A Rose by any other name

There’s a line in a Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet says, ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.’ Well, she’s talking about the Capulets and the Montagues, and what difference does it make that our names are like this; it shouldn’t cause conflict. But the real reference was to a theatre that was on the Thames; along with The Globe, there was a theatre called The Rose, and The Rose was next to a set of public toilets, which was a long line of benches with holes in them that people could just go to and relieve themselves on the banks of The Thames. And, of course, that raw sewage would wash up onto the shores of The Thames right next to The Rose.

Even going back just to Elizabethan times, you would find yourself in a shockingly, shockingly abusive, abrasive and dirty world. Remember, they used to wear rabbit skins as cloaks around their garments because they couldn’t wash the wool they made their clothes with because it would shrink. So they would clean it with urine sometimes, but it would become lice-infested. They would put rabbit skins to attract the lice and then shake the lice out of their windows onto the streets, where they also threw their garbage and sewage, by the way. It’s a much better place than it was then, and you know, kids who live in relative comfort today in America don’t have that context.

Mark Pellegrino, The Daily Objective 306
Extract starts at 21:45