Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Will the Shake

That’s how the late great Hoss dubbed the Bard. William Shakespeare really knew how to celebrate nature and his plays are liberally spattered with herbs and flowers and the trees he lived among. In The Shakespearian Gardens Dr Levi Fox names the trees in Shakespeare’s Birthplace garden and the associated quotes. I wish I had read it before visiting them in Stratford some years ago.

Apple Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a squash is

before ‘tis a peascod, or a codling when ‘tis almost an apple

Twelfth Night 1,5

Cedar As upright as the cedar

Love’s Labour’s Lost 1V,3

Cherry Tis as like you – as cherry is to cherry

King Henry V111, V, 1

Hawthorn There’s a man hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies on brambles.

As you like it 111, 2

Medlar They would have married me to a rotten medlar.

Measure for Measure. 1V, 3

Nut Sweetest nut hath sourest rind, such a nut is Rosalind.

As you Like It. 111, 2

Plum The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast, or, being early pluck’d,

is sour to taste.

Venus and Adonis

Oak The worthy fellow is our general; he’s the rock, the oak, not to be


All these trees and more are in The Birthplace Garden. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Garden was quite delightful.

This garden has a world of pleaure in’t. What flower is this?

The Two Noble Kinsmen

Have you got a favourite quote from Shakespeare? It doesn’t have to be related to flowers or trees?

Here’s one I love –

There’s rosemary , that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember…

Hamlet, 1V, 5


AndrewM said...

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

William Shakespeare, "King Richard II", Act 2 scene 1

Pat said...

Andrew.m ah I know it well. Years ago in Paris Monsieur Victor - the proprietier of a hotel I was staying in on the Left Bank used :-
'This precious stone set in the silver sea,' to describe the shoe box of a room he was giving me.
That's when we had to survive on £50 a year for trips abroad. Great fun!

Scarlet Blue said...

It seems that Shakespeare is responsible for many well known phrases such as 'the unkindest cut', 'The green eyed monster', 'a dish fit for the Gods' and many others - [he must have been good if we're still using his words today!], but I do like: 'Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind', because at heart I'm a romantic.

Pat said...

Scarlet: that's new to me - I must see if I can find it. Thanks that's great.
Found it - 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

R. Sherman said...

Henry V's St. Crispen's Day speech to the troops, which is a little to long to post here.


Pat said...

Randall: who could forget the blonde Olivier giving it large in the film?
Mel Gibson eat your heart out!

Queenie said...

When I'm shopping with my Paramour, and I want something he thinks is pointless, I find 'O reason not the need' from King Lear to be a particularly useful phrase.

Pat said...

Queenie: nice one! I'll tuck that away in my useful drawer;)

Eryl Shields said...

I'm rather fond of: 'out vile jelly' myself, even though I don't think jelly is at all vile.

Jimmy Bastard said...

There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face.
Macbeth, 1. 4

Succinct... so true.

Pat said...

Eryl: sounds a bit Lady Macbethish.

Jimmy: that's one of those elusive ones where it immediately makes sense and then mystifies.
Next time we have a drink together you must explain it.

Eryl Shields said...

I think it's from Lear when Gloucester is having his eyes ripped out. Though my memory is like powdered egg.

lom said...

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

Gadjo Dilo said...

There was also a rather less impressive Quince (Peter Quince), who was a Rude Mechanical.

Pat said...

Eryl: it wasn't that bad you know - powdered egg. Add a slice or two of spam and we were well fed - without any adipose tissue.

LOM: you see there you have it: Shakespeare is not my favourite playwright but some of his verses have me drooling.

Pat said...

Gadjo: was that when he was being humorous? I used to find his humour a trifle laboured. More fool me.

angryparsnip said...

I loved my trip to Stratford and the Rosemary quote is one of my favorites along with
" with mirth and laughter let old age wrinkles come "
unfortunately I have way too many wrinkles.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh, I have many....But I think my favorite speech of all is Polonius' to his son, Laertes..starting, "Neither a borrower or a lender be....." And ending with: "This above all, to thine own self be true. And it must follow--as the night the day--Thou canst not then be false to any man"....Truer words were never writ...

I once played The Abyss in "The Comedy Of Errors" and she had a GREAT Line: "The Venom clamours of a jealous woman, poisens more deadly than a mad dog's tooth...!"

I love all the Garden related quotes you gathered, Pat. Most, I was unfamiliar with...

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh, And I forgot this one that I use ALL the time: "Reason Not The Need", which Lear says to his daughter after she tells him that he doesn't need his Army......I once heard a full hours Lecture on this one line by this Shakespearan Professor at USC, Dr, Baxter. I never forgot it.

Pat said...

Naomi: great quotes there.
Re you last quote you chose the same as Queenie - great minds think alike;)

Pat said...

Parsnip: at least as one's eyesight fades they don't seem so obvious. I'm glad I stopped smoking in the seventies or mine would be much worse.