Our second set of matches:
Match 5: Iago vs Doll Tearsheet
Match 6: Edmund vs King Claudius
Match 7: Queen Margaret vs Hermia
Match 8: Siward vs Goneril
These polls will stay open till next Thursday. The last two sets of Round One will go up next week.
My thoughts (scroll on if you want to keep your thoughts uninfluenced till after you vote!): I'm going to root for the underdog in Match 5, and say that while Iago's busy monologuing, Doll slips a dagger out from her bodice and guts him with the ruthless efficiency of a true tavern wench. Match 6 is tough, because both of these guys are calculating, conniving planners. I feel like they'd be circling each other in the shadows for ages before either actually struck out. Ultimately I'm going to go with Edmund, not solely out of lust, but also because he actually has battle experience, whereas Claudius seems to fight from a distance. Match 7 breaks my heart. Poor Hermia. She drew the short straw. She's one of my favorite girls in all of Shakespeare, but I'm pretty sure she's going to get annihilated by Margaret in no time flat. Finally, between Siward and Goneril, I'm going to go with the English general. Goneril may be a nasty piece of work, but I don't think she actually does all that much directly. Siward, on the other hand, is reportedly the greatest soldier in all of Christendom, so he must be pretty impressive to have earned that rep.
Thanks to everyone who's voted in the first four matches so far -- and don't forget, if you need a refresher on the combatants, check out the Intro Post.