A Bed of Roses

‘A Bed of Roses’ Meaning

“A bed of roses” means an easy and comfortable situation in which a person likes to live. In modern language, it is a metaphor for one’s “comfort zone” from which he does not want to get out. It is also stated to be an easy situation in which a person finds himself comfortable. Rose gives an impression of a soft path and luxury. Hence, it means a person is sitting or sleeping on a cozy floor.

The phrase, “a bed of roses” is an idiom. It is often considered a synonym of enjoyment, agreeable, pleasant or comfortable. Despite having positivity in the meanings, the phrase is often used as ‘Life is not a bed of roses’ which is a reminder not to get used to comfort.

Origin of “A Bed of Roses”

According to Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, this phrase is originated from a French literature ‘Le Roman de la Rose’ in the 13th century. It means a bed of roses. The lover in the poem dreams of touring a garden where he finds a bed of roses near a fountain. Later, it was used by Christopher Marlow in his poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” published in 1599 after his death.

“And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;”

Use of “A Bed of Roses” in Literature

Example #1

Bed Of Roses by Emelita C. Smith

“Love is a bed of roses
Roses are pretty but as we know it’s thorny
Such as marriage is beautiful
It is the union of two souls.”

There is a stanza in this poem where the phrase “bed of roses” has been used with the explanation of how roses are good as well as bad. It states that though loves is a bed of roses, sometimes roses have thorns with them. However, when such a marriage of two lovers takes place, it becomes a union of two souls where love is a “bed of roses.” Here the phrase “bed of roses” means pure love, intimacy, luxury, and peace.

Example #2

Bed Of Roses by Bon Jovi

“I wanna lay you down in a bed of roses,
For tonight I’ll sleep on a bed of nails.
Oh, I wanna be just as close as the Holy Ghost is,
And lay you down on a bed of roses.”

Bon Jovi has used the phrase “a bed of roses” in the very first line of this song. However, it has been set in contrast to “a bed of nails” which has stressed on a different meaning. The lines perhaps tell about the sacrifice of the speaker who is willing to sleep on the bed of nails to allow the listener to sleep on the bed of roses. It also means the speaker wants to provide all the comfort to his love.

Example #3

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

This novel highlights the pre-wedding of a florist Emma Grant and Jack Cooke who are in love with each other after long conversations. They find their life as a “bed of roses.” The title of the novel applies to the life of the couple as they enjoy life for some time before facing challenges. The phrase “bed of roses” literally illustrates their blissful life among the family members. The meanings of “a bed of roses” dawns upon the readers on account of Emma and her husband, Jack’s loyalty to her and the group in general.

Examples in Sentences as Literary Devices

Example #1: It is used as a metaphor for life such as “Life as a bed is not a bed of roses.” In this sentence, it has been used in a negative sense and is almost always used in this sense when it is associated with life and when someone becomes overconfident.

Example #2: It can be used as a simile. For example, “For the English royals, life is like a bed of roses.” Here it has been used in a positive sense and is associated with luxury and extreme comfort.

Example #3: The life of a professional person is not a bed of roses, as he has to work hard to stay updated about his professional skills constantly.

Example #4: This phrase could also be used as an image with hyphens such as “Life is a-bed-of-roses may not be a correct picture of life. It could be a thorn for a poor man.” The use of this phrase in the example with hyphens is meant to state is a single meaning.

Example#5: This phrase could be used as a paradox. “A bed of roses or thorns; life can be changed if a person resolves.” Here the first part of the sentence has been changed into a figure of speech called a paradox. “Where there is a rose, there is a thorn” is a popular paradox. Therefore, this phrase or idiom can be changed to such paradoxes to illustrate meanings further.