"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. Nor hath Love's mind of any judgement taste; Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste." This...

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,

And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

Nor hath Love's mind of any judgement taste;

Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste."

This quote means that love does not look with reason (with the "eyes") but with the imagination ("the mind"). What do you mean by "does not look with REASON" and LOOKS by imagination?

 

thank you

Expert Answers
teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What this quote from A Midsummer's Night Dream means is that when a person falls in love, they will see the beloved as beautiful whether or not that person is beautiful to the rest of the world. If one's "eyes" are objective organs that take in light and therefore know what things look like, then they should be able to see things as the rest of the world sees them. Thus, if the rest of the world sees a hideous person with an ass's head, a person's "eyes" should be objectively capable of easily seeing that the person in question is a hideous creature. That would be reasonable or show the person was judging using their reason or logic. However, people in love do not behave reasonably or perceive the beloved with objective eyes. Instead, when we say they LOOK at the beloved with their imagination, we mean the lover has created an idea in his or her mind of what the person they love looks like that may bear no relationship to reality. To the lover, the beloved is always beautiful. So they are seeing not with their eyes--which would show them that perhaps the person is ugly--but subjectively, with a picture their imagination has provided. The perfect example of this is Titania. When under the spell of the love potion, in other words, when in love with Bottom, her imagination shows him to be beautiful even though in reality he looks like an ass. In short, Shakespeare communicates that love is not objective or rational but a form of lunacy.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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