The Best Shakespeare Villains Fictional Characters
home Other Fictional Characters | Tags

The Best Shakespeare Villains

4,394 views 30 items 283 votes 50 voters
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.
  • the list
  • comments
  • </> embed
DISPLAY Rerank This List
Rank
loading your
votes…
 
  Name
  1. 1
    Up 27
    Down 3
    Othello More
  2. 2
    Up 12
    Down 3
    Macbeth More
  3. 3
    Up 8
    Down 0
    King Lear, King Lear, King Lear More
  4. 4
    Up 9
    Down 2
    Titus Andronicus More
  5. 6
    Up 10
    Down 4
    Romer and Juliet More
  6. 7
    Up 10
    Down 4
    Macbeth More
  7. 8
    Up 8
    Down 3
    Richard III More
  8. 9
    Up 9
    Down 4
    Hamlet More
  9. 10
    Up 11
    Down 6
    The Merchant of Venice, The Merchant of Venice, The Merchant of Venice More
  10. 11
    Up 5
    Down 1
    Julius Caesar More
  11. 13
    Up 6
    Down 2

    Aaron the Moor

    Titus Andronicus More
  12. 14
    Up 4
    Down 1
    Cymbeline More
  13. 15
    Up 5
    Down 2
    Much Ado About Nothing, Much Ado About Nothing, Much Ado About Nothing More
  14. 16
    Up 5
    Down 2
    King John More
  15. 17
    Up 6
    Down 3
    Measure for Measure More
  16. 18
    Up 7
    Down 4
    King Lear More
  17. 19
    Up 3
    Down 1
    As You Like It, As You Like It, As You Like It More
  18. 20
    Up 5
    Down 3

    Goneril

    King Lear, King Lear, King Lear More
  19. 21
    Up 2
    Down 1
    The Taming of the Shrew More
  20. 22
    Up 3
    Down 2
    The Tempest More
  21. 23
    Up 3
    Down 2
    Cymbeline More
  22. 24
    Up 3
    Down 2
    A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Midsummer Night's ... More
  23. 25
    Up 3
    Down 2
    The Two Gentlemen of Verona More
  24. 26
    Up 3
    Down 2

    Lancelot Gobbo

    The Merchant of Venice More
  25. 27
    Up 8
    Down 9

    new! Puck

    A Midsummer Night's Dream More
  26. 28
    Up 5
    Down 6
    Henry IV More
  27. 29
    Up 2
    Down 3

    Cornwall

    King Lear More
  28. 30
    Up 2
    Down 9
    Hamlet More
  29. 31 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
BE THE FIRST TO ADD AN ITEM

items 1 - 30 of 30

think you can do better?

Rerank This List
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

more popular lists