“There’s rosemary (1), that’s remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there is pansies (2), that’s for thoughts…There’s fennel (3) for you, and culumbines (4); there’s rue (5) for you and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays (5). O, you must wear your rue (5) with difference. There’s a daisy (6). I would give you some violets (7), but they wither’d all when my father died” (Act 4, Scene 5, lines 180-181, 183-187).
(1)Rosemary means remembrance. (2) Pansies mean thoughts. (3) Fennel has two meanings, (a) worthy of all praise, and (b) strength. (4) Culumbines means folly. (5) Rue is also known as herb of grace o’ Sundays, but only has one meaning, distain. (6) Daisy has two different meanings, (a) innocence or (b) false promises of love. (7) Violet has several different meanings depending upon the type and its color, (a) blue meaning faithfulness, (b) dame meaning watchfulness (c) Sweet meaning Modesty an...
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...is may be the only translation that we have of these flowers, but they can be read in different ways. I have included all to show the possible entire meaning of these small passages from Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. It is up to the reader to interpret the flowers as they will and perhaps one day there will be a true translation.
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