fictional characters The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters  

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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
139 54
Prince Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Prince Hamlet Hamlet

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2
100 37
Iago is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Iago Othello

3
105 40
Lady Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Lady Macbeth Macbeth

4
81 32
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth Macbeth

5
93 43
Mercutio is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Mercutio Romeo and Juliet

6
55 19
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Richard III Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3, Richard III

7
62 24
Viola is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Viola Twelfth Night

8
51 19
Ophelia is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Ophelia Hamlet

9
63 29
Puck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Puck A Midsummer Night’s Dream

10
54 22
Rosalind is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Rosalind As You Like It

11
54 25
King Lear is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear King Lear

12
46 21
Benedick is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Benedick Much Ado About Nothing

13
46 21
Three Witches is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Three Witches Macbeth

14
45 22
Othello is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello Othello

15
36 16
Horatio is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Horatio Hamlet, Shakespeare Tragedies: Hamlet, Hamlet

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16
40 20
Shylock is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Shylock The Merchant of Venice

17
27 10
Portia is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Portia The Merchant of Venice

18
50 31
Falstaff is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Falstaff The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2

19
35 18
Cordelia is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Cordelia King Lear

20
52 35
Juliet Capulet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Juliet Capulet Romeo and Juliet

21
28 16
Prospero is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Prospero The Tempest

22
25 13
Katerina is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Katerina The Taming of the Shrew

23
25 12
Hermia is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Hermia Table for Three, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Midsummer Night's Dream

24
35 23
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Julius Caesar Julius Caesar

25
25 15
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Cleopatra Antony and Cleopatra

26
21 10
Emilia is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Emilia Otello, Othello, Othello

27
23 12
Fool is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Fool King Lear

28
22 13
Miranda is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Miranda The Tempest

29
17 9
Nick Bottom is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
JoshSchilling added Nick Bottom Table for Three, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Midsummer Night's Dream

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30
23 17
Titania is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Titania A Midsummer Night’s Dream

31
30 24
Nurse is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Nurse Romeo and Juliet

32
25 19
Desdemona is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Desdemona Othello

33
18 11
Edmund is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Edmund King Lear, King Lear, King Lear

34
6 1
Beatrice is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing

35
8 2
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Richard III Richard III

36
31 25
Tybalt is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Tybalt Romeo and Juliet

37
6 1
Henry V is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Henry V Henry V, Henry V, Henry V - Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our English dead!

38
21 18
Petruchio is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Petruchio Taming of the Shrew

39
5 2
Bianca Minola is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Bianca Minola The Taming of the Shrew, The Taming of the Shrew

40
22 20
King Claudius is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Claudius Hamlet

41
6 4
Dogberry is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Dogberry Much Ado About Nothing, Much Ado About Nothing, Much Ado About Nothing - "God Save the Foundation"

42
4 2
Yorick is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Yorick Hamlet, Hamlet - He's dead.  Not ghost-dead.  Dead dead.  But Hamlet gives him great reccomendations.

43
4 2
Helena is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Helena Midsummer Dream, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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44
4 2
Hero is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Hero Much Ado About Nothing, Much Ado About Nothing, Much Ado About Nothing

45
10 9
Touchstone is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
mhend5 added Touchstone As You Like It, As You Like It, As You Like It

46
4 3
Duke Orsino is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Duke Orsino Twelfth Night^! or What You Will, Twelfth Night^! or What You Will, Twelfth Night

47
3 2
Gravedigger is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Gravedigger Ophelia, Hamlet - Maybe the funniest Shakespearean character.

48
11 11
Jacques is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
mhend5 added Jacques As You Like It, As You Like It, As You Like It

49
32 34
Romeo Montague is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo Montague Romeo and Juliet

50
11 13
Aaron the Moor is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Aaron the Moor Titus Andronicus