Shakespeare on Salad Days and Inexperience

My salad days when I was green in judgment“Those were my salad days,
When I was green in judgement.”

(Antony and Cleopatra, act 1, sc. 5)

Tips for Use.   Unless you are really old you can often attribute your errors to inexperience and get away with it. Though for many the salad days extend far longer than when the days were salad. A good answer during a job interview to justify some not very justifiable aspects of your background (as they may apply). Lettuce, the paramount ingredient of a salad was considered an anti-aphrodisiac while retaining other qualities as a potent medicine. In his XVth century book “Honest Pleasures and Good Health”, Platina relates how the Roman Emperor Augustus was healed from a threatening illness by eating exclusively salads. “Nor this should cause any surprise – he writes – because lettuce helps digestion and creates good blood more than any other vegetable.” The two views on the effects of salads seem contradictory. But equally conflicting views are held today on various diets. Especially noteworthy, for example, is coffee, condemned as poison by some and hailed as a cancer-fighter by others.

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In the play.  Cleopatra, in conversation with her attendant Charmian undertakes a partial examination of her somewhat turbulent younger years.

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