The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0445 Monday, 11 May 1998.
Date: Friday, 08 May 1998 09:11:04 -0400
Subject: Edmund Shakespeare, Hamnet, Katherine
This may really stir up a happy hornet's nest, but has anyone thought to
write about Shakespeare's use of personally evocative names? Edmund
Shakespeare and Edmund the bastard in <italic>Lear</italic>--the two
disenfranchised second sons? Even from the scanty facts, one could work
with someone who is "base born," becomes himself the father of an
illegitimate child, and dies young but not unloved.
Is it just me, or could there be something going on between Hamnet and
Hamlet? Where did Shakespeare get the name Hamnet, anyway?
And what is it with all those Katherines, Kates, cats, and cates that
men are in love with in Shakespeare plays?
If Shakespeare could write some sort of insider actor/playwright's joke
into Corambis/Polonius talking about playing Julius Caesar, couldn't he
be playing with names more often that we think?