Most people read this line from Twlefth Night by one of the most awesome-est writers in history, William Shakespeare, and think: ‘Aww, that’s so cute!’ and then snap the book shut.
Problem is, they don’t read the rest of what Duke Orsino has to say:
“If music be the food of love, play on; / Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, / The appetite may sicken, and so die.”
Yes. That’s really what he says. It’s the first three lines, in the first Scene of the first Act of Twelfth Night by one of Britain’s most celebrated playwrights. That same playwright wrote Romeo and Juliet – where both protagonists commit suicide because they cannot live without each other. Oh, don’t say it’s stupid; Edward was going to do the same thing for Bella, and you’re all crazy about them. [Except, it would have done nothing for Bella…] Anyway, can you guess today’s topic?
Right, I’m aware that more than half have you have already closed the Movella [in which case I ought to just shut up, but, no, I never do what I ought to do], but since the Day of St. Valentine’s Execution is coming up [or more optimistically named ‘Valentine’s Day’], I thought the matter would be important to mention.
Now, normally, I would give you the definition. However, I’m going to have to make this topic an exception. Why? Because the little black Pocket Oxford Dictionary [Eighth Edition/1992] sitting on my table says that the term ‘Love’ has over eighteen definitions or love-related phrases, and nineteen other words that have ‘love’ in them [like ‘love seat’ or ‘loving cup’].
What does that tell you?
Love has no set definition. Those dictionary writers must have blown their brains out trying to figure out a suitable definition [Ah, that’s why there are two of them!]. Love has got to be the most frequently used/misused word in history. In my opinion, it’s the most complicated notion in human experience. It is not merely an emotion, feeling or hunch. It’s far more diverse.
Now different people have a different image of love. For some, it’s the typically typical romantic date a person would take their ‘love’ [see what I did there?] on, on Valentine’s Day. For others, it might be the compellingly beautiful image of Aphrodite [or Venus] or perhaps Eros [more commonly known as the pudgy baby in diapers and wings, Cupid – which I’d most likely take offence if I was portrayed that way]. For more others, it could be a simple heart-shaped card –
The ‘heart-shape’ is not based on the shape of a real human heart. It’s actually based on the shape of a woman’s arse.
So, a love day on a Saint’s Execution Day and an Arse-Shaped token of love.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Back on topic, before I took that awkward U-turn, others still would believe that perhaps that love is non-existent.
A-anyway, there are different forms of love – parent-child love, animal love, platonic/friend love, romantic love, and etc. I’ll be focusing on romantic love for this though, so yeah.
What do I make of it?
Now, opposed to common belief, I’m not one of those people who are nihilistic about love.
I do believe in love.
It’s just – as portrayed in many of my stories and more-so in my poems – my view of love isn’t a particularly… er, positive one. I’m very negative about it […then again, I’m negative about a whole bunch of things.]
One of my stories that feature the theme is Assassin’s Creed: Reminiscence, and in that – the protagonist, Dhi’bah, dies. Because she’s married [in secret] to the guy who could get her into the maximum trouble. But, anywho, that’s beside the point: What I was meant to say was that the two don’t fall in love at first sight.
That’s what I don’t believe in: Love at first sight.
It’s a common Shakespearean notion – like in Romeo and Juliet – but what that really is, is a temporary infatuation. And temporary doesn’t necessarily mean short. The point is, it’s not real.
Until you make it real.
Romantic love, to me, is acquired. It’s made by people. Otherwise, why is it that more arranged marriages work out as compared to those people who marry for love? Okay, fine, one of the factors for arranged marriages staying put could be cultural or perhaps religious; but the fact remains: They work out better.
All couples fight and no one’s denying that, whether they get together for love or arranged, because no two people are identical in their wants, needs and/or habits – but you find more divorces and separations amid cohabiting couples or people who married for ‘love’.
Therefore, I believe people make love real. They make their relationship work.
They turn their lemons to lemonade. They make-do with what they have.
LOL, they live by my life-long motto: They ‘suck it up’.
The extract I have yet to quote
I give a definition of love in one of my Soliloquys called Sold for a Ring and a Drink, and here it is:
Love ain’t sharing a king-sized bed,
It’s giving up the pillow beneath your head.
Love ain’t getting your first kiss,
It’s being honest and keeping your promise.
Love ain’t eating in a fancy place,
It’s controlling your temper from hitting her face.
Love ain’t getting wasted in a night,
It’s defending and fighting with all your might.
Love ain’t shallow; it ain’t some pretty glitter,
It’s being nice even when you’re bitter.
Does that sum things up?
The Second Theory of the Rogue Doctrine
“Romantic love is invented by lovers. When they learn to cope, they are truly in love.”
Anyone have anything to add? If you do, leave comments and I’ll get back to them ASAP. And don’t forget to check out Assassin’s Creed: Reminiscence and the Soliloquys.