What is in a Name?
As the Ides of March slipped by last week (March 15) it got me thinking about the powerful Shakespearian play Julius Caesar and what a surprisingly strong effect it had on me as a child. As I began to think of the many questions raised by the play, about the relationship between fate and free will, it seemed an incredibly appropriate source of inspiration for discussion and of course, for my favorite: baby names. As we raise our children and instill in them the concept of working hard and creating their own opportunities rather than just relying on things to fall in their lap, I am reminded of Caesar saying to Brutus:
“Men at sometime were masters of their fates. / The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings” (I.ii.140–142). Cassius urges a return to a noble, self-motivated attitude toward life, blaming his and Brutus’s submissive stance, not on fate, but on their failure to self assert.
Ultimately, the play supports a philosophy in which fate and freedom maintain a delicate relationship in life. Caesar declares: “It seems to me most strange that men should fear, / seeing that death, a necessary end, / Will come when it will come” (II.ii.35–37).
Caesar recognizes there are some things beyond our control but many lie within our capacity for freedom, freedom of speech, thought and self-motivation. So, if you are looking for a name that has the essence of freedom, nobleness and a self-motivated attitude towards life, choose carefully between the name on this list. Or, if you can get over the drama in this play and love the name, regardless of the characters stance or fate, then take a gander at them all:
Mark Antony or Marcus Antonius
Fear neither the Ides of March, or your trouble making a decision on a baby name. After all, Shakespeare reminds us in his famed play Romeo and Juliet, “What is in a name?… A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” … well at least that might buy you a few more weeks!
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