The Best Shakespeare Villains Fictional Characters
Vote List
31  items 424 votes 74 voters 7,303 views by  more info

The Best Shakespeare Villains

This is a list about the best Shakespeare villains; it answers the question, “Who are the bad guys in William Shakespeare’s plays?” Every play has a hero and a villain: who, in your book is the top villain of all-times in one of Shakespeare’s plays?While most villains are purely evil, the interesting thing about Shakespeare is that his villains are not always overtly evil. Some of them seem to only be facing a moral dilemma of sorts; they’re not the typical in-your-face evil plotters like other stories usually have. As a result, a lot of Shakespeare’s villains play very subtle roles.

In addition to characters that are dubbed a villain but don’t play the typically evil roles that we think of when we hear that term, Shakespeare’s best plays also included some of the most notoriously evil characters in history, including: Richard III, Iago, Cornwall and Aaron the Moor. He was also notorious for making the audience fine sympathy for the bad guys (like Julius Caesar). The up-and-down emotions he caused the audience to feel are what made him famous. Shakespeare was also known for making his villainous characters seem incredibly real, struggling with common problems we each face like jealousy, heartbreak, greed and bitterness. He seemed to thrive on showing his audience the ironies of being judgmental since we are each the same in the end.
</> Rerank List
  1. 1
    Up 36
    Down 5

    Othello

    open
  2. 2
    Up 14
    Down 3

    King Lear, King Lear, King Lear

    open
  3. 3
    Up 19
    Down 8

    Macbeth

    open
  4. 4
    Up 14
    Down 6

    Richard III

    open
  5. 5
    Up 13
    Down 5

    Titus Andronicus

    open
  6. 6
    Up 15
    Down 8

    Macbeth

    open
  7. 7
    Up 14
    Down 7

    Hamlet

    open
  8. 8
    Up 12
    Down 5

    King Lear

    open
  9. 9
    Up 10
    Down 3

    Goneril King Lear, King Lear, King Lear

    open
  10. 10
    Up 12
    Down 6

    Romer and Juliet

    open
  11. 11
    Up 9
    Down 3

    Aaron the Moor Titus Andronicus

    open
  12. 12
    Up 8
    Down 2

    Julius Caesar

    open
  13. 13
    Up 14
    Down 9

    The Merchant of Venice, The Merchant of Venice, The Merchant of Venice

    open
  14. 15
    Up 7
    Down 3

    Cornwall King Lear

    open
  15. 16
    Up 7
    Down 3

    King John

    open
  16. 17
    Up 5
    Down 1

    Cymbeline

    open
  17. 18
    Up 7
    Down 4

    Angelo Measure for Measure

    open
  18. 19
    Up 7
    Down 4

    Much Ado About Nothing, Much Ado About Nothing, Much Ado About Nothing

    open
  19. 20
    Up 5
    Down 2

    The Tempest

    open
  20. 21
    Up 3
    Down 1

    Titus Andronicus

    open
  21. 22
    Up 4
    Down 3

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona

    open
  22. 23
    Up 3
    Down 2

    As You Like It, As You Like It, As You Like It

    open
  23. 24
    Up 1
    Down 0
    No image

    new! & added by oldebenflood Richard II

    open
  24. 25
    Up 3
    Down 3

    The Taming of the Shrew

    open
  25. 26
    Up 3
    Down 3

    A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Midsummer Night's ...

    open
  26. 27
    Up 3
    Down 4

    Cymbeline

    open
  27. 28
    Up 3
    Down 4

    Lancelot Gobbo The Merchant of Venice

    open
  28. 29
    Up 6
    Down 10

    Henry IV

    open
  29. 30
    Up 9
    Down 14

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    open
  30. 31
    Up 4
    Down 18

    Hamlet

    open
  31. 32 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS

items 1 - 31 of 31

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists