Shwmae pawb!

I am looking for copies of Shakespeare’s plays in cymraeg but have had no luck in finding them. Is there a translation out there that anyone knows? A collected works or even some of the main plays?



There has been a recent production of Hamlet in Welsh, but I don’t know if the script is available.

That sounds perfect! Do you know the name of the company who did and where?

Ah, sorry, wrong tragedy. Googling reveals that I misremembered. The recent production was Macbeth. Here’s a link to a Daily Post article

1 Like

Hi Sean,

It’s me again! I’ve just done a quick search and found the following under the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust:

“Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! In honour of St David’s day, this blog post shares a few thoughts and findings on Shakespeare’s work in translation into Welsh.”

They hold archive copies of translations into Welsh of Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and The Merchant of Venice. In addition, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru have apparently performed The Tempest (2012), Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth - the latter only last year at Caerphilly Castle, and of which there’s a short clip on the blog. (I see Margaret has already found a report on it.)

So not exactly printed copies of the plays - but it’s a start! Alan.

1 Like

Fantastic, thank you both! I have just found their version of Macbeth for sale on Amazon so purchased. I can see the translation was done by Gwyn Thomas and apparently he did a few more also so will try to get hold of them. Would love to have seen the production - the language sounds so suitable for Macbeth in the clip with the witches speaking, gives me goosebumps just hearing it!

1 Like

The link above didn’t work for me, but this one did,


1 Like

Ah yes, you’re absolutely correct, my original link doesn’t work for me now either! I think I must have tried turning the ‘gwyl’ bit of the link to make it look like the original - whereas it only works when left alone as computer jargon!

Yes, the Macbeth script is available from the publisher Barddas:
It was translated by a very well-loved poet, Gwyn Thomas, who sadly died before the performances were given.

I’d love to say I could read and enjoy it, but Shakespeare in English is challenging for me, let alone in Welsh!

1 Like

There are plenty of Welsh characters in Shakespeare - Fluellen (Llywelyn) in Henry V, but these were generally the but of jokes and ridicule - bit like making jokes about the Irish etc. There are even some unscripted Welsh lines in one of his plays, where the actors are supposed to just mumble something incoherent and unintelligible.

Many moons ago on the old forum here at SSiW, there was an actor in one of those Shakespeare plays with unscripted Welsh lines. He requested some help with actual Welsh lines that would make sense in context. I no longer remember which play but it was an interesting project, and he used them in the play.


Could be lady Mortimer in Henry IV, part 1. Owen Glyndŵr’s daughter who doesn’t speak any English?

That sounds like the right play, but I believe the character was a man. Maybe Glyndŵr speaking to his daughter?


Here are the relevant extracts from an online version of Henry IV Part 1:

This is the deadly spite that angers me;
My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh.

My daughter weeps: she will not part with you;
She’ll be a soldier too, she’ll to the wars.

Good father, tell her that she and my aunt Percy
Shall follow in your conduct speedily.

Glendower speaks to her in Welsh, and she answers him in the same

She is desperate here; a peevish self-wind harlotry,
one that no persuasion can do good upon.

The lady speaks in Welsh

I understand thy looks: that pretty Welsh
Which thou pour’st down from these swelling heavens
I am too perfect in; and, but for shame,
In such a parley should I answer thee.

The lady speaks again in Welsh

I understand thy kisses and thou mine,
And that’s a feeling disputation:
But I will never be a truant, love,
Till I have learned thy language; for thy tongue
Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penn’d,
Sung by a fair queen in a summer’s bower,
With ravishing division, to her lute.

Nay, if you melt, then will she run mad.

The lady speaks again in Welsh

The music plays

Now I perceive the devil understands Welsh;
And 'tis no marvel he is so humorous.
By’r lady, he is a good musician.

Then should you be nothing but musical for you are
altogether governed by humours. Lie still, ye thief,
and hear the lady sing in Welsh.

Peace! she sings.

Here the lady sings a Welsh song


An old singing friend from Leicester has just asked me for a Welsh translation of “If music be the food of love, play on”
Before I offer “Os yw cerddoriaeth yn fwyd cariad, chwaraewch ymlaen”, can anyone suggest something either more grammatical or more poetic? Better still can anyone provide a link to a Welsh translation of Twelth Night?

“Y bwyd cariad pe bai hi, canwch” maybe something like this? Just my stab at it, not official :blush:

Oh, that’s good. I like it.
You use canu rather than chwarae which is probably right.
Diolch :clap:

1 Like

Doesn’t link to an online translation, but does link to a translation…

That’s brilliant, Siaron. I’ve ordered the whole book even though it will “give me excess of it” :smile:
Diolch o galon.


The play arrived from Gomer today (Jiw, there’s quick - thanks again, Siaron)
The opening line is " Os porthir serch â miwsig, ewch ymlaen" which I think is great.
I have passed it on to my singing friends who want to use it for a Welsh ex-pat’s 80th birthday (also an old Leicester friend)
The translator is J. T. Jones. The language is beyond me but, reading the first page aloud, I can hear the rich poetic sounds. I am particualrly impressed that JTJ has used Shakespeare’s favoured iambic pentameter (di dah, di dah, di dah, di dah, di dah)
JTJ uses “miwsig” rather than “cerddoriaeth”. I feel sure WS would approve :smile:

I’d like to attach a scan of the first page. Can anyone give me an authoritative statement of whether this would breach copyright?