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

http://deweydink.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/shakespeare-or-how-to-destroy-an-elizabethan-idol/

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5 thoughts on “Apparently There’s Quite A Lot In A Name

  1. 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.

  2. 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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