Romantic Love Essays

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1.Romanticism can be described as a cult of the autonomous isolated self. Explain how Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther exemplifies this mystique of inward personality. What role does childhood/childishness play in Werther's love? What is it the love of? What ideal does it flee? What ideal does it embrace? Why does it logically end in suicide?

Goethe's character Werther is the inward personality because he lives not in the world of the real, but in his own mind. He has not entered the real sphere and thus his whole being is defined by what is inside of him rather than the true reality. He lives his life constructing the world around him to instead of living in the real world. He is isolated because he never interacts with anything besides his own mind. In the book, Werther is definitely presented as a loner. His contention with his loner life comes from the fact that his life doesn't need any other people or things. Werther's own vision and the world in his mind allow him to reject the outside world and be a loner. Werther is a character who thinks too much and feeds his most childish and low level desires. This is part of the reason Werther is a child. He gives in to all of his easiest and low level desires when he. Werther projects his own view of someone onto those around him. This projection is why Werther never really learns who Lotte is, because for Werther she becomes whatever he thinks she is. Lotte is made into the perfect angel not because she really is, but because Werther makes her into one in his mind. As a loner, Werther is at the mercy of his own self-criticisms. These thoughts play a large role in the emotional lows Werther feels which contribute to his suicide.

Werther is a child in the story who has demands and desires that must be filled. Werther is like many children in that he gets very upset and emotional when he doesn't get the things he wants. An adult comes to terms with his desires and understands that one doesn't get everything he desires in the real world. To not get what he wants is a blow to Werther's fragile inward world because he then feels the real world. Like a child, Werther wishes to be taken care of by others. He can thus keep living in his dream world without worry. Lotte is a mother figure who Werther wishes to be dependent on and care for him because he can't care for himself. He also needs protection from having the real world spoil his inward life. She fills the void in his life of a nurturing force that gives him happiness. Werther falls in love with the feeling of having that void closed. Lotte as a person is not who Werther falls in love with, rather what she represents as a mother figure that can protect him. He is essentially a child in need of a mother who can keep all the bad away from his life, rather than an adult who can take on his problems and live in reality.

Werther's suicide is also due to his childish nature. Even below a child, Werther can be seen as an infant who is completely dependent on his mother in the womb. For Werther to commit suicide , he would be going back to his origins even before he was in the womb. Death also represents a type of ultimate dream. Only in death is it possible to completely leave the objective world and possibly to live in fantasy forever. If Werther's inner world was able to transcend his body, he could stay within that world forever without ever being interrupted.

Werther is a child who plays a game of make-believe with the rest of the world. He is quite smart and sometimes can think for himself, like his rejection of the class biases he experienced as a clerk, but he cannot fully face all his problems like a man. For Werther, the idea of Lotte was so critical to his happiness that he was unable to control himself. His inner deficiencies led him to crave Lotte in such a way that he became a child again. 1.What is the connection between ontology and love? Explain in what ways spiritual love differs from romance? In what...
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