Villains

The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked  

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This is a list about the best Shakespeare villains; it answers the question, “Who are the bad guys in William Shakespeare’s plays?” Every play has a hero and a villain: who, in your book is the top villain of all-times in one of Shakespeare’s plays?While most villains are purely evil, the interesting thing about Shakespeare is that his villains are not always overtly evil. Some of them seem to only be facing a moral dilemma of sorts; they’re not the typical in-your-face evil plotters like other stories usually have. As a result, a lot of Shakespearean villains play very subtle roles.

In addition to characters that are dubbed a villain but don’t play the typically evil roles that we think of when we hear that term, Shakespeare’s best plays also included some of the most notoriously evil characters in history, including: Richard III, Iago, Cornwall and Aaron the Moor. He was also notorious for making the audience fine sympathy for the bad guys (like Julius Caesar). The up-and-down emotions he caused the audience to feel are what made him famous. Shakespeare was also known for making his villainous characters seem incredibly real, struggling with common problems we each face like jealousy, heartbreak, greed and bitterness. He seemed to thrive on showing his audience the ironies of being judgmental since we are each the same in the end.
list ordered by
1
Iago is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Othello
2
Lady Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Macbeth
3
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Richard III
4
Edmund is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
King Lear
5
King Claudius is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Hamlet
6
Aaron the Moor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Aaron the Moor Titus Andronicus
7
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Macbeth
8
Goneril is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
King Lear
9
Cassius is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Julius Caesar
10
Tybalt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Romer and Juliet
11
Aaron is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Titus Andronicus
12
Shylock is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
The Merchant of Venice
13
Regan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
King Lear
14
Cornwall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
King Lear
15
Don John is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Much Ado About Nothing
16
Iachimo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Cymbeline
17
Brutus is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Meme Guy added Julius Caesar
18
Caliban is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
The Tempest
19
King John is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
King John
20
Richard II of England is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
oldebenflood added Richard II
21
Duke Frederick is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
As You Like It
22
Proteus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
23
The Queen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Cymbeline
24
Lord Capulet is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Count Delrone added Lord Capulet Romeo and Juliet
25
Egeus is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
A Midsummer Night's Dream