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Literary Love Essay

1451 words - 6 pages

Love - possibly the most powerful four-letter word known to man. A feeling and emotion so strong that it makes it nearly impossible to put its meaning into words. However, it is also one of the most explored subjects in the world of literature. Whether in a comedy or a tragedy, the theme of love is very often expressed. This theme can be expressed in many different ways, for example, positively causing everyone to live happily ever after in a fairytale type of world, negatively being the cause of death and anywhere in between. In Aristophanes Lysistrata and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the theme of love is present throughout moving the story along through many trials and tribulations; however, Lysistrata is more of a love of beliefs of freedom empowered by the drive for sexual desires where as A Midsummer Night's Dream is the search for true love between young couples.

In Aristophanes Lysistrata, the women of the country do not agree with the war that their husbands are off fighting. They are firm believers in peace and harmony and are fighting their own war for what they believe, "Ah'd climb up Mount Taygetos if Ah just had a chance of seeing peace from theah!" (I.i. ) Lampito declares to the other women who all agree. Therefore, they have taken an oath to not engage in sexual activities with their husbands until they agree to end the war. This is done out of love - love for their country and its peaceful nature, love for their husbands and not wanting to become widows losing them in war, love for their children with the hope their children will grow up with their fathers, and love for one another and the power that they all hold when bonded together by this strong sense of love for a common cause.

In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the love displayed is that of individuals who are in love with one another. It is a tale of four young lovers who run off into the woods and fall in love with one another both naturally and under the influence of magic. Lysander finds himself in love with Hermia who is betrothed by her father, Egeus, to marry Demetrius who is in love with Hermia's friend Helena. The love quadrangle ends up playing out to two beautiful love stories for the four young lovers. Although these four are put through troubles of being betrothed when not in love, running away, being put under magical spells, they never give up on their true love for one another. For these characters did learn the hard way that " The course of true love never did run smooth" (I.i.134) But they never gave up their hope that all would end happily ever after.

There is a difference in desire versus love. Desire is a very strong want or longing when love is a tender feeling of affection and compassion. The men in these two stories express these. The men in Lysistrata show much more of a desire for their woman rather than love towards them. They seem to only want them for sex as Cinesias states, "I just want to...

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