As Shakespeare’s Juliet once asked, ‘What’s in a name?’ ‘[T]hat which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet’ (2.2.43– 44). Yet names function as symbolic markers of both personal and social identity, as the following character case studies reveal.
In The Taming of the Shrew (c. 1595), when Petruchio uses the shortened form ‘Kate’ at their first meeting, Katherine (or Katherina) immediately notices the unwarranted intimacy of this act from a complete stranger: ‘They call me Katherine that do talk of me’ (2.2.183). His gaslighting begins with a denial of Katherine’s right to define herself:
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