In honor of long-standing argument that I am going to win one of these days — if the telling of it or the moral itself is of more value; not that these must be mutually exclusive. The beauty of Shakespeare’s originals, I’ll warrant you, however, surpasses these moralistic reductions as the first of May surpasses the first of December:

Sonnet XXIX:

(reduced to the bare bones)

Thinking of you cheers me up

Sonnet LXII:

(reduced to psychological drawback)

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Sonnet CXVI:

(reduced to Christian catch-word)


Sonnet CXXX:

(reduced to really bad Emo Indie Rock)

I love a girl who is normal.
She’s got frizzy hair.
Never when we’re smoking and the men are passing
Have I seen them stare.
No, no, oh no. She has bad breath and teeth
And when she asked to sing in our band I said:
“my dear, you’re too mediocre. I like your voice
but, darling, others would only if they were dead.”
But I’m singing to say
I love her anyway
And anyway Vogue is a ruse
But my love, my love, it’s true.

Sonnet CXXXI:

(reduced to lawyerese)

Your pulchritude is not of wide repute, albeit that Party 1 (hereafter referred to as amant) has conceived the opinion that it meets the standard of amorous myopia/acceptance insomuch as to render you endeared/capable of social tyranny. Amant proposes that aforementioned lack of reported pulchritude may be due to the latter, executed by you so extensively as to establish this as your reputation.