Marriage And Romantic Love in "The Princess Of Cleves&q

Essay add: 5-02-2016, 20:10   /   Views: 205
Marriage And Romantic Love in "The Princess Of Cleves"

There is a popular song that goes something like “love and marriage, love and marriage, goes together like a horse and carriage,...but not in this time period or in this play. In this play, marriages were arranged to protect family titles and wealth, to provide heirs and to forge unions between powerful families. To maintain the proper levels of class, both men and women usually always married amongst their peers, or at least, that is the way it was suppose to be. Mademoiselle de Chartres was no exception within her marriage choices. Or I should say her mother’s choices for a husband to her. The Prince of Cleves was chosen for the Princess by Madame de Chartres on the basis of social standing and political alliances within the court of Henri II of France. The Princess agreed that the Prince was a worthy man, "but that she was not particularly attracted by his person". It was Madame de Chartres, not the Princess, who accepted the marriage proposal from the Prince. "She felt no qualms; it never even occurred to her that she was perhaps giving her daughter to somebody whom she could not love.” Mademoiselle de Chartres did not love her husband. That was okay and acceptable to mom. It was the love of the man that was preached and the propriety of the woman that Mademoiselle was raised with. It seemed to me that “mom” did not truly believe that her daughter was intelligent enough to understand what true romantic love was, that she was to see everything as what was meant to be for her own good in the arrangement of a husband and that if not told, would never know or feel true love.

On the other hand, Monsieur Cleves was in a position where love mattered to him, but his love for her, not her love for him. Although he was bothered by the prospect of her not loving him, he married anyway. He knew of and used the importance of propriety. This was maintained throughout their marriage.

The dilemma between duty to her husband and love for Nemours is what this story is all about. The love that had never been felt and now was, the duty to a husband that put her in the position of court that she was and yet whom she didn’t and would never love. After her husband dies, the Princess had to decide whether or not to accept the proposal from Nemours. Unfortunately, his past behavior suggested that he may not always remain faithful to her. Rather than risk being trapped in a loveless marriage, the Princess decides to withdraw from society and live in a convent. She has chosen freedom from misery and the "horrors of jealousy" at the cost of never experiencing a close relationship with the man she loves. Interestingly, she entered willingly in her marriage with her husband and did not have this difficulty. She accepted the marriage as one that “had to take place” but not one of love she felt for him. As the Princess had learned from her mother, her happiness would depend on "loving her husband and being loved by him.” This happiness was not taken into account within her marriage. She denies propriety to have romantic love but yet she denies romantic love for fear of the feelings involved.

Article name: Marriage And Romantic Love in "The Princess Of Cleves&q essay, research paper, dissertation