List: Most Memorable Shakespeare Characters (to Me)

Posted 22 April, 2016 by Lianne in Lists / 6 Comments

You may have noticed this week amongst the book community that Shakespeare’s life and works has been of much discussion as we celebrate his 400th death anniversary (or thereabouts). For the past week I’ve been posting up reviews of recent adaptations that I had watched, but I decided whilst I was reading quotes and the like on Twitter that I wanted to do something else as well. I’ve already compiled my list of favourite plays (see here) but this time I would like to talk about my most memorable characters that I’ve encountered in Shakespeare’s places. Because there’s been a few šŸ˜‰

In no particular order:

  1. Touchstone from As You Like It (review) — He’s actually the reason why I wanted to compile this list to begin with. He’s absolutely hilarious, and so witty, so it was absurdly amusing to read and watch his survive in the Forest of Arden, away from court, where his wit would languish amongst the shepherds and laymen. But he had some of the best lines and scenes of the whole play so yeah, very memorable (and Dominic Rowan’s performance in the 2009 stage production was absolutely perfect (see post)).
  2. Malvolio from Twelfth Night (review) — Kind of tough call to say who was the most memorable character for me from this play as I love it to bits but Malvolio and his yellow stockings, yo, how could one forget that?
  3. Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet (review) — Another scene-stealer, he’s pretty hilarious to the point of craziness but he injects so much life and energy to his scenes, especially in contrast to Romeo’s lovestruckness and the looming tragedy ahead. I reckon it’s one of those roles actors love to take on.
  4. Mark Antony from Julius Caesar (review) — I re-read the play recently and while his “Friends! Romans! Countrymen!” speech is one of my favourites hands down from Shakespeare, I love how his character sort of flourished after Caesar’s death and he really goes after the conspirators in a rather sneaky way that no one suspected (well, we know he’s out to get them, but the stage characters don’t!).
  5. Beatrice & Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing (review) — There’s no way I could choose one over the other, the sparks were crazy electric with these two and really stole the show with their endless bantering.
  6. Richard III from Richard III (review) — Omg this guy. He’s such a smooth talker as he’s manipulating everyone around him and working his way to becoming king. His schemes are elaborate and he’s pretty ruthless at getting what he wants, but you can’t help but feel rather astounded at the way he went about it all and planned everything out.
  7. Hamlet from Hamlet (review) — Naturalemente. Though it took a second read years later to really appreciate the complexity of what Hamlet was going through and the situation that was before him. Definitely puts the complexity of human uncertainty and existentialism to the forefront here.
  8. Iago from Othello (review) — That bastard.
  9. Titus Andronicus from Titus Andronicus (review) — Actually, this entire play, but anyway… D= Titus Andronicus really takes revenge to a whole new level here.
  10. The Gatekeeper from Macbeth (review) — The only humourous element in the whole play, which is such a stark contrast that it ended up quite the highlight šŸ˜›

And that’s my list of Shakespeare characters that I found most memorable! What about you, which Shakespeare characters stood out for you? Let me know, I’d love to chat with you! šŸ™‚

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6 Responses to “List: Most Memorable Shakespeare Characters (to Me)”

  1. Beatrice and Benedick are my favorite Shakespeare characters (Much Ado About Nothing is my absolute favorite play). I am also partial to Helena from Midsummer Night’s Dream. I even wrote a paper on her in college.

    • Cool that you wrote a paper on Helena in college! I admit, it took a second read for me to appreciate Much Ado About Nothing but Beatrice and Benedick were awesome regardless šŸ˜€

  2. I love this, thanks for sharing! To my shame, I haven’t read any Shakespeare since school *blushes* However Mercutio is a character that has long stayed with me. I really need to make an effort to read Shakespeare again.

    • Glad you enjoyed it! šŸ˜€ Aww, I totally understand, before I got around to reading the rest of his plays I hadn’t read any of his works since high school šŸ™‚

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