A Reader’s Request: The Herbs of Shakespeare, Act Two

| 2/9/2012 10:07:00 PM

Because there were so many herbal references in William Shakespeare's work, and I do tend to get carried away with herbs, I split my blog post about it into two acts. So now I can you the maximum benefit of Shakespeare’s flowers. Here are additional favorites, including the 2012 Herb of the Year, the rose, and an herb that might not be familiar to you. Click here to read Act 1.

The Apothecarys Rose Blooming in Early June 

Rose: Romeo and Juliet (Act 2, Scene 2) 

“What’s in a name? That which we call a roseBy any other name would smell as sweet.” 

Juliet is on the balcony talking out aloud but unaware of Romeo’s presence. This is a famous passage from this tragic love story about the importance of a name. Shakespeare speaks of the rose most frequently in his plays. He would have known that the dew from the rose petals was highly prized for the making of cosmetics for an Elizabethan lady. The rose is the 2012 herb of the year.  In Elizabethan times, there would have been Provençal or cabbage rose and Lancaster and York rose, a damask rose that is both red and white among others. The Tudor rose was the heraldic floral emblem of England.