There are three main categories that William Shakespeare's work can be divided into: sonnets, plays and poems. There are four sub-categories that the plays can be divided into: comedies, tragedies, romances and historical pieces. The romance category encompasses the smallest group of plays.
While many of Shakespeare's plays have a romantic element, only a few are considered to be part of the romance category. The later comedies are grouped together into romance category because they all have the traditional happy ending. None of Shakespeare's tragedies, such as Romeo and Juliet, are considered romances because they do not have comedic element.