Esmeralda Illustration Image picture

19th century Illustration of Esmeralda

La Esmeralda’s name rather simply means Emerald in Spanish. Emerald in it of itself  originated from the Greek smaragdos meaning “green gem.”  In the book, Esmeralda’s name is an alias, she knows it’s not her real name but she thinks it’s pretty because  of it’s uniqueness. The reason she is known as La Esmeralda in the book is because of a green silk bag she wears around her neck that has a green glass gem on it that looks like an emerald. This bag is were she keeps her protective talisman, her baby shoe. Esmeralda could also have a connection to The Emerald Tablet, which is a hermetic Alchemist text. Frollo practiced hermetic.

Esmeralda’s true given name is Agnès.  Agnès means pure. Purity is an important facet of Esmeralda’s character as Phoebus is attracted to her innocence and Frollo is comforted by her purity. Agnès also is associated with lambs. This because it was the emblem  of Saint Agnes, who was young Roman virgin martyr. Lambs also the connotation for being sacrificial as well as being a tile for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John.

It is interesting to point out, that her green silk pouch, which her name Esmeralda comes from, protects her purity or her true name. The pouch also safeguards her only link to her true name, her baby shoe.