While on my daily walk along the river towards Sunningdale, I noticed a newly erected sign, informing the locals, and perhaps tourists, of the origins of that lovely section of our fair city.
I noted with some amusement and a modicum of consternation one particular sentence: that some of the streets had been named after “wives of Shakespearean characters.” Really???
These streets are named after fictional females in Shakespearean plays; these females are characters in their own right, possessors of fierce and sometimes fearful intelligence, wit, cunning and an array of the usual (human) attributes.
As well, most of them are not wives (Regan being one notable exception), but become wives, or prospective brides of male characters.
Many of these wonderfully drawn female characters are the main axis around which the plays revolve, and the person or persons who decided that some of the Sunningdale streets should be named in their honour, obviously knew that.
The wording of the sign however, gives the impression that these characters are secondary appendages, that is: merely wives.
Had some of the streets been named after the male characters, surely we would not refer to them as “husbands of Shakespearean characters?”