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5 Shakespeare Villains You Really Wouldn't Want As An Enemy

The Hollow Crown/BBC

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We all have enemies—mine include my neighbor’s dog, Tuesday mornings, and complex carbohydrates—but every so often, we stumble upon something or someone so evil and twisted that we're filled with relief when we realize they only exist in fiction.

Great writers have conjured seriously devilish enemies for many our favorite protagonists—Sherlock Holmes' nemesis, the psychotically unhingedundeniably charismatic Professor Moriarty, continues to haunt us—but William Shakespeare's villains almost always take the top spots in our "People we would very much like to never, ever meet" bracket. He created characters so ruthless, cunning, and vindictive that their deeds make Voldemort look relatively tame by comparison–and at the same time, many of them were flawed and damaged in very human and distressingly relatable ways. Read on for 5 of the bard's most nefarious anti-heroes, and then take a moment to feel profound gratitude that you'll never run into any of them in a dark alley. Or a well-lit alley. No alleys with any of these people, ever. That's the ideal scenario.

Topics: Books
Tags: villains, shakespeare, othello, fictional characters, fictional villains, richard iii, shakespeare plays, lady macbeth, shakespeare characters, titus andronicus, antagonists, iago, well that got dark in a hurry

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About the Author
Damien Galeone

Damien Galeone is a university teacher and writer living in Prague, where he moved thirteen years ago in search of adventure but instead started teaching English. He lives with a cat who’s plotting his murder and he has written lots of stuff that you can find on the internet. His grandmom ab-so-lut-ely loved his novel Senseless and his book of stories Christmitzvah; otherwise they were mostly ignored. His life's dream is to open a hotdog shop, where his allegiance to mustard vs ketchup would remain 68/32.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.