Adonis (Megan Howard)
From Royal Shakespeare Company 2004 Production of Venus and Adonis
Why Does Adonis Not Love Venus?
Adonis does not love Venus because her love is but lust which is confused for love. “Call it not love, for Love to heaven is fled, / Since sweating Lust on earth usurp’d his name…” (815-816). Adonis loves himself enough to not let lovely lust entertain his heart in youth, but spend his youth enjoying the world, for in experiencing the world Adonis will learn more of himself. “…my heart stands armed in mine ear / And will not let a false sound enter there…” (801-802) “Before I know myself, seek not to know me.” (525). He scorns Venus sharp lust, “He winks and turns his lips another way” (90), as it jails him to solely her instead of freeing him to experience the wonders of the world. “You crush me. Let me go. / You have no reason to withhold me so.” (611-612)“…you will fall again / Into your idle overhandled theme.” (769-770) And thus, he dies doing what Venus kept him from experiencing. In this, two interpretations can be seen. One being, let love go and it may return. Another being, lust is meant to be discouraged as it entraps. Love should be reserved for when one knowns themselves and another has learned of them. Then, when two know each other equally, they will find true love.