What do you think of when you think of violets? Do you think of fragrance? beauty? or even death?
The purple violets and marigolds
Shall as a carpet hang upon the tomb
While summer days doth last.
Yes this is Shakespeare. Remember him.
Marina is the daughter of Pericles and Thaidsa. She carried violets to the grave of her mother who she believed died during childbirth. Shakespeare often associated violets with death as in Hamlet when he wrote he wished violets sprang from the grave of his sister Ophelia.
I think violets are nice to smell and look at. I am sure he meant that also. but upon reading The Shakespeare Botanical, I was struck by the association of violets and death.