Archive for November, 2008

“Weeds”

November 7, 2008

I redid the concordance for plants in Romeo and Juliet this morning (here) and it reminded me of a regret I had with the project. In Shakespeare, the word “weeds” was a word for clothing as well as a word for unwanted vegetation; but, generally, I only made mention of it in my lists when Shakespeare was clearly referring to the latter. This is a shame because there are times when the two meanings are intended to play off each other. Further, clothing and weeds share a negative connotation in the symbolism of Shakespeare’s plays, but in slightly different ways: clothing represents the (often false) outward show of things; while weeds are the chokers of life, youth and the beautiful… It would have been interesting to have gotten a sense for the interplay of these two negative symbols.