Prof. Dr. Fee-Alexandra Haase: ´Transfer of information and hetorical figuration - Limits of speech communication.
The metaphoric use of the rose as a metaphor is only useful for successful communication, if
communicators use the word with the same connotation or can identify the connotation. In
Shakespeare King Henry VI (part II) such a common use of a metaphor is given. The speakers use
the metaphor "Rose of England" (act 1, scene 1):
YORK Then, York, be still awhile, till time do serve:
Watch thou and wake when others be asleep,
To pry into the secrets of the state;
Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love,
With his new bride and England"s dear-bought queen,
And Humphrey with the peers be fall"n at jars:
Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed;
And in my standard bear the arms of York
To grapple with the house of Lancaster;
And, force perforce, I"ll make him yield the crown,
Whose bookish rule hath pull"d fair England down.
Richard says that he annot wait until the white rose has been dyed (King Henry VI, part II, act 1,
Within whose circuit is Elysium
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why do we finger thus? I cannot rest
Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry"s heart.
King Henry mentions the ed and white rose (King Henry VI, part II, act 2, scene 5) as symbols of the
"striving houses" of England"s monarchy:
Woe above woe! grief more than common grief!
O that my death would stay these ruthful deeds!
O pity, pity, gentle heaven, pity!
The red rose and the white are on his face,
The fatal colours of our striving houses:
The one his purple blood right well resembles;
The other his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth:
Wither one rose, and let the other flourish;
If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.
In Shakespeare"s play the speakers communicate with a common metaphor. In other words, personal
speech quality of the individual style of one speaker and social group speech quality of the group style
or the time and époque are the same and guarantee the speech quality of the dialogue. In Timon of
Athens (Timon of Athens, act 4, scene 3) and Antony and Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra, act 3,
scene 13) "the rose" is connotated with femininity and youth:
TIMON Be a whore still: they love thee not that use thee;
Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust.
Make use of thy salt hours: season the slaves
For tubs and baths; bring down rose-cheeked youth
To the tub-fast and the diet.
To him again: tell him he wears the rose
Of youth upon him; from which the world should note
Something particular: his coin, ships, legions,
May be a coward"s; whose ministers would prevail
Under the service of a child as soon
As i" the command of Caesar: I dare him therefore
To lay his gay comparisons apart,
And answer me declined, sword against sword,
Ourselves alone. I"ll write it: follow me.