Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love potion flower

“Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell: It fell upon a little western flower, Before, milk-white, now purple with love's wound, And maidens call it love-in-idleness."

Roses may be the traditional Valentine’s Day offering but the purple petals used by Puck to cast spoonie-eyed, moonie-pied love spells in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” came from a very different flower. "Love-in-idleness" is an Old World name for pansy.


Karen said...

Just wondering. Any sort of truth behind the idea of pansies being a love potion or is this just Shakespeare's imagination? Any folk tales about the prowess of pansies? Any other plants with seductive properties out in the garden?

--curious about plants.

Stephen Lyn Bales said...

Although I have pansies growing in my yard, I have not tested Shakespeare’s love potion myself. Its consequences could be risky. Ask Puck.

Tristan and Isolde from Wagner’s opera of the same name, accidentally took a love potion and shortly after swallowing the concoction, the protagonists declared their undying love for each other. Afterwards, neither faired very well. Like I said “risky business.”

K. L. Christianson said...

After studying the text, the Royal Society of Chemistry concluded that the basis of the elixir was a wild pansy, known as heart's ease.

And the real question is what is the herb that Tisby is talking about in addition to it

Stephen Lyn Bales said...

Yes, and I have no idea. Do you?