16 Shakespearean Baby Names for Your Leading Men and Ladies

We doth approve

OK, so you probably shouldn’t name your kid Othello. Or Hamlet. Or Lady Macbeth. But there are a ton of super-cute baby names that come straight from the pages of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. Here, 16 that’ll reignite your love of the Bard. (Or even just that Claire Danes/Leonardo DiCaprio movie.)

Beatrice (much Ado About Nothing)

One of Shakespeare’s most fiercely feminist characters, Beatrice is full of sharp wit and quippy one-liners.

Cordelia (king Lear)

Here’s what you need to know about King Lear: There are three daughters and only one is good. It’s Cordelia.

Caius (julius Caesar)

Fine. He’s the guy who orchestrates Caesar’s assassination. But we still love the name, which means “Rejoice” in Latin.

Ferdinand (the Tempest)

He’s a shipwrecked Prince who falls hard for Miranda (more on her later). He’s also, notably, a very cute bull.

Hal (henry Iv, Part 1)

It may bring to mind the evil computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey. But it’s also the nickname of Henry IV, before he got all serious about his princely duties.

Helena (a Midsummer Night's Dream)

A budding romantic through and through.

Juliet (romeo And Juliet)

Ditto. Duh.

Miranda (the Tempest)

The only female character in this fantastical play, she’s known for being particularly compassionate.

Orlando (as You Like It)

This guy’s a lover, not a fighter.

Portia (the Merchant Of Venice)

Rich, beautiful, intelligent: This saucy heroine is not unlike the sports car you might associate with her.

Puck (a Midsummer Night's Dream)

Good luck getting this little sprite to stick to bedtime.

Romeo (romeo And Juliet)

And good luck keeping the girls away from this one.

Titania (a Midsummer Night's Dream)

Queen of the fairies. Sounds pretty ideal.

Rosalind (as You Like It)

She spends most of the play dressed as a boy. In other words: Break out the gender-neutral denim overalls.

Sebastian (twelfth Night)

The name means “venerable and revered.” But in this Shakespearean comedy he’s just another shipwrecked twin who gets fished out of the ocean and mistaken for his sister. (In fairness, she’s dressed in drag.)

Viola (twelfth Night)

Annnd another gender-bender. That Shakespeare was way ahead of his time, huh?

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Rachel Bowie

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...
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