The Best Female Characters in Literature Fictional Characters
Vote List
2  reranks 1,315 votes 189 voters 25,339 views by   website more info

The Best Female Characters in Literature

List Criteria: Favorite women and girls in books, plays, poetry, etc. - No comics

List of the best female characters in literature. From the evil to the undeniably perfect, these are the greatest female characters from literature of all genres. This list includes the best female characters of all ages, from the youthful Matilda (“Matilda”) to the ever-so-adult Evelyn Couch (“Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”).

 Why do female literary characters stay with readers long after they’ve finished reading the novels these characters are featured in? Often, it’s due to the intimacy with which readers have come to know a character. Jane Eyre (and all of her desires and feelings), for example, becomes so real to readers that they feel as if they’ve met and understood this amazing female character.

 Other times, readers love female characters in literature because of the audacity of their actions. Scarlett O’Hara (“Gone with the Wind”) was exceedingly bold for a woman of her time, while Madame Defarge (“A Tale of Two Cities”) is an exemplar of tireless villainy. Some of the best female literary characters manage to embody both wholesome and defiant, becoming reflections of the complex nature of women.

 For the wide range of personality traits we find in these great female characters (and the audacious actions they’ve performed), these women have earned their titles as the best female characters in literature. They may be young or old, charming or black-hearted, but they are all memorable. Whether you love them or love to hate them, they’re all here in this list of the best female characters in literary history. 
  • 2 ReRanks
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
  1. 1
    Up 48
    Down 9

    Lost in Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Pride and Prejudice

    open report item
  2. 2
    Up 67
    Down 25

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Deathly ...

    open report item
  3. 3
    Up 49
    Down 15

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    open report item
  4. 4
    Up 28
    Down 7

    Little Women, Little Women, Little Women

    open report item
  5. 5
    Up 40
    Down 20

    Alice in Wonderland

    open report item
  6. 6
    Up 31
    Down 13

    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire

    open report item
  7. 7
    Up 28
    Down 11

    Matilda

    open report item
  8. 8
    Up 20
    Down 5

    Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing

    open report item
  9. 9
    Up 27
    Down 11

    Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins

    open report item
  10. 10
    Up 39
    Down 22

    The Hunger Games

    open report item
  11. 11
    Up 19
    Down 7

    The Scarlet Letter

    open report item
  12. 12
    Up 29
    Down 16

    Hot Shots!, Gone with the Wind, Gone with the Wind

    open report item
  13. 13
    Up 24
    Down 12

    new! The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the ...

    open report item
  14. 14
    Up 19
    Down 8

    Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

    open report item
  15. 15
    Up 20
    Down 9

    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire Game of Thrones  

    open report item
  16. 16
    Up 23
    Down 12

    Return to Oz, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz

    open report item
  17. 18
    Up 17
    Down 7

    Macbeth, We Work Again, Macbeth

    open report item
  18. 19
    Up 13
    Down 4

    The Book Thief

    open report item
  19. 20
    Up 14
    Down 5

    My Fair Lady, Pygmalion, My Fair Lady

    open report item
  20. 21
    Up 15
    Down 6

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    open report item
  21. 22
    Up 15
    Down 6

    Anne of Green Gables, Anne: Journey to Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea

    open report item
  22. 23
    Up 15
    Down 7

    Little House on the Prairie

    open report item
  23. 24
    Up 16
    Down 8

    Pippi Longstocking

    open report item
  24. 25
    Up 11
    Down 4

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ...

    open report item
  25. 26
    Up 17
    Down 10

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    open report item
  26. 27
    Up 19
    Down 12

    Anna Karenina

    open report item
  27. 28
    Up 12
    Down 6

    Great Expectations

    open report item
  28. 29
    Up 15
    Down 9

    Lolita

    open report item
  29. 30
    Up 14
    Down 9

    Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, Stratemeyer Syndicate ...

    open report item
  30. 31
    Up 13
    Down 8

    Bridget Jones's Diary

    open report item
  31. 32
    Up 10
    Down 5

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

    open report item
  32. 33
    Up 11
    Down 6

    Wuthering Heights

    open report item
  33. 34
    Up 8
    Down 4

    The Color Purple, The Color Purple

    open report item
  34. 35
    Up 10
    Down 7

    Madame Bovary

    open report item
  35. 36
    Up 7
    Down 4

    Charlotte's Web

    open report item
  36. 37
    Up 7
    Down 4

    Vanity Fair

    open report item
  37. 38
    Up 6
    Down 3

    Valmont, Dangerous Liaisons, Les Liaisons Dangereuses

    open report item
  38. 39
    Up 7
    Down 5

    Lady Chatterley's Lover

    open report item
  39. 40
    Up 6
    Down 4

    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

    open report item
  40. 41
    Up 8
    Down 7

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    open report item
  41. 42
    Up 6
    Down 5

    Madame Defarge A Tale of Two Cities

    open report item
  42. 43
    Up 4
    Down 3

    Fight Club

    open report item
  43. 44
    Up 4
    Down 3

    added by Rotten Tomatoes Lists Fern Arable Charlotte's Web

    open report item
  44. 45
    Up 3
    Down 2

    Molly Bloom Ulysses

    open report item
  45. 46
    Up 10
    Down 10

    The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, The Great Gatsby

    open report item
  46. 47
    Up 6
    Down 6

    Misery

    open report item
  47. 49
    Up 4
    Down 4

    Love in the Time of Cholera

    open report item
  48. 50
    Up 1
    Down 1

    Lady Brett Ashley The Sun Also Rises

    open report item
  49. 51
    Up 2
    Down 3

    Hon. Gwendolen Fairfax The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being ...

    open report item
  50. 52
    Up 2
    Down 3

    Ramona Quimby Beezus and Ramona

    open report item
  51. 62 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 50 of 61

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

viewers of this list also saw

more popular lists