A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

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"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.


In Act II, Scene II [1] of the play, the line is said by Juliet in reference to Romeo's house, Montague which would imply that his name means nothing and they should be together.


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[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Romeo and Juliet on MIT's website
  2. ^ A Rose Hi Any Other Name The Modern World / Umberto Eco
  3. ^ Claire Frederick, Shirley McNeal, Inner strengths 
  4. ^ q:The Simpsons/Season 9
  5. ^ Gunton, Colin, "A Rose by Any Other Name? From 'Christian Doctrine' to 'Systematic Theology'." IJST 1, no. 1 (1999): 4-23.
  6. ^ http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Anne_of_green_gables