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
156 67
Prince Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Prince Hamlet Hamlet

2
124 51
Lady Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Lady Macbeth Macbeth

3
113 46
Iago is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Iago Othello

4
92 41
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth Macbeth

5
63 23
Ophelia is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Ophelia Hamlet

6
103 52
Mercutio is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Mercutio Romeo and Juliet

7
63 25
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
75 33
Puck is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Puck A Midsummer Night’s Dream

9
68 29
Viola is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Viola Twelfth Night

10
63 28
King Lear is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear King Lear

11
54 24
Othello is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello Othello

12
59 26
Rosalind is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Rosalind As You Like It

13
55 25
Benedick is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Benedick Much Ado About Nothing

14
53 24
Three Witches is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Three Witches Macbeth

The Best William Shakespeare Quotes

15
42 18
Horatio is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Horatio Hamlet, Shakespeare Tragedies: Hamlet, Hamlet

16
46 22
Shylock is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Shylock The Merchant of Venice

17
55 31
Falstaff is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Falstaff The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2

18
63 38
Juliet Capulet is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Juliet Capulet Romeo and Juliet

19
41 19
Cordelia is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Cordelia King Lear

20
32 14
Portia is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Portia The Merchant of Venice

21
33 17
Prospero is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Prospero The Tempest

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22
25 9
Nick Bottom is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
30 15
Katerina is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Katerina The Taming of the Shrew

24
31 16
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Cleopatra Antony and Cleopatra

25
39 24
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Julius Caesar Julius Caesar

26
28 14
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
26 13
Fool is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Fool King Lear

28
25 15
Miranda is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Miranda The Tempest

The Best Words Invented by Shakespeare

29
27 18
Titania is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Titania A Midsummer Night’s Dream

30
10 2
Beatrice is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing

31
38 27
Tybalt is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Tybalt Romeo and Juliet

32
35 26
Nurse is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Nurse Romeo and Juliet

33
22 12
Emilia is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Emilia Otello, Othello, Othello

34
12 3
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Richard III Richard III

35
21 12
Edmund is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Edmund King Lear, King Lear, King Lear

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36
27 21
Desdemona is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Desdemona Othello

37
9 2
Bianca Minola is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Bianca Minola The Taming of the Shrew, The Taming of the Shrew

38
25 18
Petruchio is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Petruchio Taming of the Shrew

39
9 3
Henry V is listed (or ranked) 39 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!

40
14 9
Touchstone is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
mhend5 added Touchstone As You Like It, As You Like It, As You Like It

41
7 3
Gravedigger is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Siersha 2 added Gravedigger Ophelia, Hamlet - Maybe the funniest Shakespearean character.

42
15 12
Jacques is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
mhend5 added Jacques As You Like It, As You Like It, As You Like It

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43
8 5
Dogberry is listed (or ranked) 43 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"

44
6 3
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
6 3
Helena is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
24 23
King Claudius is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Claudius Hamlet

47
6 4
Yorick is listed (or ranked) 47 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.

48
37 38
Romeo Montague is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo Montague Romeo and Juliet

49
16 17
Hippolyta is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Hippolyta A Midsummer Night's Dream

50
15 16
Tamora is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Tamora Titus Andronicus