Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Most Hated Characters in Literary History

So if you saw a list called The 50 Most Hated Characters in Literary History, and you knew it was tagged Shakespeare, who would you expect to find?


I suppose we could debate what exactly hate means, and for that matter what exactly literary history means, for that matter - but for the purposes of this list lets just call it "characters that audiences love to hate."


Did you guess Iago? That was easy.


Well Shakespeare shows up in 3 spots, so what are the other two? I have to admit, I wouldn't have guessed. I don't think I'm particularly surprised, but those aren't the ones I would have picked.



5 comments:

Dana Huff said...

Pretty strange misinterpretation regarding Romeo. The text gives no indication Rosaline has any interest in Romeo, much less that he somehow broke her heart.

Duane said...

I'll admit, I skimmed that part - I assumed that the reasoning was something about "How stupid could this kid be to think that he fell in love at first site and now had to kill himself?"

The only "insensitive treatment of Rosaline" argument I could come up with would be something like, "She didn't want to sleep with him, so he dumped her."

JM said...

Romeo 'dissed' Rosaline.
And, of course, thus began the inexorable nexus ending in R&J's suicidal demise...

"The 2 end up committing suicide because of their dueling families and lack of perspective, but [BUT?] many readers place the brunt of the blame on Romeo’s insensitive treatment of Rosaline."

Well of course--it logically follows, no? Those "many readers", no doubt, are also the ones who

"...think of Hamlet as the Elizabethan precursor to the emo movement..."


Analysis using these 'facts' leads to a 'guess' that there are "many" who are simply unable to think outside of the very small box of their own present, precious existence--no matter the breadth or scope of what it is that might cross their path.

catkins said...

What a shallow list! One may argue the merits of both the play and the character of Hamlet, but the play would not be one of Shakespeare's most popular if Hamlet were one of the 50 most hated characters in literary history. The same can be said of Romeo. And how can anyone compile a list of villains and leave out Richard III?
--Carl

Pyriew said...

My guesses were Lady Macbeth and Titus. That list's interpretation is so ridiculously cliche that it feels like it was written by a fourteen-year old chick trying as hard as she can to avoid the "mainstream's vice."

Anyone who can claim that Romeo is a hated character should try to stir their fried brain cells a bit more and come up with a decent explanation, not a hopeless claim regarding some vague 'contemporary readers.'