The Top 5 Shakespeare Characters

These Are the Best Known and Most Loved Shakespearean Characters

From Hamlet to Romeo and his love Juliet, there are several characters crafted by the Bard who have withstood the test of time and have become synonymous with classic literature. You probably know most if not all of them already -- see which Shakespeare characters are considered the best of the best with this essential guide.

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Hamlet from 'Hamlet'

Paul Rhys Performing in Hamlet
Paul Rhys holds up a skull to his face during his performance in Hamlet at the Young Vic Theatre in London. Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Hamlet is arguably Shakespeare's most complex character, as the melancholy Prince of Denmark and grieving son to the recently deceased King. Thanks to Shakespeare’s skillful and psychologically-astute characterization, Hamlet is now considered to be the greatest dramatic character ever created.

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Macbeth from 'Macbeth'

Scene From MacBeth
Hilary Lyon and Paul Higgins perform in MacBeth at the Lyric in London. Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most intense and attractive villains. However, as this Macbeth character analysis reveals, he is a complex and multi-faceted character.

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Romeo from 'Romeo and Juliet'

Simon Ward and Sinead Cusack in Romeo and Juliet, ca. 1976
Actor Simon Ward and actress Sinead Cusack in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the Shaw Theatre, 1976. Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Romeo from "Romeo and Juliet" is literature's most famous lover. He’s a handsome man of about sixteen who falls easily in and out of love demonstrating his immaturity.

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Lady Macbeth from 'Macbeth'

Hopkins And Rigg
Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins as Macbeth and English actress Diana Rigg as Lady Macbeth. Steve Wood / Getty Images

Lady Macbeth from "Macbeth" is one of Shakespeare’s most infamous female characters because she exerts a great deal of influence over the events of the play and is the main instigator in the plot to kill the king.

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Benedick from 'Much Ado About Nothing'

UK -'Much Ado About Nothing' performance in London
Eve Best as Beatrice and Charles Edwards as Benedick at the Globe Theater. Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Young, funny and locked into a love-hate relationship with Beatrice, "Much Ado About Nothing's" Benedick is one of Shakespeare's most hilarious characters.