The measure of love is what one is willing to give up for it.
– Some Greek. Source: Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (Albert Lewin, 1951)
Ava’s dress is actually yellow and so, so beautiful. I want one.
Romantic love, writes Irving Singer in The Concept of Romantic Love, is a metaphysical craving for unity (1984:288). Lovers merge into one, they crave togetherness as it is more desirable than being alone, and also because they desire the other. Love springs from desperation for another, but from a meeting of the heart with the imagination. Keats, Dr. Johnson tells us that it is only through the workings of the imagination that we feel, and sense-empathise, with another whom we love and this enables us to love with feeling.
Such love is erotic- the literalism of merging is the act of sex. But with Romanticism what else should we expect? Passion is the purest, rawest feeling.
Romanticism is criticised as existing in defiance of reason- true on one level, on the most rational and traditional level. But this should not be means to criticise it. Love, within the lines of Romanticism, exists entirely with reason. Nothing else matters; love is the paramount ideal. Even if love, and lovers’ actions, do seem to exist beyond comprehendable reason, there remains that passion dictates all and denies boundaries. What, for instance, has Pandora’s willing death for her love of Henrick to do with reason? But it feels inevitable, and we know that because they are the ultimate lovers, there is no other outcome. To paraphrase Singer, the pursuit of love is indeed worthier than any other interest. It is something we should all crave.