Villain #6 and the highest-ranked villain from a comedy, this substitute Duke of Vienna cruelly and hypocritically transgresses against his own twisted moral code. The Top Five will all be airing on Halloween – get ready for the Big Five!
The Villains so far:
#31 – Iachimo, Cymbeline
#30 – Saturninus, Titus Andronicus
#29 – Cloten, Cymbeline
#28, #27 – Chiron and Demetrius, Titus Andronicus
#26 – Caliban, The Tempest
#25 – Shylock, Merchant of Venice
#24 – Cassius, Julius Caesar
#23 – Proteus, Two Gentlemen of Verona
#22 – Duke Frederick, As You Like It
#21 – Don John, Much Ado About Nothing
#20 – Duke of Buckingham, Richard III
#19 – Antonio, The Tempest
#18 – Dionyza, Pericles
#17 – The Queen, Cymbeline
#16 – Leontes, A Winter’s Tale
#15 – Antiochus, Pericles
#14 – Duke of Cornwall, King Lear
#13 – Oliver, As You Like It
#12 – Queen Margaret, Henry VI and Richard III
#11, #10 – Goneril and Regan, King Lear
#9 – Claudius, Hamlet
#8, #7 – The Macbeths, Macbeth
Follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and on Twitter at @Cassius614 for more Shakespeare fun.
Although Angelo definitely is villainous, he WAS specifically charged with enforcing the no-sex-outside-marriage-or-you-die in the Duke’s absence, since the Duke doesn’t want to sully HIS reputation. This is the DUKE’S villainy, rather than Angelo’s. He also tries to coerce an ALMOST-novitiate-nun into agreeing to have sex–It’s a narrow line, but not actually rape. He does indeed lose his mind over “first love/lust”, but who doesn’t? His hypocrisy IS big-time villainy, no question. Any guesses as to what “prenzie” means, exactly?
Prenzie just means “proper”, basically. And even if you give Angelo a pass on the death sentence, a sentence which probably wasn’t Vincentio’s goal in handing over the keys (he just wants slightly more enforcement than he had developed over the years), the big-time villain moment is his hypocrisy and lies – when he commands Claudio to be killed *anyway* it’s just a breathtakingly evil moment. Do you agree with his placement this high on the list?
I won’t quarrel with it–yet I still think gouging out eyes ON STAGE rates higher. After all, when you’re dead, you’re dead (and in God’s hands, in Elizabethan eyes), but when you’re still alive, you need your eyesight.
How do you know that PRENZIE means PROPER, and not PRECISE, or PRINCELY, or WELL-THOUGHT-OF, or DISHONEST?