Character Names – Demetrius and Charmian

“Since my lord is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra,” (Act 3, scene 11) says the famous Queen of Egypt in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. I recently finished reading this play, and while reading it, I discovered some pretty cool names I wouldn’t mind using in my own writing. After all, if they’re good enough for Shakespeare, they’re good enough for me! Feel free to use these names, but remember Shakespeare did have them first. 😉

Demetrius is a boy’s name. It’s a Greek name that means “follower of Demeter.” Demeter was the Greek goddess of crops. Shakespeare must have liked this name because he used it in three plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as the name of one of the four main lovers, Titus Andronicus, as the bad guy, and finally, Antony and Cleopatra, as a minor character and a friend to Antony. Demetrius is also in the Bible as the name of the man who sold idols of the goddess Diana in Acts 19. Another Demetrius is mentioned in 3 John 12. “Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself.”

Charmian is a girl’s name. It’s either pronounced “CHAR-mee-an” or “SHAR-mee-an” according to Charmian is Greek and means “joy.” Its most famous bearer was Shakespeare’s Charmian, attendant to Queen Cleopatra. Charmian was faithful to Cleopatra until the end, dying at her side, bitten by an asp. Shakespeare himself found the name in Plutarch’s Parallel. Charmian Carr is the name of the actress who played Liesl, the oldest von Trapp daughter, in The Sound of Music.

I think both names would work fine in any genre.

What do you think of these names? Would you use them for your characters? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Kayla


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