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The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters 

Ranker Characters
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Updated June 2, 2019 5.9k votes 983 voters 19.9k 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
Prince Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Hamlet
2
Iago is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello
3
Lady Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth
4
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth
5
Mercutio is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo and Juliet
6
King Lear is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear
7
Puck is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
8
Othello is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Othello
9
Viola is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Twelfth Night
10
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Richard III Henry VI Part 2, Henry VI Part 3, Richard III
11
Falstaff is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2
12
Ophelia is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Hamlet
13
Juliet Capulet is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo and Juliet
14
Benedick is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Much Ado About Nothing
15
Three Witches is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Macbeth
16
Rosalind is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
As You Like It
17
Prospero is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Tempest
18
Cordelia is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
King Lear
19
Beatrice is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing
20
Julius Caesar is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Julius Caesar
21
Shylock is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merchant of Venice
22
Portia is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
The Merchant of Venice
23
Horatio is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Noah Albino added Hamlet, Shakespeare Tragedies: Hamlet, Hamlet
24
Romeo Montague is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo and Juliet
25
Nurse is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Best Shakespeare Characters
Romeo and Juliet