Most of the youths hanker after romantic love but very few of us realise that the concept of ‘romantic love’ is a modern construct, one that emerged with the advancement of technology and modernism.
On the other hand, if we take a look at history or literary creations, the most famous ones were developed based on tragic love story. Many prolific writers throughout the history have adopted the idea of love as the plot of the story. And out of those love stories many have gained much popularity and have made its way into the hearts of many people from time to time.
On such story is that of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. The two fall in love at first sight and secretly marry but are prevented from being together for their feuding families. Seeking a way to be together, Juliet fakes her own death, with devastating consequences. When Romeo learns about her death, he drinks poison. By the time Juliet awakens everything is doomed and their fate is sealed. Juliet then stabs herself with a dagger. This is how their love story faces a tragic end.
Another great love story is that of Tristan and Iseult. The tragic love story of Tristan and Iseult has been told and retold in different languages. Tristan and Iseult, who is supposed to marry Tristan’s uncle King Mark, share a love potion and fell madly in love with each other on their way to Cornwall. Iseult marries King Mark but the love potion makes the lovers unable to resist each other. They pursue their affair until they are finally caught by Iseult’s husband. King Mark bans Tristan from Cornwall. Tristan moves to Brittany. There he meets Iseult of Brittany. He gets attracted to her because of the similarity of her name to his true love. He marries her, but could not consummate the marriage because of his love for the "true" Iseult. After falling ill, he sends for Iseult in hopes that she would be able to cure him. If she agrees to come, the returning ship's sails would be white, or the sails would be black if she did not agree. Iseult, seeing the white sails, lies to Tristan and tells him that the sails were black. He dies of grief before Iseult could reach him. Iseult also dies soon shortly after she finds Tristan dead.
There are many more great tragic love stories, from that of Tess and Angel to Cleopatra and Mark Antony, which deal with the idea of love. Actually the notion of love has transcended through centuries to the following generations but the forms of love have experienced profound changes both in ideologies and means as every generation has harboured new notions about love in their mindset.
Today, Feb 14, People, youths in particular, commemorate Valentine’s Day with much enthusiasm. Young couples, often associated romantically, roam around the city in red and rush to different posh restaurants to celebrate love. Well, most of them make fuss and waste time in the name of emotional attachment on that very day. In a sense our traditional celebration of love is dependent on money to a great extent. For instance- they make their girlfriend happy by gifting splendid and obviously precious gifts, feast girlfriend and her friends with sumptuous food in the posh restaurants on the Valentine’s Day. All of these activities are pompous and if someone is enthusiastic about such business, he must possess a healthy wallet. Most importantly, all these things are clear indication of the continuing process of commercialisation of love.
Though young lovers shower praise on their beloveds on the day, sometimes it is found that there is not a scintilla of truth in their love. They display inexhaustible zeal for their beloved for a particular day but the next day they choose to follow different paths. Such behaviour proves that love now a days is meant for momentary pleasure and mostly evaluated from a hedonistic perspective.
However there is other side of the story as well. There are still many young people who are pursuing true love. But it’s really difficult to separate those from the world of mass confusion created by fake lovers.