Thursday, October 4, 2012

By any other name...

Photo, Dan Ryan

From Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Apparently Shakespeare's reference to a Rose in the 7th line above was also a joke at the expense of the Rose Theatre, a local rival to his Globe Theatre. Supposedly it had—how to put this delicately—less than effective sanitary arrangements. I mean, who didn't back then?  The story goes that this was a sly joke about the awful aroma. Kinda funny!

Above are beautiful, ever blooming but non-fragrant Knockout roses, 
and below are very fragrant beach roses (Rosa Rugosa). Both have their merits.

Photo, Diane Carnevale

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