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Eyes

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Eye Love You

#demeyestho. Forget the rest of the body (well, not really—just don't talk about it in polite company, maybe?): for the lads of Love's Labour's Lost it's all about the eyes.

Berowne is especially obsessed with them. They are the vehicles through which knowledge reaches the mind, whether from books or from looking at a beautiful woman (the latter being Berowne's preferred method):

BEROWNE: Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile; So, ere you find where light in darkness lies, Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes. (1.1.14)

But it's not just that eyes are beautiful and convey emotion, lust and wit. They're the window to the dang soul. It's the emphasis on eyes that shows that these men aren't simply suffering from spring fever and horniness—they're actually (gulp) in love. It would actually be less worrisome if they were talking about maidens' bounteous bosoms or ruby red lips.

But no. They're getting an eyeful (hey-o!):

KING: I heard your guilty rhymes, observ'd your fashion,
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion.
'Ay me!' says one. 'O Jove!' the other cries.
One, her hairs were gold; crystal the other's eyes.
(4.3.38)

The fact that eyes are so well featured in Love's Labour's Lost supports the play's claim that education and wisdom don't just come from reading books and holing up in libraries. They can come from looking into someone else's eyes, in knowing another person deeply. Yup: l'amore is just as edifying as studying Latin all day.

Aw, shucks, Shakespeare. We're feeling all warm n' fuzzy (and wise) inside.

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