Shakespeare in underwear

A Dutch lingerie chain store called Hunkemöller has decided to promote their new women’s underwear with a Shakespeare sonnet:


They picked the first two lines of sonnet 20, presumably because they thought the poem went well with the “woman’s face” they display on the poster behind the window. The fact that this face has clearly been painted with lipstick and eyeshadow – and not with “Nature’s own hand” – did not give them pause, nor did they stop at the words “master-mistress of my passion.” Judging from the sweet pale pinks of the lingerie on display, I doubt that they meant to evoke a kind of dominatrix-fantasy.

They probably did not read the rest of the sonnet, or they would have noticed that the nice pair of knickers worn by the mannequin in the window do not contain the “one thing to [the speaker’s] purpose nothing” designed for “women’s pleasure”…



One thought on “Shakespeare in underwear

  1. Surely it would have been more appropriate to have cited Donne’s first unpublished draft of To His Mistress Going to Bed: ‘So (dear hart) while I wait upon the Muse, let me (ho!) muse upon thy wiles.’

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