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What's In a Name?

Shakespeare, via Romeo, famously asked, "What's in a name?"

The answer? Everything.

Names are full of meaning and connotation.

They represent who we are and are symbols of our character and reputations.

John Proctor, during the Salem Witch trials, was willing to confess to 'consorting with the devil,' but he did not want to sign his name to the lie.

T.S. Eliot wrote a series of poems that later became the musical Cats and one poem is called "The Naming of Cats."

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
...... a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
....... a cat needs a name that's particular,
...... But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.

 

But what is the message to this poem?

Who's to say?

A husband give his name to his wife.

The wife takes her husband's name as her own.

We give the special people in our life 'pet names' and nick-names.

We name our children and we name our pets.

And what does it symbolize?

That they belong to us, that they are special to us.

A Name

When Eve walked among
the animals and named them—
nightingale, redshouldered hawk,
fiddler crab, fallow deer—
I wonder if she ever wanted
them to speak back,

[if she ever] looked into
their wide wonderful eyes and
whispered, Name me, name me.

Maybe this poem is saying,

 

"We all want to be loved and to belong and to be appreciated."

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