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Shakespeare Names: Beyond Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare Names: Beyond Romeo and Juliet

The plays of William Shakespeare are a mother lode of wonderful names, rich and diverse, drawing from the history and mythology of ancient Greece and Rome, tales of Renaissance Italy, the royal courts and noble estates of England and Scotland–not to mention those that sprung from the playwright’s imagination.

We were inspired by Kat’s recent name board comment on the “Underrated Baby Names” question of the week to revisit the subject of Shakespearean names, starting from her excellent list and then digging a little deeper into some of the major and more minor characters that may not be as strongly associated with the Bard, but still boast some Shakespearean cred and cachet.

Kat’s suggestions:

GIRLS

  • BEATRICE

  • CORDELIA

  • HELENA

  • HERO

  • LUCIANA

  • OPHELIA

  • PAULINA

  • PERDITA

  • REGAN

  • ROSALIND

  • SILVIA

  • VIOLA

  • BOYS

  • BALTHAZAR

  • CALIBAN

  • CASSIO

  • CLAUDIO

  • DEMETRIUS

  • DUNCAN

  • HORATIO

  • LORENZO

  • LYSANDER

  • MALCOLM

  • ORLANDO

  • OSWALD

  • TITUS

  • And here are some other examples found among the dramatis personae of the tragedies, comedies and history plays, some playing leading parts, others more in the background—and, in the case of a few of the male names, surnames or titles:

    GIRLS

  • ADRIANA

  • AUDREY

  • BLANCHE

  • CELIA

  • CASSANDRA

  • CHARMIAN

  • CONSTANCE

  • CRESSIDA

  • DESDEMONA

  • ELEANORin several of the history plays

  • HERMIONE

  • IMOGEN

  • JAQUENETTA

  • LAVINIA

  • LUCETTA

  • MARINA

  • MIRANDA

  • NERISSA

  • OCTAVIA

  • PATIENCE

  • PORTIA

  • TAMORA

  • TITANIA

  • URSULA

  • VIOLA

  • BOYS

  • ADRIAN

  • AJAX

  • ALONSO

  • ANGUS

  • CAMILLO

  • CATO

  • CLEON

  • CLIFFORD

  • CORIN

  • CORNELIUS

  • DION

  • DUMAINE 

  • FABIAN

  • FLAVIUS

  • FRANCISCO

  • OWEN

  • GRIFFITH

  • HUGH

  • LENNOX

  • LUCIO

  • LUCIUS

  • MERCUTIO

  • OBERON

  • PETO

  • PHILO

  • QUINTUS

  • SEBASTIAN

  • VALENTINEa character in three plays

  • VARRO

  • About the Author

    Linda Rosenkrantz

    Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.