During the Middle Ages, English drama focused mainly on religious themes, teaching moral lessons or retelling Bible stories to a populace that by and large could not read. With the Renaissance, however, came a rebirth of interest in the dramas of ancient Greece and Rome. First at England’s universities and then among graduates of those universities, plays imitating classical models became increasingly popular. These plays fell into two main categories: comedies and tragedies. In Renaissance England, comedy was broadly defined as a dramatic work with a happy ending; many comedies contained humor, but humor was not required. A tragedy, in contrast, was a work in which the main character, or tragic hero, came to an unhappy end. In addition to comedies and tragedies, Shakespeare wrote several plays classified as histories, which present stories about England’s earlier monarchs. Of all Shakespeare’s plays, however, his tragedies are the ones most often cited as his greatest.