A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a frequently referenced part of William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her rival's house of Montague, that is, that he is named "Montague." The reference is often used to imply that the names of things do not affect what they really are.
O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.
In popular culture
- Umberto Eco wrote an essay about translations in The Guardian in 1994 titled A Rose by Any Other Name.
- In 1975 country artist Ronnie Milsap released the album A Rose By Any Other Name
- A track by Thomas Newman's song "Any Other Name" was written for the movie American Beauty
- Gertrude Stein's aphorism "Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose" has been contrasted with Shakespeare's.
- Captain James T. Kirk made reference to the quotation in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "By Any Other Name".
- In Disney's The Princess Diaries, character Mia recites this scene from "What's in a name? that which we call a rose/A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" when practicing speeches in princess lessons.
- Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, played by Steve Buscemi, made a reference to the quotation in the first episode of Boardwalk Empire
- In the TV Series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation season 10, episode 16, used vacuum-packed lingerie is sold under the brand "By Any Other Name".
- In the children's science show Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill Nye quotes, "A kilogram by any other name would weigh as much."
- David Tennant used the saying at the end of one of the two Lauren Cooper's sketches during the 2007 edition of Comic Relief, when he turns Lauren into a 5" Rose Tyler action figure, using a sonic screwdriver after Lauren did her "I ain't bovvered" routine in Shakespearean style and recited Sonnet 130.
- In the 2010 horror movie DIEner, the lead character, an unknown serial killer, used the Shakespeare quote in the first scene referring to a waitress name.
- In the Diamond and Pearl series of the Pokémon anime, Team Rocket's motto includes this line.
- The Hyperion sniper rifle Morningstar has a red text description in the game Borderlands 2 that reads "a Rose by any other name"
- "Would a Roshanda by any other name smell as sweet?" is a chapter title in Freakonomics.
- The 2013 movie Now You See Me begins as a trick unfolds using a white rose while someone says "A rose by any other name"
- In The Simpsons episode "The Principal and the Pauper", Bart and Homer point out that this would not be true if they were called "Stench Blossoms" or "Crapweeds"
- Colin Gunton titled an article "A Rose by Any Other Name? From 'Christian Doctrine' to 'Systematic Theology'"
- In L.M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, the main protagonist Anne Shirley remarks that a rose would not be as nice if it were called a thistle or a skunk-cabbage.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Romeo and Juliet on MIT's website
- A Rose Hi Any Other Name The Modern World / Umberto Eco
- Claire Frederick, Shirley McNeal, Inner strengths
- q:The Simpsons/Season 9
- Gunton, Colin, "A Rose by Any Other Name? From 'Christian Doctrine' to 'Systematic Theology'." IJST 1, no. 1 (1999): 4-23.