… that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet…
On this point I would disagree with Juliet. If, rather than ‘rose’ the flower were called, say, ‘globularia’, the perfume would be the same, but the overall effect wouldn’t. For in ‘rose’ the initial ‘r’ trembles softly on the palate while being uttered, unconsciously suggesting the presence, in the rose, of the mysterious power of beauty, which “doth of itself persuade the eyes of men without an orator” (1)
Equally, Juliet’s longing expressed in the line, “O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou?” (2) would lose much of its pathos, if instead of a Romeo he had been a Caruthers, or similar other name.
To trigger these remarkably idle thoughts was the news, barely mentioned in the mainstream media, of the renewed hostilities between Azerbaijan and the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, to which I will return later. Continue reading