William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor and rose to fame as the most famous playwright in the world. His work has inspired many, even dog owners who can relate to his characters often name their beloved dogs after some of his plays or sonnets, ensuring his work lives on. It is never easy to pick a name for a dog, we all want the name to be original, suit the pet and mean something to us. Thankfully, if you are a Shakespeare fan, then due to the large volume of his work you have plenty of choice, whereby you can bestow a Shakespearean name with honor upon your chosen pet and new companion.
Shakespearean Dog Names in Pop Culture
History is littered with dogs who have either been given a name from a literary genius, television hero, or a dog celebrity who has impressed the owner. Shakespeare has risen to be its own pop culture with the variety of names it has inspired for dog owners. I bet that was one field of interest that Shakespeare didn’t count on when considering his fame and fortune! Names such as Avon (William was born in Stratford-upon-Avon) reminds us of the genius’s home town. Hamlet, Othello or Macbeth remind us of the dark tragedies he penned. Trinity is a great dog's name, but it comes from the Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare was buried after his death in 1616 at the age of 52. Perhaps a bit morbid, but it is original. Shylock would suit a quiet calm dog, which comes from the character out of the comedy the Merchant of Venice.
Imagine if you will, a sleek athletic male dog sitting patiently outside under a balcony, until the love of his life – a cute pampered Cocker Spaniel (think Lady from the classic Lady and the Tramp movie) appears on the balcony. Romeo and Juliet from Shakespeare is the tragic story about two young star crossed lovers whose death ultimately reconcile their feuding families. While the tale is sad, it is remembered for the beauty of their love, and their desire to be together even if it is in only in death. Many people are moved to tears by this classic, giving us an ideal opportunity to name our new treasured and much loved dog the name of the hero Romeo for a handsome dog, or Juliet, Jewel or Lettie for a pretty female pooch with liquid brown eyes and soft wavy hair and floppy ears. I am thinking of Lady and the Tramp story here as well, which is a modern loose adaption of the story of Romeo and Juliet – which describes the tug of war between lovers Lady, and her beau Tramp who has to fight to save his love, but in this story it ends happily ever after. Therefore Tramp and Lady are perfect names for a new dog in your family and will always remind you with affection of this animated film from the Disney studios.
A recent modern adaption to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is the movie named ‘She’s the Man’ from 2006. The plot is still complicated and is about Duke who wants Olivia, who actually likes Sebastian, who is really Viola whose brother is dating Monique… need I go further? While it sounds confusing with its twisted plot worthy of paying homage to Shakespeare, it is actually a great movie and will have you laughing your socks off. That has to be worth something. Duke would make a perfect name for a solid muscled Rottweiler or something similar, while Viola which could be shortened to Lola conjures up a small, dainty White Scottish Highland Terrier perhaps.
And finally, who would have believed that The Lion King is another Shakespearean movie adaption. Hard to believe as it is a looser adaption, but is still pretty much Hamlet, although be it with Lions and awesome songs. Young and old alike love this movie and how cool would it be to name your puppy Nala, Pumbaa, or even Simba in honor of the movie. Awesome!
Shakespearean Dog Name Considerations
One thing to remember is the name has to be practical for your dog. Please don’t choose an offensive name for your companion – you don’t want a red face when you are yelling out your dog’s name to get him to come back to you! Likewise, you don’t want to have a tongue twister of a name when calling your dog as it just doesn’t work. While the catch phrase from the Lion King movie ‘Hukuna Matata’ sounds great, image calling out ‘Come here Hukuna Matata, here boy, Hukuna Matata would you get back here! Hmm, its okay, but not great. Another thing to consider is whether calling your new Great Dane by the name Tiny is a good choice. I guess it is kind of funny, but is not really describing your dog. It is like calling a white dog Blackie or Tar, or calling a black dog Snow or Ghost. Unless you have a warped sense of humor (which is fine, I am not judging) a name that suits your dog's color, appearance, size and temperament is best.