Sir John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1851-52, oil on canvas, 762 x 111.8 cm (Tate Britain, London)
Unless you've been living under a rock the past week or so, you'll know that this year is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Lots has been said on his underlying influence on the modern day, whether it be our language or our style (some claim he was the original hipster!).
For me though, I'm fascinated by his influence on something else, something that we probably don't give much thought to - baby names. The great bard created some of the most discussed literary characters of all time and their influence has spread from the page into our lives. Despite not being a particularity well read in Shakespeare I've always loved the name Ophelia, from his play Hamlet. But do you have to be an avid fan of his works to so obviously chose the name of one of his characters for your child? Is it all a bit pompous or at worse tacky...
Here are our favourite names inspired by the works of England's most famous play write: Girls Audrey - As You Like it Bianca - The Taming of the Shrew Cordelia - King Lear Iris - The Tempest Juliet - Romeo and Juliet Juno - The Tempest Octavia - Anthony and Cleopatra Ophelia - Hamlet Silvia - The Two Gentlemen of Verona Viola - Twelfth Night
Boys Albany - King Lear Arthur - King John Fabian - Twelfth Night Fenton - Merry Wives of Windsor Griffith - Henry VIII Hector - Troilus and Cressida Lennox - Macbeth Lysander - Midsummer Nights Dream Orlando - As You Like It Valentine - Twelfth Night