare
    Attributed to John Taylor · Public domain
    William Shakespeare - widely considered the most famous English playwright of all time, with his plays still being performed and studied centuries after his death.
    William Shakespeare in other rankings
  2. 2
    Oscar Wilde
    W. & D. Downey · Public domain
    Oscar Wilde - known for his witty and satirical plays, including The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere's Fan.
    Oscar Wilde in other rankings
  3. 3
    Harold Pinter is a Nobel Prize-winning playwright known for his minimalist, yet powerful, works such as The Birthday Party and Betrayal.
  4. 4
    Tom Stoppard
    Philip Romano · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Tom Stoppard is a prolific playwright whose works include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Arcadia.
  5. 5
    Alan Ayckbourn
    John Thaxter · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Alan Ayckbourn is a prolific playwright known for his comedic works, including The Norman Conquests and Absurd Person Singular.
  6. 6
    Christopher Marlowe is a contemporary of Shakespeare, known for his plays such as Doctor Faustus and Tamburlaine the Great.
    Christopher Marlowe in other rankings
  7. 7
    David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright known for his intense, dialogue-driven works such as Glengarry Glen Ross and Oleanna.
    David Mamet in other rankings
  8. 8
    George Bernard Shaw
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    George Bernard Shaw - known for his sharp wit and social commentary in plays such as Pygmalion and Saint Joan.
    George Bernard Shaw in other rankings
  9. 9
    Caryl Churchill
    Petticonifer · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Caryl Churchill is a groundbreaking playwright known for her experimental and politically charged works such as Top Girls and Cloud Nine.
  10. 10
    John Osborne
    Reginald gray · CC0
    John Osborne is known for his angry young man persona and influential works such as Look Back in Anger.

Missing your favorite playwright?


About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous English playwright. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Playwright is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 190 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Playwright once every 24 hours. The rank of each Playwright is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most famous english playwright

William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the most famous English playwright of all time. Born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare wrote plays that have stood the test of time and continue to be performed and studied today. His plays, such as "Hamlet," "Macbeth," and "Romeo and Juliet," have been translated into every major language and are performed all over the world. Shakespeare's influence on English literature and culture cannot be overstated, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of playwrights and artists. While there have been many other great English playwrights throughout history, Shakespeare remains the most famous and beloved.

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