In the garden of Shakespeare

5 Jun

Roses are red, violets are blue, cashew are nuts, and so are you… But no worries, it’s not a bad thing to be nuts, and when it comes to artists, they all are. I think Walter Crane might have been nuts, too. But he was a genius, and his works are amazing.
Do we know what kind of flowers Shakespeare had in his garden? Roses, or maybe violets? Who knows, his own garden withered a long time ago, but we still ‘have’ the flowers he used in his plays. Clearly it would have been too easy for mr Crane to paint just an ordinary Shakespeare’s garden, why do that when you can change the flowers into human beings! The beautiful illustrations by Crane were inspired by the motif of flowers in Shakespeare’s works and present the personification of certain flowers and herbs, but the plants are there, too. The pictures are just wonderful: magical, colourful. And the gorgeous figures peep out from the illustrations…
I’ve been looking through the pictures over and over again and I think I need to read all the plays once again… I don’t think I noticed any of these plants! And there are quite a lot of them: holly, daffodil, violet, primrose, lily, lavender, mint, rosemary, pansy, columbine, thyme, wheat, rye, barley, strawberry, nettle, hawthorne bush, blackberry… I’m getting lost in all these names. All the pictures gathered together – it seems like quite a big collection, no wonder a whole book was made. And it’s a book that you can skim millions of times and never be bored. Crane made the Shakespearean world seem even more enchanting, he made all the symbols of the flowers and herbs unite in a story that is like a fairytale.

But that’s not everything yet, there’s more! It is widely known that Shakespeare is just everywhere, influencing and inspiring people. So when we leave the illustrated book at home, we can go to a real Shakespeare’s garden. In such a garden, walking around is just like wandering along the paths of your favourite plays, guessing which plant comes from what play. And I guess it is not surprising at all: Shakespeare’s gardens are known as a perfect place for a rendezvous or even a wedding ceremony… After all, Shakespeare’s magic makes love bloom!

One Response to “In the garden of Shakespeare”

  1. discoverfineacting June 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Gorgeous – thank you!

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