Perdita & Marina: Shakespearean names

Written by    Last updated: March 21, 2007

The immense creativity of Shakespeare extended to the names he gave the characters in his plays.

It is to him that we owe the popularity of names such as Jessica, Imogen and Olivia. Instead of choosing the more common Elizabethan names, like Jane, Margaret and Mary, he chose more poetic ones. He seems to have taken pleasure in creating new names as well; for instance, Juliet was his own translation of the Italian ‘Giulietta’, Perdita in A Winter’s Tale was coined from the Latin for ‘lost’, and Marina was invented due to its association with the sea.

Here are some names used by Shakespeare for his characters to inspire your baby naming…

Name Play
Aaron Titus Andronicus
Abram Romeo & Juliet
Adam As You Like It
Adrian The Tempest
Adriana Comedy of Errors
Adriano Love’s Labour’s Lost
Aedile Coriolanus
Aegeon Comedy of Errors
Aemilia Comedy of Errors
Aemilius Titus Andronicus
Albany King Lear
Alexander Troilus and Cressida
Alexas Antony and Cleopatra
Alice Henry V
Aliena As You Like It
Alonso The Tempest
Amiens As You Like It
Andromache Troilus and Cressida
Andronicus Titus Andronicus
Angelo The Comedy of Errors and other plays
Angus Macbeth
Anne Henry VIII, Richard III
Anthony Romeo and Juliet
Antigonus Winter’s Tale
Antipholus Comedy of Errors
Antonio The Tempest and other plays
Antony Julius Caeser, Antony and Cleopatra
Archidamus Winter’s Tale
Ariel The Tempest
Armado Love’s Labour’s Lost
Aragon The Merchant of Venice
Arviragus Cymbeline
Audrey As You Like It
Aumerle Richard II
Balthasar Romeo and Juliet, and other plays
Banquo Macbeth
Baptista Taming of the Shrew
Bardolph Merry Wives of Windsor
Barnardine Measure for Measure
Barnardo Hamlet
Bartholomew The Taming of the Shrew
Bassanio Merchant of Venice
Beatrice Much Ado About Nothing
Beaumont Henry V
Belarius Cymbeline
Benedick Much Ado About Nothing
Benvolio Romeo & Juliet
Berkeley Richard III
Berri Henry V
Bertram All’s Well that Ends Well
Bianca Othello, Taming of the Shrew
Biondello Taming of the Shrew, Othello
Boyet Love’s Labour’s Lost
Brabantio Othello
Brandon Henry VIII
Bretagne Henry V
Brutus Julius Caesar, Coriolanus
Cadwal  Cymbeline
Caesar Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra
Caliban The Tempest
Camillo Winter’s Tale
Caphis Timon of Athens
Cassio Othello
Celia As You Like It
Ceres The Tempest
Christopher Taming of the Shrew
Claudio (Several Plays)
Claudius Hamlet
Cleomenes Winter’s Tale
Cloten Cymbeline
Cordelia King Lear
Corin As You Like It
Cornelius Hamlet, Cymbaline
Costard Love’s Labour’s Lost
Curan King Lear
Curio Twelfth Night
Curtis Taming of the Shrew
Cymbeline Cymbeline
Demetrius Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Desdemona Othello
Diana All’s Well that Ends Well
Dion Winter’s Tale
Dogberry Much Ado About Nothing
Donalbain Macbeth
Dorcas Winter’s Tale
Dromio Comedy of Errors
Dull Love’s Labour’s Lost
Duncan Macbeth
Edgar King Lear
Edmund King Lear
Egeus Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Eglamour Two Gentlemen of Verona
Elbow Measure for Measure
Emilia Othello, Winter’s Tale
Escalus Measure for Measure, Romeo & Juliet
Fabian Twelfth Night
Fenton Merry Wives of Windsor
Ferdinand Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Tempest
Feste Twelfth Night
Flavius Timon of Athens
Fleance Macbeth
Florizel Winter’s Tale
Fortinbras Hamlet
Francisca Measure for Measure
Francisco Hamlet, The Tempest
Frederick As You Like It
Froth Measure for Measure
Gertrude Hamlet
Goneril King Lear
Gonzalo The Tempest
Gratiano Merchant of Venice
Gregory Romeo & Juliet
Gremio Taming of the Shrew
Guiderius Cymbeline
Hamlet Hamlet
Hecate Macbeth
Helen Cymbeline
Hermia Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Hermione Winter’s Tale
Hero (female) Much Ado About Nothing
Hippolyta Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Holofernes Love’s Labour’s Lost
Horatio Hamlet
Hortensio Taming of the Shrew
Hortensius Timon of Athens
Iago Othello
Imogen Cymbeline
Iris The Tempest
Isabella Measure for Measure
Jaquenetta Love’s Labour’s Lost
Jaques As You Like It
Jessica Merchant of Venice
Julia Two Gentlemen of Verona
Juliet Romeo & Juliet, Measure for Measure
Juno The Tempest
Katharina Taming of the Shrew
Katharine (in several plays)
Laertes Hamlet
Lafeu All’s Well that Ends Well
Lancelot Merchant of Venice
Launce Two Gentlemen of Verona
Lavache All’s Well that Ends Well
Lavinia Titus Andronicus
Lennox Macbeth
Leonardo Merchant of Venice
Leonato Much Ado About Nothing
Leontes Winter’s Tale
Lodovico Othello
Lorenzo Merchant of Venice
Luce Comedy of Errors
Lucentio Taming of the Shrew
Lucetta Two Gentlemen of Verona
Luciana Comedy of Errors
Lucilius Timon of Athens
Lucio Measure for Measure
Lysander Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Malcolm Macbeth
Malvolio Twelfth Night
Mamillius Winter’s Tale
Marcellus Hamlet
Margaret Much Ado About Nothing
Maria Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night
Mariana (in several plays)
Mercade Love’s Labour’s Lost
Mercutio Romeo & Juliet
Miranda The Tempest
Montano Othello
Mopsa Winter’s Tale
Moth Love’s Labour’s Lost
Nathaniel Taming of the Shrew
Nell Comedy of Errors
Nerissa Merchant of Venice
Nym Merry Wives of Windsor
Oberon Midsummer-Night’s Dream
Oliver As You Like It
Olivia Twelfth Night
Ophelia Hamlet
Orlando As You Like It
Orsino Twelfth Night
Osric Hamlet
Oswald King Lear
Othello Othello

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