Google Launches Web Site Devoted to Shakespeare

"How beauteous mankind is!" For lovers of William Shakespeare, memorizing one of Hamlet's soliloquies or recalling whether "The Tempest" is a romance or a tragedy just got easier.

Web search leader Google (GOOG) on Wednesday launched a site devoted entirely to the Bard,, that allows U.S. users to browse through the full texts of his 37 plays.

Readers can even plug in words, such as "to be or not to be" from "Hamlet," and immediately be taken to that part of the play.

The site, which was introduced in conjunction with Google's sponsorship of New York City's "Shakespeare in the Park" performance series, also provides links to related scholarly research, Internet groups and even videos of theater performances of Shakespeare plays.

It also encourages users to "take a literary field trip" by searching for London's Shakespeare's Globe Theater on Google Earth, which combines satellite imagery, maps and a search engine to find historic locations around the world.

Google Book Search, the Google product which houses the Shakespeare site, allows users to view books or parts of books through their Web browsers if the copyright has expired or a publisher has given permission to do so.

The Shakespeare site provides links to available editions of each play, many of which users can then preview or buy, Google said.