fictional characters The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters  

Ranker 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
125 48
Prince Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Prince Hamlet Hamlet

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2
91 32
Iago is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Iago Othello

3
96 35
Lady Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Lady Macbeth Macbeth

4
73 29
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth Macbeth

5
56 20
Beatrice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing

6
79 38
Mercutio is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Mercutio Romeo and Juliet

7
46 16
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Richard III Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3, Richard III

8
48 17
Rosalind is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Rosalind As You Like It

9
55 24
Puck is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Puck A Midsummer Night’s Dream

10
52 21
Viola is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Viola Twelfth Night

11
43 17
Ophelia is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Ophelia Hamlet

12
49 22
King Lear is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear King Lear

13
40 17
Three Witches is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Three Witches Macbeth

14
32 12
Horatio is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Horatio Hamlet, Shakespeare Tragedies: Hamlet, Hamlet

15
41 21
Othello is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello Othello

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16
37 18
Shylock is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Shylock The Merchant of Venice

17
37 19
Benedick is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Benedick Much Ado About Nothing

18
46 29
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
31 16
Cordelia is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Cordelia King Lear

20
22 10
Portia is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Portia The Merchant of Venice

21
46 32
Juliet Capulet is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Juliet Capulet Romeo and Juliet

22
24 13
Prospero is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Prospero The Tempest

23
21 8
Fool is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Fool King Lear

24
28 17
Nurse is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Nurse Romeo and Juliet

25
32 21
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Julius Caesar Julius Caesar

26
21 10
Hermia is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
18 8
Emilia is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Emilia Otello, Othello, Othello

28
21 13
Katerina is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Katerina The Taming of the Shrew

29
18 11
Miranda is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Miranda The Tempest

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30
21 14
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Cleopatra Antony and Cleopatra

31
17 9
Edmund is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Edmund King Lear, King Lear, King Lear

32
29 21
Tybalt is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Tybalt Romeo and Juliet

33
22 18
Desdemona is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Desdemona Othello

34
13 8
Nick Bottom is listed (or ranked) 34 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

35
9 7
Touchstone is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
mhend5 added Touchstone As You Like It, As You Like It, As You Like It

36
17 17
Titania is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Titania A Midsummer Night’s Dream

37
3 1
Duke Orsino is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Duke Orsino Twelfth Night, or What You Will, Twelfth Night

38
3 1
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Richard III Richard III

39
20 20
King Claudius is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Claudius Hamlet

40
18 18
Petruchio is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Petruchio Taming of the Shrew

41
3 2
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
2 1
Henry V is listed (or ranked) 42 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!

43
2 1
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
10 10
Jacques is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
mhend5 added Jacques As You Like It, As You Like It, As You Like It

45
29 32
Romeo Montague is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo Montague Romeo and Juliet

46
2 2
Bianca Minola is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Bianca Minola The Taming of the Shrew, The Taming of the Shrew

47
2 2
Hero is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
1 1
Goneril is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Goneril King Lear, King Lear, King Lear

49
1 2
Gravedigger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Gravedigger Ophelia, Hamlet - Maybe the funniest Shakespearean character.

50
1 2
Yorick is listed (or ranked) 50 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.