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Posted on Sep 27, 2013

10 Shakespeare Boyfriends, Ranked Best To Worst

To the left, Hamlet. TO. THE. LEFT.

1. Mark Antony, Roman Sex God.

Rank Organisation

Just look at this sand dusted solider in his flirty skirt! A Roman senator, a soldier, a hedonist. Mark Antony commanded huge armies and definitely could have found glory in successful wars in Macedonia but this sandaled adonis blew it all off to romance Cleopatra in front of a bunch of eunuchs and handmaids in Egypt. Romans threw mad shade on Cleo, calling her a 'gypsy' and a 'strumpet' but Mark was having none of it! He could have ruled the Western world but he threw it away with this cry:

Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space!
Kingdoms are clay!

2. Macduff, existentialist daddy from Macbeth

National Theatre Live

You cannot just flit around Scotland killing off kings to quench your ambition! Macduff gets that, he is the only moral figure in the twisted and blood-soaked world of the Scottish play. He is the ethical 'goodness' to Macbeth's perverse evil. After Macbeth goes off on a murder-bender killing off the king (formal term: regicide) and Macduff's family, Macduff slips into a tortured grief but then bootstraps himself up with this panty-dropping line: “But I must also feel it as a man.”

Yes! FEEL IT, YOU AXE WIELDING ANGEL! Then he beheads Macbeth.

3. Team Romeo


I mean, right? He is the consummate teenage love angel, you'd rather eat glass than get off the phone with him. He is both Team Edward and Team Jacob wrapped in a crushed velvet cape and leggings perched beneath your balcony. Dramatic, forbidden, virginal, adoring. He is the stuff which mash notes are made of. Put on your West Side Story soundtrack and sob it out, ladies.

4. Bottom from Midsummer Night's Dream

Oil on canvas by Henry Fuseli

Two words: donkey dick.

5. Petruchio, vainglorious alpha male from Taming of the Shrew

Touchstone Pictures

Every Venus has her Adonis. The equally strong-willed creature with a firey sexual persona and bullish personality. Petruchio courts Katherina, a bawdy bitch who takes guff from no man. But this is the guy whose verbal rough housing and male swagger breaks a tough woman down. He's kind of a sleeze, kind of a dick, (prototype for Jack Donahey and Mr. Big) but ultimately he is the man every woman dates at least once her life: the man she changes for.

6. Aaron the Moor, hot henchman from Titus Andronicus

Clear Blue Sky Productions

Here's where we get into the dodgy love interests. The baddies, the villains, the bros Polonious warned you about. But if you're Tamora, queen of the Goths, married to the pissy emperor of Rome, mother of two demented sons, you have to take the edge off with your swarthy North African lover. Even when Tamora has Aaron's babeh behind the Roman emperor's back and abandons the kid, Aaron is there, just tryin' to raise his damn kid! Aaron also delivers the greatest scathing comeback for which all of modern comedy is based:

Chiron: Thou hast undone our mother.
Aaron: Villain, I have done thy mother.

7. Oberon, super shady fairy king from Midsummers

Fox Searchlight

Sure, you think, being married to this King of fairies is a sweet gig: all the elderflower cocktails you can slurp down, cherub servants, mossy group sex, it's like Burning Man meets Fern Gully. But if you're married to Oberon, that dude will straight up send a shirtless Stanley Tucci to dose you and make you fall in love with a donkey because of a custody dispute!

8. Claudius, rank step-dad from Hamlet

Castle Rock Entertainment

You gotta heed the word of the original Ghost Dad: Claudius is NOT a cool dude. All ambitious and creepy, he poisoned his brother -- whilst he was taking a disco nap in the palace garden-- then swooped up his wife, Queen Gertrude. Also, that dye job is fooling no one, Claudius! This is a PR nightmare that the Danish people have never fully recovered from.

9. Othello, just too murdery.

Castle Rock Entertainment

Look, Moor-bro, you seemed pretty into Desdemona and there were some legitimate concerns about who she was lending your Egyptian tissue to. But you cannot just be listening to your war buddies talking about, "Where's your girl tonight?" or "Oh, I saw her wipe this Cassio's' nose". You need need to put on your Grown Man Blouse and communicate. Strangling your special lady friend to death over a hanky is a RED FLAG.

10. Hamlet, manic depressive rich kid who kills your dad


He's a sarcastic, broody intellectual and he has SO MANY FEELINGS. He writes you poetry, he wears wooly turtle necks, you give him your v-card, your dad hates him, I mean, he sounds perfect. But watch out, lady, Hamlet is a more insidious sort of awful boyfriend. He's the extreme archetype of the college romance that does you wrong. He has big time mom issues (like, huge). He yells at you when he's moody and it's all "YOU DON'T KNOW HOW I FEEEEEEL" with him. Then he calls you names, goes on these huge rants about how he doesn't believe in the institution of marriage, (ugh, save it for your blog, Hambone) and says he never loved you. Then he says super heinous shit, like "Frailty, thy name is woman." And if you loved him less, if his dad didn't just get murdered, you would have said, "You're the frail one, you weirdo melancholy Dane! Piss off!" But crazy is an STD and this is the kind of guy that makes you nuts, like drive by his house at night, go through his emails, or throw yourself in a river BONKERS.