04 Roses in Literature (Shakespeare)

180225 Shakespeare Rose 04

The Two Noble Kinsmen

‘The Two Noble Kinsmen’ by John Fletcher and William Shakespeare is said to be based on Chaucer’s ‘Knight’s Tale’. Classed as one of Shakespeare’s tragi-comedies. It is believed to have first appeared in print in 1634.

It is the romantic tale of ‘two noblemen’ Palamon and Arcite who are the closest of friends until they see Emilia and each fall passionately in love with her, afterwards becoming bitter rivals.

Act 2 Scene 2 Line 135

Emilia (to her Woman): Of all flowers,
Methinks a rose is best.

Woman: Why, gentle madam?

Emilia: It is the very emblem of a maid.
For when the west wind courts her gently
How modestly she blows, and paints the sun
With her chaste blushes! When the north comes near her,
Rude and impatient, then, like chastity,
She locks her beauties in her bud again,
And leaves him to base briars.

Emilia is strolling with her woman in the garden when Palamon spots her and falls silent. I found a wonderful audio sample of the conversation between the two friends shortly after Emilia speaks about the rose.

The Two Noble Kinsmen Audio Sample

RSC trailer from 2016

I also discovered a wonderful modern version of the play by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) by Blanche McIntyre 2016. Take a peek at the trailer.

Well I hope you enjoyed this preview of one of the lesser known of Shakespeare’s plays. Check out the video plot on the RSC page, I would love to know your views on the modern day play. It certainly is a twist in the tale.

Thank You for visiting



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