Even if you slept through all of your high school English classes, you know that Shakespeare was one of the preeminent poets of all time. His work has become such an inspirational part of popular culture, that even if you haven't actually read any of his plays, you can probably rattle off a line or two from one of them with ease. With more than 150 sonnets and close to 40 plays in his body of work, there are lots of baby names inspired by Shakespeare's writings.
If you're looking outside of the norm for names for your new little bundle of joy, Shakespeare is a great place to start. It's hard not to be captivated by the romance of Romeo and Juliet, the drama of King Lear, and the humor of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The character names are mostly taken from Greek and Roman mythology, and in our opinion sound really cool in a classroom full of Janes.
And while we can't guarantee that a Shakespeare-inspired name will guarantee your kid the lead part in his school's rendition of Hamlet, we can tell you that the classic names on this list will stand the test of time, just like Shakespeare's poems. And you'll look super smart to all of your literary friends.
A character in Hamlet, Marcellus means "young warrior." It is also the birth middle name of Muhammad Ali, who is another great namesake.
One of the main characters in Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, the name means "gold." The name has also been used as a character in the Hunger Games trilogy, and happens to be the name of one of Prince Harry's ex-girlfriends.
A character from The Tempest, Iris is also the goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology. Not a bad meaning for a child with a colorful personality.
Taken from Much Ado About Nothing, Beatrice means "she who brings happiness." There's no doubt that you will feel that way about your little girl.
Your little boy will be prepared for anything with this name inspired by The Tempest. Alonso is the Spanish version of a German name meaning, "noble and ready."
A classic boy's name meaning "fortunate protector," Edmund is inspired by the famous play, King Lear.
The goddess of the harvest in Roman mythology, Ceres is inspired by the play, The Tempest. A great name for your future little farmer girl.
It doesn't get much more romantic than Helena. The nam, meaning "a bright shining light," was used in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and All's Well That Ends Well
Ophelia, which means "help," is inspired by a character in Hamlet. And if you're lucky, she'll be happy to pitch in with chores once she's older.
Most famously known as one of King Lear's daughters, Cordelia means "heart or daughter of the sea."
Although his friends may think he was named after the crab in The Little Mermaid, Sebastian is a Latin name for people from the city of Sebasta, and a character from Shakespeare's The Tempest.
A beautiful name with a less than beautiful meaning, Emilia, who played a prominent role in Othello, is the female version of Emil which means "rival."
A name used in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night as well as Harry Potter, Fabian means "bean grower." Wouldn't it be awesome if your little boy could grow coffee beans?