Sorry we have gotten off our blog schedule a bit. Here is a fun, nighttime Wordy Wednesday for you! Did you know that “love is blind?” Well, Shakespeare did.
According to my sources, this phrase was actually invented by the Bard. Instead of popularizing a phrase that was already in use, he coined one himself. As with many of Shakespeare’s greatest hits, it appears in several of his plays, notably in The Merchant of Venice:
I am glad ’tis night, you do not look on me,
For I am much ashamed of my exchange:
But love is blind and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit;
For if they could, Cupid himself would blush
To see me thus transformed to a boy.
The character Jessica is speaking here. (Fun fact: Shakespeare also invented this name! Or at least his usage of it in this play is the first recorded usage in history. It’s most likely based on a Hebrew name, Yiskah or in its English spelling, Jeska.)
In this passage, Jessica expresses the still-commonly-held belief that love makes you blind – to your own actions, to your lover’s faults, or even to common sense. Think Romeo and Juliet would agree? Have you ever been in love, and if so, did you behave strangely?