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YGK Shakes Villains

YGK Shakespearean Villains

QuestionAnswer
The quintessential antihero, he describes how his hunchbacked appearance has made him “determined to prove a villain” in a monologue that begins “now is the winter of our discontent / made glorious summer by this son of York.” Richard, Duke of Gloucester, from Richard III
He also marries and kills the Lady Anne, and orders the deaths of Edward’s children (the “princes in the tower”). Although hebecomes king, he soon faces a rebellion led by Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, from Richard III
In the aftermath of a Yorkist victory in the Wars of the Roses, he plots against his brothers King Edward IV & George, Duke of Clarence, & causes Edward to imprison Clarence in the Tower of London. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, from Richard III
On the eve of a battle at Bosworth Field, Richard is haunted by the ghosts of those he wronged. The battle turns against Richard (who cries “a horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!”), and Richmond is crowned as King Henry VII of England. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, from Richard III
Assassins sent by him later kill Clarence, who is drowned in a “malmsey-butt” or cask of wine. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, from Richard III
Though the husband is the play’s protagonist, his pursuit of the Scottish throne is largely driven by his wife’s ambition. Lady Macbeth, from Macbeth.
After three witches predict that her husband will be king, she fears that her husband is “too full ’o the milk of human kindness” to commit murder, and bids “spirits” to “unsex” her and imbue her with willpower. Lady Macbeth, from Macbeth.
She insults her husband's masculinity, and urges him to “screw [his] courage to the sticking-place” and kill King Duncan. When her husband is unable to frame two grooms for the murder, his wife does so in his place. Lady Macbeth, from Macbeth.
Later, the wife is wracked with guilt for her actions. While sleepwalking, she tries to wash imaginary blood from her hands, and cries “out, damned spot!” Lady Macbeth, from Macbeth.
In the final act, the news of her death prompts the wife to deliver the “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” soliloquy. Lady Macbeth, from Macbeth.
He is the “ancient,” or standard-bearer, of the general Othello, and is passed over for a promotion to lieutenant in favor of the less-experienced Michael Cassio. In addition, he believes that his wife, Emilia, may have cheated on him with Othello. Iago, from The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
Consequently, this ancient vows revenge. At the start of the play, he and his associate Roderigo alert the Venetian senator Brabantio that Brabantio’s daughter, Desdemona, has eloped with Othello. Iago, from The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
After Desdemona testifies that she married Othello willingly, the Duke of Venice places Othello in charge of defending Cyprus. Iago, from The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
This villain then places Desdemona’s handkerchief in Cassio’s room, causing Othello to believe that Desdemona and Cassio are having an affair. Iago, from The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
Once Othello has murdered Desdemona, Emilia exposes the villain’s plot. Before killing himself, Othello stabs the villain, who survives to be arrested by Cassio. Iago, from The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
On the island of Cyprus, the villain ingratiates himself with Othello; deceitfully warns the general against the “green-eyed monster” of jealousy. Iago, from The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice
A hot-headed member of the Capulet family who is the beloved cousin of Juliet. During the public brawl that begins the play, he provokes the peaceful Benvolio. Tybalt, from Romeo and Juliet
At a ball given by the Capulets, the villain recognizes the disguised Romeo and calls for a sword, but is prevented from fighting by Lord Capulet. Tybalt, from Romeo and Juliet
The villain then demands a duel with Romeo, who does not wish to fight one of Juliet’s kinsmen. Romeo’s friend Mercutio is shocked by this “vile submission,” and calls the villain “king of cats” while challenging him to a duel Tybalt, from Romeo and Juliet
This villain shares his name with a feline character from medieval fables about Reynard the Fox. Romeo tries to intervene in the duel, which allows the villain to kill Mercutio. Romeo then kills the villain, and is banished from Verona. Tybalt, from Romeo and Juliet
Before the start of the play, Claudius became the ruler of Denmark by pouring poison into the ear of his sleeping brother, the king. Claudius then married Gertrude, the king's widow. King Claudius, from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
The namesake Prince learns of his uncle’s treachery by speaking to his father's ghost. He then arranges for a troupe of actors to perform a play titled The Murder of Gonzago, which the Prince revises to increase the similarities to his father’s death. King Claudius, from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
Claudius is disturbed by the performance, and storms out during the murder scene. Later, Claudius prays for forgiveness, causing the Prince to delay killing him out of fear that Claudius’s soul would go to heaven. King Claudius, from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
As the namesake Prince feigns madness, Claudius sends him to England with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who unknowingly carry a letter calling for the Prince’s execution. King Claudius, from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
After the Prince escapes and returns to Denmark, Claudius arranges for the Prince to fight a duel with Laertes, who seeks revenge for the death of his father, Polonius, and sister, Ophelia. King Claudius, from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
Laertes uses a poison-tipped sword, and Claudius prepares a poisoned drink as a back-up. When Laertes falls in combat he reveals the plot, prompting the Prince to stab Claudius with the poisoned sword, and make Claudius drink from the poisoned cup. King Claudius, from The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.
The elderly two evil daughters of the namesake. After Lear bequeaths his kingdom to them, they conspire to undermine Lear’s remaining power and defeat Cordelia, Lear’s sole loyal daughter. Regan and the Duke of Cornwall, and Goneril and the Duke of Albany, from King Lear.
Angered by the treatment that he has received from his heirs, the King leaves his daughter's home in the middle of a thunderstorm. Gloucester, who desires the King's reinstatement, aids Cordelia’s invading army. Regan and the Duke of Cornwall, and Goneril and the Duke of Albany, from King Lear.
Gloucester is exposed, and the villains gouge Gloucester’s eyes out. While the two husbands of the evil daughters arrange their armies to fight Cordelia, the evil daughters both romantically pursue the villainous Edmund. Regan and the Duke of Cornwall, and Goneril and the Duke of Albany, from King Lear.
This love triangle results in one evil sister killing the other evil sister with poison. The surviving evil sister also tries to have her husband killed, but commits suicide when the plot is exposed. Regan and the Duke of Cornwall, and Goneril and the Duke of Albany, from King Lear.
Cordelia is captured and executed, and the namesake King dies of grief soon afterward, leaving the redeemed husband Albany and Edmund’s half-brother Edgar to take charge of the realm. Regan and the Duke of Cornwall, and Goneril and the Duke of Albany, from King Lear.
The son of the Algerian witch Sycorax, who once ruled the island where villainous son was born. After Sycorax died the island fell under the control of the magician Prospero, an exiled duke of Milan. Caliban from The Tempest
Prospero taught the young villainous son language, and showed kindness to him, until the villainous son tried to rape Prospero’s daughter Miranda. In response, Prospero enslaved him, and began treating him as a subhuman creature. Caliban from The Tempest
The villainous son's exact nature is unknown, but he seems to be physically distinct from other characters in the play. He is called a monster, demi-devil, strange fish, thing of darkness, moon-calf, and freckled whelp who lacks a human shape. Caliban from The Tempest
When the play begins, the villain longs to overthrow Prospero but still fears Prospero’s magic, which is stronger than that of the villan’s god, Setebos. Caliban from The Tempest
Trinculo and Stephano, two drunkards who are shipwrecked and separated from the rest of their crew, give the villain liquor; the villain then conspires with them to kill Prospero. Caliban from the Tempest
When the group hears music played by the spirit Ariel, the villain delivers a speech beginning “Be not afeard, the isle is full of noises” that demonstrates sensitivity and loss. Caliban from the Tempest
The plot to unseat Prospero quickly fails, and the villain vows to be “wise hereafter.” Unlike Ariel, the villain is not freed at the end of the play. Caliban from the Tempest
Before the opening of the play, the villain overthrew his brother, Duke Senior, and seized control of the court. There, the villain harbors his brother’s daughter Rosalind as a companion to his own daughter, Celia. Frederick from As You Like It
When the villain banishes Rosalind out of fear that she is plotting against him, Celia volunteers to go with her beloved cousin, and suggests that they reunite with Duke Senior in the Forest of Arden. Frederick from As You Like It
At the same time, a young nobleman named Orlando flees to the Forest of Arden to escape his brother Oliver’s mistreatment. The villain suspects that Orlando is in the company of Celia and Rosalind, and seizes Oliver’s lands until Orlando can be produced. Frederick from As You Like It
After Oliver departs to search for his brother, the villain is not heard of again until the end of the play, when Oliver and Orlando’s brother Jaques reports that the villain suddenly repented of his crimes after meeting “an old religious man.” Frederick from As You Like It
The villain relinquishes the crown to Duke Senior, and restores the property of Duke Senior’s supporters. Frederick from As You Like It
The villain begins the play as an innocent lover, but develops into the primary antagonist after he visits his friend Valentine in Milan, and becomes infatuated with Valentine’s love, Silvia. Proteus from The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Although the villain has sworn that he will be faithful to a gal named Julia, he breaks his promise & tries to win Silvia for himself. To this end, the villain betrays Valentine by telling Silvia’s father, the duke, that Valentine & Silvia plan to elope. Proteus from The Two Gentlemen of Verona
After the duke exiles Valentine, Silvia rejectsthe villain because of his treachery towards his friend, and his unfaithfulness to Julia. When Silvia escapes to the woods to find Valentine, the villain follows her and rescues her from outlaws. Proteus from The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Silvia continues to reject the villains, who threatens to rape her (“I’ll force thee yield to my desire”) before Valentine intervenes. The villain repents, and Julia, who has been disguised as the villain’s male page, reveals herself. Proteus from The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The villain then reunites with Julia and resumes his friendship with Valentine, whom the duke permits to marry Silvia. Proteus from The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The villain is entrusted with the rule of Vienna by Duke Vicentio, who pretends to leave the city but actually remains present, disguised as “Friar Lodowick.” He enforces antiquated laws against sex, resulting in Claudio’s arrest and imminent execution. Antonio from Measure by Measure
Claudio’s sister, the novice nun Isabella, pleads for Claudio to be pardoned; the villain agrees, but only if Isabella will have sex with him. After debate, Duke Vincentio proposes a “bed trick.” Antonio from Measure by Measure
Isabella pretends that she is willing to have sex with the villain in absolute darkness and silence, which allows Mariana, a woman who was once betrothed to the villain, to take Isabella’s place. Antonio from Measure by Measure
Although the plan works, the villain believes that he had sex with Isabella, he goes back on his word & orders Claudio’s execution. This forces the duke to arrange a “head trick,” in which the head of a pirate is presented to the villain instead. Antonio from Measure by Measure
Once the duke “returns” to Vienna, Isabella & Mariana petition him to right their wrongs. The villain initially denies the charges brought against him, but confesses once he learns that the duke and Friar Lodowick are the same person. Antonio from Measure by Measure
The villain's life is spared for Mariana’s sake, and the duke proposes marriage to Isabella. Antonio from Measure by Measure
Created by: Mr_Morman