No one names their kid Laertes
Even though he’s a perfectly decent guy
Who gets manipulated by the king.
They’ll name their kid Horatio
Or Francisco or Bernardo
But I’ve never met a Laertes.
Come to think of it, though, I’ve never met a Hamlet, either. Even though
He’s one of the most human, complex, interesting characters to be found.
His ending is probably
Prohibitive for child-naming.
Maybe that’s why I’ve never met a Polonius either.
What’s curious, though, is that that prohibition
Does not seem to apply to women.
I have met Ophelias and there have been other famous Gertrudes:
Lavinia’s end in Titus has not prevented parents from using her name –
Nor Cordelia. Nor Emilia.
I guess as women we’re expected to have tragic ends.