Red Apple Symbolism & Meaning

Red Apple Symbolism & Meaning

The red apple is arguably the most symbolic fruit, with its symbolism dating back to biblical times and being told in differing variations across mythologies and religions.

The red apple is considered to be a token of love and appreciation, as well as fertility and abundance. The red apple has been used in ceremonies and superstitions for hundreds of years.

The red apple is also heavily symbolic of sin, as well as the balance of good and evil thanks to its association to the Christian bible in the story of Adam and Eve.

Red Apple Symbolism

1. Love and Appreciation

Apple

Since ancient times the red apple has been considered a token of love. The old phrase “the apple of my eye” is used to explain an object of deep love or affection, and was in the bible, in Shakespeare and many other Old English texts.

The phrase is still commonly used today, showing the symbolism has stood the test of time:

  • Celtic mythology uses the red apple as a symbol of love and encourages single people to sleep with multiple red apples under their bed to promote dreams of their future spouse.
  • Old English culturestates that if you peel an apple and throw the peel over your shoulder it will fall into the shape of your true love’s initials.
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans used to believe that apples promoted love and abundance in a relationship and would eat an apple on their wedding night to ensure feelings of love, lust and happiness in the marriage.

Many people today still associate the red apple as a sign of affection and love, with teachers commonly being gifted an apple by students they’ve helped, and red apples being sold at a high rate on Valentine’s Day.

2. Banishment from Paradise

apple and orange

The red apple is highly symbolic in religious texts, to the point that its original name in Latin translated to “evil” thanks to the story of Adam and Eve. Apples date back to ancient times and have always been considered a symbolic fruit.

The most well-known symbolism associated with the red apple is the Christian story of Adam and Eve. God created the Garden of Eden as the perfect sanctuary for the first two humans, Adam and Eve.

The only rule was not to eat the fruit from the forbidden apple tree. This tree represented temptation. When the serpent came to Eve and convinced her to give in to the temptation, she along with the serpent and Adam were banished from the garden. This is highly considered to be the first betrayal of God, and the banishment from the paradise is symbolic to giving into temptation.

3. Knowledge

Apple

A red apple is often gifted to teachers as a token of appreciation for the knowledge imparted to their students.

This tradition began in Denmark in the 1700’s and has continued into the twenty-first century. They have been considered a symbol of knowledge, education and enrichment for hundreds of years and is often used in stories, artwork and literature, particularly in Old English works.

4. Good and Evil

Apple

The red apple has been used for its symbolism in many pop culture references, as well as many religious sacred texts, representing the battle of good and evil.

A commonly known version of this is in the Disney film, Snow White. The witch offers Snow White a poisoned apple, which she eats and soon falls into a deep sleep. This is a sign of temptation and shows the stark difference between the “good’ Snow White and “evil” witch.

Another example of the apple’s symbolism is seen in many religious texts, in which taken an apple is a sign of sin, greed or disobeying orders. Eve took the apple from the garden of Eden.

Other stories tell of the red apple coming from the Tree of Life, with people stealing the fruit with the hopes of immortality. The red apple is something which has long been used to explain the human desire for more and explain the delicate moral balance between good and evil.

5. Fertility and Passion

Apple

Despite being associated with sin or the balance of good and evil, the apple’s other symbolic meaning of love is also closely linked with that of fertility.

Many of the previously mentioned cultures believed in their mythology to consume apples to promote fertility. The ripening of an apple has been considered to by a symbol of a woman’s fertility and pregnancies, with the way an apple tree grows fruits being associated with a woman’s nine-month pregnancy.

Many cultures would offer pregnant women apples to help them to stay strong and healthy throughout their entire pregnancy. They were also offered during childbirth to provide energy to the mother’s during the process.

In Greek mythology the Goddess Hera received an apple during her engagement to Zeus, to promote fertility and abundance throughout their marriage.

Red Apple Dream Interpretations

During a time of harvest, an apple is considered to be a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. It is also a sign of abundance, fertility and even passion. So if you dream of red apples, it could be interpreted as a positive omen for new beginnings, fertility or even new love.

The color red is often associated with strong emotions such as love, anger or passion – all of which can be linked with the apple. So if you dream of a red apple, it could represent repressed desires or passions that you have been keeping hidden. Alternatively, it could be symbolic of something that is “rotten to the core”.

A final interpretation of dreaming of a red apple could be that someone is tempting you with something that you know you shouldn’t have. It could be a sign to beware of people or situations that might not be as they seem.

Conclusion

The red apple is a symbol dating back to ancient times, with strong connections and symbolism to love and affection, appreciation and fertility. The apple was used by many cultures to promote feelings of love, enhance fertility and promote healthy pregnancies. Many cultures believed that using the fruit would bring them to their true love and provide them abundant and happy marriages and lives.

The red apple also has a darker symbolism associated to it – that conflicts the moral natures of good and evil. The banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise show the fine line between acting morally and sin, in this case giving into temptation. This darker symbolism was also used in Disney’s Snow White where Snow White is tricked by the evil witch and eats the red apple, showing the stark contrast between Snow White’s good and trusting nature, versus that of the evil and sneaky witch.

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