What are your TEN favorite Shakespearean feminine names? [+ BQs]?

I've now started tutoring high school students with English and Art History, as a side thing for some more money, and a lot of them have come across many problems with the Shakespearean language, which inspired this question..

Out of these list of names what are your TEN favorite?

♀:

Alice [ Henry V ]

Audrey [ As You Like It ]

Baptista [ Taming of the Shrew ]

Beatrice [ Much Ado About Nothing ]

Bianca [ Othello, Taming of the Shrew ]

Celia [ As You Like It ]

Constance [ King John ]

Cordelia [ King Lear ]

Desdemona [ Othello ]

Diana [ All's Well that Ends Well ]

Dorcas [ Winter's Tale ]

Emilia [ Othello, Winter's Tale ]

Gertrude [ Hamlet ]

Hecate [ Macbeth ]

Helena [ Most famous from A Midsummer Night's Dream + many others ]

Hermia [ A Midsummer Night's Dream ]

Hermione [ Winter's Tale ]

Hippolyta [ A Midsummer Night's Dream ]

Imogen [ Cymbeline ]

Iris [ The Tempest ]

Isabella [ Measure for Measure ]

Jessica [ Merchant of Venice ]

Juliet [ Romeo & Juliet ]

Katharina [ Taming of the Shrew ]

Lavinia [ Titus Andronicus ]

Margaret [ Much Ado About Nothing ]

Miranda [ The Tempest ]

Nerissa [ Merchant of Venice ]

Ophelia [ Hamlet ]

Paulina [ Winter's Tale ]

Perdita [ Winter's Tale ]

Phoebe [ As You Like It ]

Portia [ Merchant of Venice ]

Regan [ King Lear ]

Rosalind [ As You Like It ]

Titania [ A Midsummer Night's Dream ]

Ursula [ Much Ado About Nothing ]

Valentine [ Twelfth Night ]

Viola [ Twelfth Night ]

BQs:

1] What are your FIVE least favorite of the names above?

2] If you've read any of the plays, have any of the CHARACTERS turned you off from any of the names?

3] If you've read any of the plays, have any of the actual plays turned you off or on any of the names?

4] Excluding the ones listed, do you know any more that you have fallen in love with?

Thanks! :]

Update:

Oh no, completely forgot about Olivia, as well as Comedy of Errors such as Aemilia and Adriana..

I excluded the plays I have not yet read, which include plays such as Trolius & Cressida as well as King John and such.

I did completely forget about Tamora & Olivia though

Update 2:

Not King John, I meant Antony & Cleopatra as well as Love's Labor's Lost, Timon of Athens, Julius Caesar, All's Well That End's Well, Coriolanus, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Measure for Measure... I'm sure there's more, and I do hope to read them all at some point!

37 Answers

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  • imogen
    Lv 4
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I love Shakespeare names, my brother and I both have Shakespearean first and middle names - Imogen Helena & William Orlando. If my brother was a girl he would have been called Ursula! I also have a cousin called Miranda and a 'god sister' named Beatrice :) I'd love to incorporate Shakespearean names into my future children's names, as an English student I do love a bit of Shakespeare! I got really excited when I found out Shakespeare actually invented the name Imogen. It comes from an old gaelic name Innogen, but when Shakespeare wrote Cymbeline he either consciously changed it to Imogen, or it was meant to be Innogen and got misread as a typo! Either way I still think that's pretty cool :)

    My favourites from that list, not counting my names, are -

    Emilia ♥, Alice, Juliet, Miranda, Isabella, Celia, Ophelia, Hermione, Cordelia and Phoebe.

    BQ -

    1) Ursula, Baptista, Gertrude, Nerissa and Hippolyta

    2) I don't think so, I'm always quite impressed with most of Shakespeare's female characters.

    3) Othello made me fall in love with Emilia. She's a brilliant female character, and I was lucky enough to play her in a school production :) The same goes to Ophelia in Hamlet, she's an interesting character in my opinion, even if she is a little manic. I wasn't a fan of the name Cordelia until I read King Lear either, I always thought it was a little frilly but I do love the character. Otherwise, I don't think any play has turned me off any of the names.

    4) Hero is a sort of GP for me. I wasn't in love with her character (she's in Much Ado about Nothing) and when I first heard the name it just seemed really weird, but there's something about it that I ended up really liking. I don't think I will ever use it though. Same for Juno, I love the name but I don't think anyone else would! I also like the names Octavia (Antony & Cleopatra), Cassandra (Troilus & Cressida), and Olivia (Twelfth Night)

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I am in a Shakespeare class for college right now, so it makes it a bit easier.

    10 Favorite:

    Katharina from The Taming of the Shrew, I have read

    Elizabeth from Richard III, which I have also read

    Ursula from Much Ado About Nothing, which I read in high school and do not remember, but I like the name

    Diana, which I have not read

    Helena from A Midsummer Night's Dream, which I have read

    Isabella from Measure for Measure, which I have not read

    That's about all that I really like and could picture naming my child.

    1. Least favorites are: Dorcas, Perdita, Paulina, Gertrude, and Hippolyta.

    2. Offhand, I believe it is Jessica and Portia from The Merchant of Venice. For some reason, I did not like there characters in this play. I really did not care for The Merchant of Venice, minus the task that Portia's father lays out for her would-be suitors, I did not like the play that much at all.

    3. As stated above, the merchant of venus.

    4. As listed in names that I like: I have always loved the name Elizabeth, and therefore, I liked the Queen Elizabeth in Richard III. It is kind of sad how she relives the grief that poor Queen Margaret had to feel. Plus, Shakespeare made her two sons very witty. Pitty they had to die, too.

    This is by far the best question I've seen in this section.

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  • Ari
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Favourite:

    Alice [ Henry V ]

    Audrey [ As You Like It ]

    Celia [ As You Like It ]

    Emilia [ Othello, Winter's Tale ]

    Imogen [ Cymbeline ]

    Iris [ The Tempest ]

    Isabella [ Measure for Measure ]

    Juliet [ Romeo & Juliet ]

    Ophelia [ Hamlet ]

    Viola [ Twelfth Night ]

    Least favourite:

    Baptista [ Taming of the Shrew ]

    Beatrice [ Much Ado About Nothing ]

    Gertrude [ Hamlet ]

    Hippolyta [ A Midsummer Night's Dream ]

    Ursula [ Much Ado About Nothing ]

    My name is also Shakespearean... Ariel of The Tempest.

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  • Lola C
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    1) Celia [As You Like It]

    2) Phoebe [As You Like It]

    3) Imogen [Cymbeline]

    4) Alice [Henry V]

    5) Bianca [Othello, Taming of the Shrew]

    6) Isabella [Measure for Measure]

    7) Cordelia [King Lear]

    8) Miranda [The Tempest]

    9) Audrey [As You Like It]

    10) Rosalind [As You Like It]

    1] Baptista, Gertrude, Dorcas, Hecate, Perdita

    2] i actually really don't like Juliet as a character.

    3] not really

    4] Olivia [Twelfth Night] is a lovely name.

    cool question xx

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  • 9 years ago

    * Audrey

    * Imogen

    * Helena

    * Phoebe

    * Celia

    * Alice

    * Cordelia

    * Rosalind

    * Constance

    * Juliet

    * Valentine

    BQ:

    ~ Titania (makes me think of titanium)

    ~ Ursula (just because of The Little Mermaid)

    ~ Portia

    ~ Dorcas (well its pretty obvious)

    ~ Hippolyta (the story of Hippolytus in Greek Mythology)

    ~ Yes, Juliet is an awful character, she shows no strength, which is why I'm sort of turned off by the name. I also used to find Ophelia kind of manic and weird, so it's not a favorite.. and also probably Cordelia, which I didn't use to like until I read King Lear :)

    ~ Yes, I very much disliked Merchant of Venice, turning me off from names like Antonio and Shylock as well as Jessica and Portia.

    ~ Probably just Adriana from Comedy of Errors as well as Olivia from Twelfth Night..

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Audrey, Beatrice, Celia, Cordelia, Helena, Imogen, Iris (this is my all-time favorite name, EVER! :D), Juliet, Ophelia, & Valentine.

    BQs:

    1] Baptista, Gertrude, Hermia, Hippolyta, & Ursula.

    2] I've only read Romeo & Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew. Oh, yes, I dislike the Katharina. It's OK i guess.

    3] Uhh.. not really.

    4] Juliet. (:

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    1. Audrey

    2. Desdemona

    3. Rosalind

    4. Celia

    5. Juliet

    6. Isabella

    7. Viola

    8. Emilia

    9. Beatrice

    10. Bianca

    BQ's:

    1] Least Favorite:

    1. Imogen

    2. Hippolyta

    3. Baptista

    4. Gertrude

    5. Ursula

    2] No.

    3] No.

    4] Yes! I love the name Hero from Much Ado About Nothing. It's so unique, and I think it's a wonderful name for a girl.

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  • Audrey

    Bianca

    Emilia

    Imogen

    Isabella

    Jessica

    Juliet

    Miranda

    Phoebe

    Viola

    BQ:

    1. Cordelia, Dorcas, Hippolyta, Perdita, Portia

    2. Nope.

    3. Nope.

    4. Nope.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Alice [ Henry V ]

    Audrey [ As You Like It ]

    Portia [ Merchant of Venice ]

    Isabella [ Measure for Measure ]

    Jessica [ Merchant of Venice ]

    Juliet [ Romeo & Juliet ]

    Katharina [ Taming of the Shrew ]

    Emilia [ Othello, Winter's Tale ]

    i dont like any more

    1. Titania [ A Midsummer Night's Dream ]

    Ursula [ Much Ado About Nothing ]

    Valentine [ Twelfth Night ]

    Perdita [ Winter's Tale ]

    Desdemona [ Othello ]

    Baptista [ Taming of the Shrew ]

    2. no i never really get "turned off from character names from a book/film etc.. if i met someone in real life with a name i loved but they were very horrible to me or just a nasty person then that can "turn me off" a name

    3. no

    4. Adriana (Comedy of errors)

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  • 9 years ago

    My 10 faves: Alice, Audrey, Celia, Emilia, Helena, Isabella, Jessica, Juliet, Regan, & Viola

    1) Constance, Dorcas, Gertrude, Lavinia, & Ursula

    2) Well Juliet is a bit dramatic and ridiculous, but also romantic. Regardless, I've always loved the name Juliet.

    3) No, not particularly.

    4) Nope.

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