My 10 Favorite Shakespearean Clowns

Falstaff 08One 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:

  1. Falstaff (1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV)
  2. Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing)
  3. The gravediggers (Hamlet)
  4. Nick Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  5. Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  6. Costard (Love’s Labours Lost)
  7. Feste (Twelfth Night)
  8. Touchstone (As You Like It)
  9. Dromio of Ephesus (The Comedy of Errors)
  10. 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)

About writerhoss

I am a writer from southwestern Ohio, and a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats. My books include The Bard and the Bible (A Shakespeare Devotional).
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