As Valentine's Day approaches, I'm getting inundated with "Shakespeare's Most Romantic Valentine's Love Quotations" links. I find most of them incredibly boring, because so little thought goes into them. They all say the same thing, and for the most part there's little thought in them other than "Oh hey look, Shakespeare mentioned love, let's use that."
My favorite example?
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,(A Midsummer Night's Dream)
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
This quote shows up on pretty much everybody's list, for the fairly obvious reason that it says Cupid right there in it. But...am I wrong here in thinking that this is not really a great sentiment for writing in a card to give to your loved one? Hi Sweetie! Just thought I'd tell you that looks aren't important.
It's a nice sentiment, in general. We like to think that love, like beauty, is more than skin deep. But do you really want to look someone in the eye and say that?
Did anybody watch Glee this week, the "Silly Love Songs" episode, where Puck decided to sing Queen's "Fat Bottom Girls" to ...umm, well, the curvy girl who he's got a crush on? I have no idea of her name, I don't follow the show closely enough. But it's a similar idea - he seems to think the song's got some deep message, and she's just sitting there thinking "You just sat here in front of the whole glee club and called me fat over and over and over again."
By the way, if you'd like to see an actual list of quotes compiled specifically for this purpose - organized by who might say it, when and why, might I suggest my book on the subject?