Shakespeares Pflanzenwelt (Programme 2021)

Vortrag Dr. Stefan Schneckenburger

Shakespeares Pflanzenwelt
Foto: Christoph Krey


  • Saturday, June 26, 2021, 15:30h –
  • Sunday, June 27, 2021, 11:00h –


“Hot lavender, mints, savory, majoram,

The marigold, that goes to bed wi’th sun,

And with him rises, weeping. These are flowers

Of middle summer…”

(William Shakespeare The Winter’s Tale, IV)

William Shakespeare mentioned some 120 different species of plants in his plays. It seems that Shakespeare and his audience had a remarkably good knowledge of flora. Otherwise, his often quite specific and pithy use of plants and gardening details would clearly have been in vain. Shakespeare “decorated” the nearly empty stage of his time in the heads of his audience with imaginary plants, he illustrated dynasties using the concept of pruning and used plant-based objects to colourfully illustrate his exuberant, often salacious wordplays. In general, plants are not used casually in order to merely decorate, but are instead used quite specifically: As “scenery consisting of words”, they called up precise images of sceneries and landscapes in the minds of the Elizabethan theater audiences. The “fairy hill” in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with its fragrant honeysuckle, violets and thyme is nearly proverbial. While not all of the messages conveyed through plants are still comprehensible today, the symbolism of many of the images can still be understood in our present time.

The director and director of science at the botanical garden in Darmstadt recognized Shakespeare authority Dr. Stefan Schneckenburger will provide insight into the world of plants in Shakespeare’s texts over the course of a lecture. In doing so, he will place a special focus on Shakespeare’s play “The Winter’s Tale”, a production of which by the breme shakespeare compagnie can be seen on the same weekend.

In German.

Duration: ca. 75 minutes