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Hamnet


"Of all the stories...about Shakespeare’s life, [Hamnet] is so gorgeously ...
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Discuss the significance of names in the novel overall. Who is afforded their own name, and who is known exclusively by their relation to others?

Created: 06/16/22

Replies: 5

Posted Jun. 16, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3442

Discuss the significance of names in the novel overall. Who is afforded their own name, and who is known exclusively by their relation to others?

Discuss the significance of names in the novel overall, including the interchangeable spelling of "Hamnet" and "Hamlet." Who is afforded their own name, and who is known exclusively by their relation to others?


Posted Jun. 17, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jans

Join Date: 01/15/21

Posts: 4

RE: Discuss the significance of names in...

I noticed almost immediately that the most well-known person in this cast of characters is referred to by pronouns or his connection to others in the family. I wasn’t sure at first but came to appreciate the author’s choice with the focus on the creative backstory of the most famous playwright of all time. The author explained early that these two names are interchangeable like Charlie or Chuck these days. I felt it gave Hamnet his own standing, with his father using the second option.


Posted Jun. 17, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 265

RE: Discuss the significance of names in...

Yes, I agree with Jane. This book was meant to explore Shakespeare’s family, his relationship with his wife, his time away from his family. Most especially I think the author wanted to explore Anne’s life, or Agnes as we know her in the book - her attraction to Shakespeare, Agnes’s relationship with her stepmother and brother, her life with her married family, her role as a mother, and also as a healer in her community.


Posted Jun. 20, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 387

RE: Discuss the significance of names in...

They all had given names, except Agnes' siblings other than Bartholomew, his wife, and most of the townsfolk who came and went briefly. And, of course, glaringly, Agnes' husband


Posted Jun. 20, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiaarnaud

Join Date: 04/18/12

Posts: 73

RE: Discuss the significance of names in...

I found it interesting that Shakespeare's name is never mentioned. In some ways, it helped take the spotlight off him, and focus it on Agnes and the children. But it also was a little frustrating to have the most famous character in the book never named.


Posted Jul. 10, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jos

Join Date: 03/14/21

Posts: 156

RE: Discuss the significance of names in...

Interesting choice by author to never name the person most people know as a household name even if you were not an avid Shakespeare reader, yet use the common name interchangeable with the famous play name for the son. I found this fascinating and it hooked me right away.


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