Romance (love) - Tragedy and Other Social Issues

Tragedy and Other Social Issues

The "tragic" contradiction between romance and society is most forcibly portrayed in literature, in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, in Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The female protagonists in such stories are driven to suicide as if dying for a cause of freedom from various oppressions of marriage.

Even after sexual revolutions, on the other hand, to the extent that it does not lead to procreation (or child-rearing, as it also might exist in same-sex marriage), romance remains peripheral though it may have virtues in the relief of stress, as a source of inspiration or adventure, or in development and the strengthening of certain social relations. It is difficult to imagine the tragic heroines, however, as having such practical considerations in mind.

Romance can also be tragic in its conflict with society. The Tolstoy family focuses on the romantic limitations of marriage, and Anna Karenina prefers death to being married to her fiancé, however this is because she is tired of waiting and being hidden away from public, when her fiance makes failed attempts to get his mother's approval of the marriage. Even being aristocrats did not make them both free, as the society was nevertheless equally biding for all. Furthermore, in the speech about marriage that is given in Kierkegaard's Either/Or, Kierkegaard attempts to show that it is because marriage is lacking in passion fundamentally, that the nature of marriage, unlike romance, is explainable by a man who has experience of neither marriage nor love.

Reciprocity of the sexes appears in the ancient world primarily in myth where it is in fact often the subject of tragedy, for example in the myths of Theseus and Atalanta. Noteworthy female freedom or power was an exception rather than the rule, though this is a matter of speculation and debate.

Read more about this topic:  Romance (love)

Famous quotes containing the words tragedy, social and/or issues:

    Greek philosophy seems to have met with something with which a good tragedy is not supposed to meet, namely, a dull ending.
    Karl Marx (1818–1883)

    In the old times men carried out their rights for themselves as they lived, but nowadays every baby seems born with a social manifesto in its mouth much bigger than itself.
    Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)

    I can never bring you to realize the importance of sleeves, the suggestiveness of thumb-nails, or the great issues that may hang from a boot-lace.
    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930)