Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|GR: flower meanings
Written by Barbara
(5/19/2003 11:33 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Flower messages, penned by Cheryl
] There are so many flowers and herbs mentioned, especially in Ophelia's mad speech. She says rosemary is for remembrance, pansies for thoughts, both of which make a kind of sense with what she's gone through, but what do the others mean? Is there any significance to fennel and columbines, etc?
] I do know that the meanings attributed to flowers have changed over time
I have a book with traditional flower meanings in it. It has one flower for each day of the year, plus a verse to go with the meaning, many of which are drawn from Shakespeare and his contemporaries like Jonson, etc. These meanings go back at least to early Victorian times, but I don't know if they would have changed between Shakespeare's time and then.
There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue
for you; and here's some for me: we may call it
herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with
a difference. There's a daisy:
Anyhow, in my book, columbine represents 'resolution' and fennel is for 'strength'. Daisies have several meanings, but wild daisies in particular are for 'indecision'.
My book doesn't have rue in it, but I found this online article that talks about many of its meanings and uses. It supposedly fends off witchcraft and evil and was also used to sprinkle holy water. It also is supposed to make other herbs noxious or poisonous if it is planted near them.
Here's another site with lots of flower meanings. You have to click on the alphabet letters to read about them. Interestingly, here it gives the meaning for columbine as 'foolishness' (because it looks like a jester's cap)
Hamlet Group Read is maintained by Laraine with WebBBS 3.21.