Love Cards and Shakespeare
"I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks."
The first thing I thought when I read these lines was "What girl would want to read this in a Valentine's Day card?" Shakespeare may be being truthful, but no girl really wants her boyfriend or husband to say this to her. I thought it was very interesting that he is so truthful in this sonnet, especially because so many of his male characters compliment their loves as if they were goddesses. I hope that Shakespeare wrote this for himself to read only and did not give it to his love. Then and now, a lady wants her love to tell her that she is perfect, even when they both know she is not. It is admirable that Shakespeare was honest, but I'm sure his love would not have thought so if he told her she was ugly and smelly. Shakespeare may have been great at writing wonderful romances, but he would never survive in the love-card writing business today.