. . . Smell as sweet? Or smell like feet? If we called roses “feet,” wouldn’t they carry an eau du stocking? In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet’s reasoning is flawed when she claims that a rose would be sweet no matter the name. Granted, her point is that she would love Romeo even if he were named Hubert, for example, but roses are called roses for a reason. The same is true of all types of flowers. Names of flowers don’t just happen by accident. They come from somewhere. In the case of roses, delving far back enough leads to the name coming from war, wurtinnu, rhodon, and rosa before finally landing at rose. So could a rose be called anything else? Sure—but for the last several thousand years, it hasn’t!
While all flower types require a unique moniker, few people actually come to understand the significance of flower names, colors, and meanings. Behind each flower is a long history. Juliet’s desire to mess with the very root of what distinguishes flower types from each other certainly rocked the world in fair Verona. Well—maybe the feud and suicides did that, but for our purposes, we’ll focus on the flowers. It is in and around the flowers, after all, that the love began to blossom.
So far as Romeo was concerned, though, Juliet could have gone through any types of flowers and he would have been content to burn with desire below her balcony. There’s another thing about flowers from the play—he sneaked into the garden to listen. There, surrounded by manicured foliage, the romantic Romeo hunched down beneath the gaze of the silver moon to cock an ear to the mellifluous voice above. To him, whatever flower types she spoke of, all would have referred to him. Her words were for him; her thoughts were for him; her desires were bent on learning more of the mysterious, handsome man who had been in her life so briefly that night. He waited and listened.
And so she spoke of roses. Their sweet smell—sweeter than any other types of flowers’—and their name (and we’ve spoken of flower names, and the little fallacy that we can overlook). As she spoke, Romeo could not contain himself. He jumped from behind a bush and interrupted. Now he professed his undying love—yes, he had professed it in a whisper under gaze of the moon, but now he spoke with Juliet. He craved her presence. Juliet, the names of flowers forgotten, saw he who had brought on her desire. Her excitement was tempered only by her hesitation—and the voice of her guardian from within—and so there came a pause. Romeo left, but the play ensued, and love was won and lost.
By another name, would a rose really still smell as sweet? Perhaps. For names of flowers, “rose” has stuck with roses, “daisy” with daisies, and so on and so forth ad infinitum. Still, flowers connote love; they inspire passion; and they certainly make the meaning of many an amorous metaphor. Forget the feet, then. A rose smells sweet—and it smells sweet because of the scent of love.
This information brought to you with zest and fun by www.Flower-Dictionary.com, your resource for all types of flowers and flower names.