Hamlet
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There is a theory that Hamlet is actually Telemah, if you put out one e and spell it backwards.
-- eeevil_cookie  2/22/2005
Despite the enduring image of a snivelling, incompetent prince, I think this name is darling and humble.
-- Arrows  11/22/2005
Sniveling and incompetent? Hamlet was a passionate man determined to avenge his father's foul and most unnatural murder, as in the best it is, but this murder most foul. Hamlet's uncle, King Claudius, stole upon his own brother in his secure hour in which he was wont to sleep in his orchard with juice of accursed hebona in a vial and in the porches of his ears did pour the leperous distilment; thus was he sleeping, by a brother's hand, of life, of crown, of queen at once dispatched. Thus I say again, murder most foul, and though I don't agree with what Hamlet did, he was certainly not a "sniveling and incompetent prince" but a masterful man who would avenge his father's death.
-- Arowen Half-Elven  1/1/2006
Shakespeare's only son was called Hamnet (which also has an entry on BtN), but a biography I read recently speculated that the name would have been pronounced "Hamlet" in Elizabethan times. So this name was clearly very emotionally charged for Shakespeare, considering that the son died in infancy -- and this was before he began to pen the play.
-- H Gravy  7/8/2006
Shakespeare's son Hamnet died at age 11, by which time Shakespeare had penned the play 'Hamlet'.
-- Anonymous User  10/31/2006
Hamnet Shakespeare actually died in 1596, and the play was written AFTER this, circa 1601.
-- Anonymous User  7/9/2007
Hamlet was based on the Danish saga of Amleth, written down in the 12th century by Saxo Grammaticus. Amleth means "fool, foolish, dull".
-- Laurea  1/11/2007
I love the name Hamlet, the play, and the prince. The book Ophelia by Lisa Klein, which is the story of Shakespeare's told from Ophelia's point of view, made me fall in love with this name. I think it is a strong name, and I love its deep Shakespearean roots.
-- Elira  8/20/2008
As obsessed with "Hamlet" as I am, I may well have children some day named Hamlet and Ophelia - if not as their first names, then definitely as middle names!
-- Sophannagh  11/2/2008
I don't think Hamlet is a very good name for a person. It just sounds strange as something to regularly call someone. And if you said, "Hi, my name is Hamlet", you might eventually run into someone who would say, "To be or not to be, that is the question!" (or something weird like that). My mother and I think that Hamlet is a cute name for a hamster, however.
-- Pippin  3/9/2009
A hamlet is also a little village or group of houses.
-- Anonymous User  8/19/2009
Not strictly name related, but I just thought I'd mention that, to me at least, Hamlet is neither 'snivelling and incompetent' nor a 'masterful man who would avenge his father's death'. I think it's pretty universally accepted that Hamlet is not masterful, and procrastinates his revenge for most of the play in a state of indecision. However, while an embodiment of the Elizabethan cult of melancholy, I've never found him snivelling; when acted well anyway. With Shakespeare's touch, his internal struggle and his deep depression make him deeply flawed and human, but also a character who I think the audience can feel deep sympathy for and attachment to. Considering the situation he's in especially, I think it would make a pretty unrealistic and unrelateable character who could enact revenge immediately and with no doubts or troubles, as well as a very short play. Hamlet isn't like the usual revenger from the Elizabethan stage, with the amount of doubts he suffers, but this makes him unique and endearing; as well as reflecting the complexities of Shakespeare's attitudes to revenge in his plays, shown also in Romeo and Juliet when we see revenge as something futile and destructive.
-- sjm1789  6/26/2010
Also used in Armenia. [noted -ed]
-- mymymetrocard  2/20/2015
Hägar and Helga's son in the American comic strip 'Hägar the Horrible'.
-- Feorsteorra  12/23/2016
Hamlet Mkhitaryan was a Soviet and Armenian football player who played striker for the Armenian national team and played most of his club career for Armenian Premier League club Ararat Yerevan and CFA 2 club ASOA Valence.

Mkhitaryan was one of the biggest stars of Ararat Yerevan in the Soviet Top League during the 1980s, scoring 46 goals for the club, and played for ASOA Valence during the peak of the team in Ligue 2. He is the father of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a current Armenian international footballer.
-- lilolaf  1/25/2017
In Armenian we pronounce it as Ham-LET.
-- Anyu Anima  2/3/2017
In response to H. Gravy:

Hamnet Shakespeare was not named after a play or character. He was, in fact, named after his godfather Hamnet Sadler. Sometimes the name Hamnet was seen used interchangeably with the name Hamlet in medieval times and several instances are found in documents. https://books.google.com/books?id=DiJAAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=abuse-not+puritan&source=bl&ots=RTCMOXO4W9&sig=WvrJuI_52Cv0Q1NUraiyE-6rr_k&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjIorLqi8_VAhUoh1QKHYM8COcQ6AEIUzAH#v=onepage&q=abuse-not%20puritan&f=false.
-- LMS  8/12/2017

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