You can be forgiven for loathing Shakespeare if you were forced to study him in school. Revisit him as an adult, however, and you will quickly find his work filled with erotic allusions. Here, Venus is trying to seduce Adonis, presenting a tantalising offer that they role play as a park and deer. He may sate his thirst on ‘pleasant fountains’ – an allusion for oral. Round rising hillocks are her buttocks, the brakes obscure and rough are pools of water covered by plants and undergrowth – an obvious allusion for her pubic mound. For those among you who don’t remember Shakespeare being erotic – picture a love sitting by you, reading this as they lazily stroke your leg.
Fondling,’ she saith, ‘since I have hemm’d thee here
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I’ll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer;
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale:
Graze on my lips; and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.
Within this limit is relief enough,
Sweet bottom-grass and high delightful plain,
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain
Then be my deer, since I am such a park;
No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark.’
Excerpt from Venus and Adonis, William Shakespeare.