Love in the Renaissance
The topic of love in the Renaissance can be described as complicated, to say the least. When it comes to someone in rule, it get’s even more complex. With the constant battle for power, it’s hard to know if relationships were based on true love or if they were just a ploy in order to move up in society. With the pressure of pleasing people and protecting your country, having to trust someone enough to be your significant other adds to the stress of it all. On top of the idea of love, friendship and acts of sexual desire come in to play to make the web even more tangled. With writings such as Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II, and Carole Levin’s The Heart and Stomach of a King, you can examine different ways in which rulers handle their personal relationships. Whether they come out triumphant or end in demise, their stories allow you to dig deeper into the common idea of “loving the ones you trust, and trusting the ones you love.” Although Machiavelli’s The Prince doesn’t discuss a specified relationship, it has guidelines on how to rule a country properly. With these guidelines, he touches on how to deal with trust, relationships, and keeping the people happy. Throughout the book Machiavelli stresses the importance of controlling the way that people perceive you. In order to be the powerful, you must be equally loved, as you are feared (Machiavelli, 40). While important characteristics such as compassion, faith, and generosity are hoped for in a ruler, it is impossible to meet all of these standards if you want to be taken seriously. When it comes to trusting people, such as an advisor, it is crucial that you choose someone to be honest and not someone that could potentially want something from you. As for women, although it is important to have a companion, they should not interfere with your reign (Machiavelli, 44). Queen Elizabeth I went against a lot of traditional values involving relationships;...
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