Term Paper: Mythology Tales of Love Begin

Pages: 4 (1476 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] It is hard to imagine experiencing the intense feeling of love at first sight without it being reciprocated by the object of desire. Plato characterized love at first sight as an act of nature that "matches in beauty and is thus in harmony...the most beautiful spectacle for anyone who has eyes to see" (Grube 72). The harmony Plato describes is between two mutual parties. As a result if someone longs for someone unobtainable, they could be missing out on an interested and reciprocal love interest, or they could be simply avoiding commitment by seeking something that will never be realized in such a way. "The future possibilities of loving that might be available to us in times to come is undeniable" (White 142).

Love is traditionally made public or concrete through marriage. The vow of marriage dedicates two lives together for eternity. Since marriage is, at least in theory everlasting the myth of one true love is declared openly in a public ceremony of permanent connectedness. The ideal of one true love confuses many people when the identification of feelings of love they have had for others is realized. Individuals often spend a great deal of time trying to convince themselves and others that this love is somehow "different" and if someone asks for an explanation the only words of wisdom they can share are often "you will understand when you feel it," not really very illuminating. "A dilemma presents itself immediately, because constancy in love is idealized, and like the cruel and beautiful mistress, it is ironically inaccessible; they are opposite faces of the same medallion."

Ahmed)

Not only is it not very helpful as an explanation it is also not very easy to understand when the "different" love does not turn out to meet their inflated expectations. An example of the falsehood of the one true love is the multiple marriages of the god Zeus, and most of the Gods. In fact even to Zeus the love he shared with his various chosen lovers were often associated with plays of power and intrigue, not an uncommon characteristic of any of the classical gods and goddesses. The best known marriage of Zeus was to Hera but it must also be clear that Zeus loved and married many women and even chose a mortal woman Alcmena as a lover through trickery, conceiving the child Hercules, half mortal and half God.

Fairbanks 93) Even though the marriage to Hera is the most remembered, in fact idealized as monogamous, Zeus was in fact a classical example of a player, only separated from the elimi-date contestants by his god like powers.

Western civilization is undeniably connected to the ideals of the classical world. We find the myths and messages of the world of Greece and Rome to be the most foundational of all the ideals of our culture In fact this even explains the name Western civilization, an association of Europe and the United States with the Western philosophies revitalized and idealized during the Renaissance. In fact we even assign ideals to classical times that clearly did not exist. There is no doubt that love will continue to be the most sought after yet most confusing emotion in the human repertoire and continuations of myths of love and it's falsehoods will continue to further the cause for misunderstanding and emotionally defeated selves. Yet, clearly there is no end to the ways in which people will seek idealized concepts of love, be it through artful acts of suspension of disbelief or destructive relationships in real life. Stories of one true love, the idealized unobtainable love, and love at first sight will live on forever, sometimes even all in the same happily ended tale, in drama and myth both modern and ancient.

Works Cited

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000493001

Ahmed, Ehsan. "Clement Marot, Redemption and the 'Temple De Cupido.'." The Romanic Review 88.3 (1997): 357+. Questia. 25 July 2004 http://www.questia.com/. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=7864312

Fairbanks, Arthur. The Mythology of Greece and Rome Presented with Special Reference to Its Influence on Literature. New York: Appleton, 1907. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=77385689

Ovid, and A.S. Hollis. Metamorphoses. 1st ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983. [END OF PREVIEW]

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