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
211 43
Iago is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

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2
142 45
Lady Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

3
95 29
Richard III is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

4
81 31
Edmund is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

5
71 20
Aaron the Moor is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Aaron the Moor

6
72 30
King Claudius is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

7
55 25
Goneril is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

8
58 24
Aaron is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

9
67 41
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

10
44 22
Cassius is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

11
58 40
Tybalt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

12
46 26
Regan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

13
51 38
Shylock is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

14
40 30
Don John is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

15
35 20
Cornwall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

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16
20 13
Iachimo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

17
29 27
Caliban is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

18
17 17
The Queen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

19
22 22
Richard II of England is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
oldebenflood added Richard II

20
13 14
Duke Frederick is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

21
13 16
Proteus is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

22
0 0
Brutus is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Meme Guy added Brutus

23
0 0
Lord Capulet is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Count Delrone added Lord Capulet

24
12 19
King John is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

25
2 6
Borachio is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

26
11 21
Egeus is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

27
3 13
Claudio is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
david-p-griffith added Claudio

28
8 22
Lancelot Gobbo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked
Lancelot Gobbo

29
17 38
Falstaff is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

30
23 56
Puck is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

31
9 34
Katherine is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked

32
21 64
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Shakespearean Villains, Ranked