Fictional Characters The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters  

Ranker Characters
Originally by
5k votes 810 voters 16.2k views 63 items

List of William Shakespeare's best characters. Shakespeare wrote between 37 and 40 plays (depending on who you ask), and they are filled with many, many colorful and memorable characters. From heroes, heroines, villains, historical figures, and young lovers, which Shakespeare characters are the best?

Shakespeare's greatest characters are listed here, along with the famous play (or plays) in which each one appeared. Vote up the best characters below or add a character you think is the best, though they must have had spoken lines in at least one of Shakespeare's works.

Many of these characters have been played by celebrities who have done Shakespeare in the Park, or even on screen in a film adaptation of Shakespeare.
list ordered by

1
226 89
Prince Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Hamlet

2
186 67
Iago is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello

3
177 76
Lady Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth

4
104 37
King Lear is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear

5
155 67
Mercutio is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo and Juliet

6
138 60
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth

7
119 46
Puck is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

8
102 39
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Richard III Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3, Richard III

9
107 41
Ophelia is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Hamlet

10
94 38
Othello is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello

11
101 40
Viola is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Twelfth Night

12
81 35
Benedick is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Much Ado About Nothing

13
88 40
Three Witches is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth

14
85 34
Rosalind is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
As You Like It

15
78 40
Falstaff is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2

16
65 29
Horatio is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Hamlet, Shakespeare Tragedies: Hamlet, Hamlet

17
52 23
Prospero is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Tempest

18
34 8
Beatrice is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing

19
64 31
Shylock is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merchant of Venice

20
65 28
Cordelia is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear

21
90 53
Juliet Capulet is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo and Juliet

22
48 23
Portia is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merchant of Venice

23
45 22
Titania is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

24
47 24
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Antony and Cleopatra

25
54 30
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Julius Caesar