My name, Regan, is quite unique but without being really out-there like some of the names – especially ones that celebrities seem to give their kids these days. Kim Kardashian, I’m looking at you! It’s nice to be the only person I know with my name. Like, there’s two Chloe’s and three James’ in my class so you’ve got to be really specific which one you’re meaning (Chloe H, or blond James or football James), but when people say Regan, everyone knows they mean me.
It’s even got quite a cool story behind why my mum and Jade Rachel called me Regan. Originally, I was going to be called Aimee (or Connor, if I was a boy) which means beloved. But my mum had been reading King Lear just before she went into labour and fell in love with the name. I’m glad I’m not named for Goneril, Regan’s older sister – and wouldn’t have minded Cordelia, the younger one either.
Regan, in King Lear, is not a very nice character though. She’s the middle child of Lear, married to the Duke Of Cornwall. She and her sister Goneril are both in love with Edmund, both eager for power and even convince their father to hand over his land using false flattery. Then both of the girls reject him when he wants to live with them and Regan drives him out into the storm. Goneril then poisons Regan when she finds out Regan’s in love with Edmund. I think my favourite quote about Regan is by Stanley Cavell “[S]he has no ideas of her own, her special vileness is always to increase the measure of pain that others are prepared to inflict; her mind itself is a lynch mob.” 1
I don’t just happen to randomly know all these facts – I read the play and did some research after finding out why I was called Regan. I’m a bit of a geek like that. And you know what else I found out? Shakespeare’s kinda cool. I love how poetically he wrote and he told some really good stories – stories that are still relevant today which in a way sucks that humans haven’t changed much in the last few hundred years, but at the same time shows that people will always be people.
I took a break from writing essays for school and feel like I’ve just written an essay on my blog instead!
1 Cavell, Stanley. The Avoidance of Love. Must We Mean What We Say?. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1976