Fictional Characters The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters  

Ranker Characters
Originally by
5.3k votes 871 voters 17.6k views 62 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
244 97
Prince Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Hamlet
2
198 74
Iago is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello
3
188 77
Lady Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth
4
166 70
Mercutio is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo and Juliet
5
108 39
King Lear is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear
6
143 63
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth
7
124 49
Puck is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
8
108 42
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
113 43
Ophelia is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Hamlet
10
96 42
Othello is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello
11
106 42
Viola is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Twelfth Night
12
92 42
Three Witches is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth
13
86 39
Benedick is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Much Ado About Nothing
14
83 42
Falstaff is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2
15
86 37
Rosalind is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
As You Like It
16
39 10
Beatrice is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing
17
68 32
Horatio is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Hamlet, Shakespeare Tragedies: Hamlet, Hamlet
18
56 26
Prospero is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Tempest
19
69 34
Shylock is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merchant of Venice
20
93 55
Juliet Capulet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo and Juliet
21
67 31
Cordelia is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear
22
52 25
Portia is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merchant of Venice
23
50 25
Cleopatra is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Antony and Cleopatra
24
47 24
Titania is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
25
18 2
Ariel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
midnightq2 added The Tempest, The Tempest, The Tempest