Friday, October 02, 2009

Apparently There’s Quite A Lot In A Name

Interesting find here at “Dewey Dink” blog called, “Shakespeare, or, How To Destroy At Elizabethan Idol.”  It seems to start with the premise of “You think Shakespeare was trying to make a bold statement about what was wrong with his culture, but really he was just playing into what he knew would work.”  Which we’ve heard before – the whole “is Merchant of Venice anti-Semitic, or what?” argument.

I’m linking it, though, for the emphasis that the author puts on messages left by Shakespeare in character names.  They include:

Othello –> a cross between “brothel” and “bordello”

Desdemona –> contains “demon” right there in the middle

Romeo –>  “Rome”, a symbol of the Catholic Church

Juliet –> “J”esus

Rosaline –> Rosa, the Rose, aka Virgin Mary

Lear –> leer, a suggestive sidelong glance suggestive of sexual desire or malice

Hamlet –> a small village without a church (emphasis his)

Macbeth –> …beth –> Elizabeth, as in Queen Elizabeth

Shylock –> wedlock / warlock

Portia –> Porcius –> Pig


Anonymous said...

Macbeth was a real person. The names Romeo and Juliet came from a poem that Shakespeare used as a source.

Anonymous said...

Lear was a real person too.

Anonymous said...

Last time I read "The Merchant of Venice," which was yesterday, Jessica is Shylock's daughter, not Portia. I don't know what to say about that one.

Ed said...

What everybody else said! The Portia bit was the last straw, but as the others have said, the names came from history or the source material (Othello and Desdemona).

I thought this was all tongue-in- cheek at first, but I don't think the guyt knows a hawk from a handsaw

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