What’s in a name: that which we call a Porpentine by any other name would smell as musky…

Some quick hits on names in the play:

Antipholus is from Greek words meaning “opposed in balance”… so alike and equal that if you put them at opposite ends of a balance scale, it would tip in neither direction  (according to Asimov).

Dromio is from a Greek work meaning “racecourse”… and their masters certainly have them racing through the streets of Ephesus during the course of the play  (again according to Asimov).

Adriana has its root in “Hadria,” a city in northern Italy.

Luciana is “light” or “illumination” in Italian.

Emelia means “industrious” in Italian.

Egeon… I couldn’t find.

As for place/business names:

AS/DS’s hotel is the Centaur, a mythical man/horse mix (not a bad symbol for the confusion that the boys from Syracuse feel).

AE/DE’s home is at the Phoenix, a mythical bird that lives for 500 years then burns itself, only to rise from its own ashes (AE/DE rise from the ashes of AS/DS’s life history, perhaps?).

The courtesan’s home is at the Porpentine, another spelling of “porcupine.”  Of the three locations, this is the only real animal.  Is Shakespeare saying something about the courtesan (or her profession) being part of the ugly–or in this case, PRICK-ly (sorry for the pun)–side of real life?  Or is it just an animal which happens to have three syllables that scan right for the meter?

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