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Five Shakespearean Characters Who Ought to Be on Once Upon a Time

I have a lot of TV shows that I like, but there are only a few that I will really make an honest effort to watch, not matter what, and one of them is Once Upon a Time. Even though there are some very cheesy moments in it that would taste good with a box of wine, it’s a decent show. And there are some wonderfully complex characters on there that allow for some major angsty moments. But lately some of the characters are just a little, well, stagnant. I say when in doubt, bring in Shakespeare. The Bard’s plays are just as much a part of our collective consciousness as the tales used in OUATbut some of the characters are just dying to be added. So here are five who I think would have a shot.

1. Prospero

Painting: Prospero and Miranda by William Maw Egley
Prospero with his daughter Miranda. Image from

Prospero, one of the protagonists of The Tempest, is a self-taught sorcerer bent on revenge after being marooned at sea. He uses his magic to not only protect his daughter, but to compel other beings to do his bidding. I can think of a few ways which Prospero could be a good character in the series, maybe as a seeming villain who turns out to be a valuable ally.

2. Lady Macbeth

Painting: Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth by John Singer Sargent
Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth. Image via

Let’s face it: Lady Macbeth from Macbeth is a bitch. Bitches get things done. There is no hedging. There is no discussion about it. She’s a woman of action, and if it benefits everyone, herself in particular, she’s going to be the one to do it.

3. Portia

Painting: Portia (Kate Dolan) by John Everett Millais
Kate Dolan as Portia. Image via

The thing about Portia from The Merchant of Venice is that she’s smart and resourceful, but she still has a lot to learn when it comes to how she treats people. Not only can she outsmart an opponent and get out of a sticky situation, but she’s also adept at the art of disguise. She’s not perfect, and she has a lot to learn about life, which sets the stage for growth as a character.

4. Puck

Painting: Puck by Joshua Reynolds
Puck. Image via

Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is neither good or bad, but is a trickster who plays games with people for his own amusement. He can be a help or a hindrance, but most of the time is a pain in the derrière.

5. Ophelia

Painting: Ophelia by John William Waterhouse
Ophelia. Image via

Ophelia from Hamlet is the perfect ingenue, the young woman whose heart is broken. Maybe on OUAT, she could bounce back and figure out who she is and who she wants to be and that she really didn’t need that douche Hamlet after all.

And these are the five that I would cast my vote for. Next time I’ll give the five lesser-known tales that need to be featured.

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