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Examples Of Love In Romeo And Juliet Essay

What is “love? ” How do we define it? Can it genuinely exist in modern society as in Shakespeare’s stories? A literal dictionary definition of the word shows it to mean a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. Doesn’t that sound just romantic? Nowadays it seems that a majority of people often overlook the true meaning of love: They presume that it can be obtained based on relationships, money, sex, marriage, and so on. Due to all this material possession and other superficial aspects associated with “love,” people’s understanding of the actual concept has gradually waned over time.

The story of Romeo and Juliet is notably famous and familiar to millions of people around the world, and a plausible reason for that is Shakespeare’s depiction of love in unique and often hyperromantic ways distinctly elevated from generic real-world cases. All the fantastic drama, plots, and tragic endings in his plays deeply captured people’s hearts, and this one holds an outstanding reputation as an important play in English literature and even in popular culture. As banal as it may sound, countless individuals remember with fond nostalgia the tragic forbidden love of Romeo and Juliet.

Even four hundred years after its novelty, the intrigue of the play has hardly faded at all, and it’s no wonder why the story continues to captivate audiences through the centuries: its major theme of love is universal and timeless, always relevant; forever fascinating. It procured a solid base for interesting subject matter in Romeo and Juliet and also offered much inspiration for Shakespeare’s later, similarly successful writings. Some of the earliest known origins of western love stories can be traced back to ancient Greece.

Greek mythology consists of many different stories with a variety of themes: Heroism, Generosity, and Fate, and numerous others, but one that remains consistent over time is the theme of love. It plays an important role in Greek mythology over all. The typical love story, like shallow Disneyfied fairytales, usually gets wrapped up nicely with a peaceful ending and something like “happily ever after. ” A remarkable component of many myths is their heartbreak endings that tend to deeply touch their audiences.

Another factor that sets the Greek love stories engrossingly apart from the rest of world’s is that their main ideas often involve more profound faces of love one might not notice as clearly in other tales. Loyalty, sacrifice, and faithfulness can all be astoundingly connected with the theme of love through the stories of Orpheus and Eurydice, Ceyx and Alcyone, and Baucis and Philemon. All of them reveal in a uniquely subtle but dramatic way what true love can be. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice has probably caused oceans of tears.

Orpheus was an ancient Greek legendary hero who possessed supernaturally innate musical skills. Therefore, the sun god Apollo bestowed upon Orpheus his first lyre. The melody of the was so overwhelmingly beautiful that it attracted beasts, and even trees danced around him. Orpheus was married to a gorgeous woman named Eurydice, whom he loved dearly. They had been living together happily for many years and loved each other so much that they thought nothing could disrupt their exceptional bond. But continuing to live life in paradise proved impossible for these two lovers.

One day, a nightmare descended into their reality: While Eurydice was strolling in the meadow, she was so distracted by the ecstatic blitheness of intense love that she inadvertently stepped on a toxic viper and instantly died upon being bitten. When Orpheus discovered this ill-fated incident, he was shocked, and the grief and sorrow he carried threatened to crush his heart. Ever since his lovely wife’s death, Orpheus was dejected and lived in a life of darkness and shadow. His mournful tunes that attracted (and appealed to) the sea’s nymphs, who thought such a skilled layer didn’t deserve to be depressed.

They advised Orpheus to travel to the underworld where with the permission of Hades she could be revived and retrieved. Orpheus was grateful for the nymphs’ helpful idea, and he was desperate to get his wife back. His (lamenting wistful melancholy) music convinced Charon and Cerberus, guardians of the underworld, to allow him to meet Hades. By the time he got to see Hades, he was extremely distressed/distraught/anguished about the death of his wife and tried to persuade Hades to return her.

Orpheus was intent on reclaiming his wife from hell and would rather stay there with Eurydice than return alone to the world of the living, for without her, he thought, life was worthless and torturous. Hades and Queen Persephone were very moved by Orpheus’s speech emphasizing his loyalty to love, and they were prepared to fulfill his wish only one condition: Eurydice must follow behind him, and Orpheus mustn’t look back until they reached the upper world; otherwise his wife would remain a spirit and have to stay in hell forever.

Orpheus longed importunately to reunite his wife and was immensely thankful to Hades for granting his request. Regrettably/Lamentably, before they reached the surface, Orpheus had become suspicious that maybe the god of the dead had cheated him, and he was overwhelmed by anxiety to know whether Eurydice was behind him or not. He turned back for just a glance, and suddenly Eurydice vanished back into the underworld. Time cannot reverse, and Eurydice’s death was irrevocable.

Orpheus had a generous chance to rescind it but ended up showing himself unworthy to pass Hades’s test because he lacked trust. The poignant ending of this story was unexpectedly pitiful for all of Orpheus’s vain efforts. It also clearly indicates the love and loyalty Orpheus had for his wife through his willingness to confront death to rescue her and his inability to endure taking her for granted. Another faithfully devoted couple were Ceyx and Alcyone. They never separated until one day when Ceyx decided to journey across the ocean to consult the oracle of Apollo.

Alcyone knew how dangerous it could be to travel across the ocean and was exceedingly reluctant to let Ceyx go, especially alone; if he insisted, he should at least agree to take her with him. However, Ceyx was determined to make the journey and refused to take Alcyone with him regardless of how earnestly she pleaded. Alcyone’s trepidation was not unwarranted: The first night her husband was away from her at sea, a belligerent storm broke out, and the ship flooded and capsized. Time slowly passed. Alcyone worried about her husband’s safety but tried to wait patiently for his return.

Days turned into months, and some time after she had ceased to bother counting, Alcyone finally realized that what she anxiously dreaded had happened: Ceryx would never sail back to her. She was saddened and apprehensive to finally face the fact that Ceyx was long dead. He had drowned in the ocean, and she could no longer deceive herself into expecting to ever see him again, despite her yearning. Everything seemed hollow and futile without her beloved husband, so Alcyone went to the shore of the sea in which Ceyx drowned.

She saw no meaning in living alone except for agonizing pain, and eager to abscond that horrid feeling, she attempted to drown herself so she could obtain peace in death and stay with her husband forever. Miraculously, instead of crashing into the ocean, she began flying on the waves. The god Poseidon was impressed by Alcyone’s devotion to her lover and transformed them both into Halcyon birds. Every year in Greece, Halcyon days are celebrated in memory of Alcyone and her sacrifice to love. Finally, the old couple Baucis and Philemon represent loyalty.

One day, Zeus and Hermes disguised themselves as poor people and descended to the earth to discern how human beings see themselves as opposed to how they actually are. They kindly asked people if they could reside with them for one night and were rudely rejected by most of the reckless villagers who didn’t realize that the people they were disrespecting on the basis of their disheveled appearance happened to be gods. When Zeus and Hermes knocked on the door of a decrepit house and nicely asked the old couple if they could settle there for just one night, Baucis and Philemon benevolently welcomed them.

The couple even prepared a delicious feast for their arrival and generously offered everything else they could provide that the visitors might need. Baucis and Philemon looked poor and scrawny, but they also seemed quite satisfied with their humble lives. As a reward for their altruism and to punish others’ selfishness, Zeus generated a flood that drowned the whole village and left the kind old couple to be the only two survivors. Baucis and Philemon were shocked to discover – as they never would have imagined – that the two indigent and starved strangers were Zeus and Hermes.

Zeus turned their deteriorating house into a glorious temple and promised that he would grant any wish they wanted. The old couple told the Zeus that they would be willing and pleased to serve him as the guardian of their temple. They also requested to stay together and never be torn apart, even by death. Zeus was surprised by the simplicity of their wish and scrupulous respect for the gods, so he was more than content to satisfy their proposal. As the years went by, the old couple grew even older and frail, but they were still happy together.

The morning after they died, the palace and everything else was gone was gone; Baucis and Philemon were transformed into Oak and Linden trees and were tightly connected to each other. This love story expresses the faithfulness they have toward each other – certainly enough to be delighted at the prospect of eternal unification – and though many couples do separate, the principal theme of love as everlasting and something ideally everyone should strive to achieve is still passed on through generations. More recent love stories are not always as emotionally moving as Greek myths.

In a lot of them, the lovers end up together forever in joyful endings that seem forced and unrealistic because of their frequency. Greek love stories tend to depict a variety of themes surrounding love that we seldom witness, let alone experience, as fully in the modern world. The love and loyalty Orpheus has for Eurydice are exhibited through his determination to get her back from hell, no matter what the consequence for defying death was. Then the love of Ceyx and Alcyone demonstrates amazingly audacious devotion and graceful self-sacrifice.

Finally, the story of Baucis and Philemon illustrates the faithfulness they had toward each other even into old age and after death. The divorce rate in America, is affected by about 40-50 percent of married couples in the U. S divorcing each year, and the rate could conceivably increase over next few years. As of today, a lot of people pretend and often convince themselves that frivolous affairs are serious engagements and eventually discard them when they decide they are not happy. Real occurrences of unfeigned romantic commitment close to the intensity described in the myths are exceedingly rare and valuable.

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