One of William Shakespeare’s many literary gifts was the ability to create and develop memorable characters: kings and queens, villains and heroes, lovers and losers, and more. Some of his greatest creations, to my mind, where his fools and clowns (and, yes, I know that scholars draw distinctions between “fools” and “clowns” in Shakespeare’s works. I grant that, but I’ll lump them together).
Here is a short list of my favorites, the first and foremost being, of course:
- Falstaff (1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV)
- Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing)
- The gravediggers (Hamlet)
- Nick Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
- Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
- Costard (Love’s Labours Lost)
- Feste (Twelfth Night)
- Touchstone (As You Like It)
- Dromio of Ephesus (The Comedy of Errors)
- Dromio of Syracuse (The Comedy of Errors)
Who are your favorites? And in what order?
(photo from the Arizona Opera’s production of Verdi’s Falstaff, based on Shakespeare’s character)