Comparative Analysis Of The Element Of Love English Literature Essay

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On an introductory note love, I feel it is a universally accepted feeling which explains the very purpose of life in more than one way. This feeling is something which every human can relate to. Through this assignment I propose to explore different facets of love through the literary works of Federico Garcia Lorca and William Shakespeare. These respective writers have without an element of doubt written several works of art and have in the process immortalized themselves through their creativity. The thematic element of love is predominant in "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare and "Blood Wedding" by Federico Garcia Lorca. The important aspect which draws a line of difference between these two dramatic pieces is the fact that Merchant of Venice ends on a positive note whereas Blood Wedding, as the title itself suggests the tragic finale. My objective is to understand love in total through the works of Federico Garcia Lorca and William Shakespeare i.e. Blood Wedding and Merchant of Venice.

Bassanio is the secondary lead character whose perception of love is rather superficial in nature. He has misspent all his wealth and is in great debt and love is a mode of escapism from the terrible straits he his is in. He has formulated a plan to woo and marry Portia, the widow of Brutus. She is a beautiful lady who stays at Belmont. Bassanio wishes to marry her as he claims to love her but the fact of the matter is that Bassanio plans to settle all his debts by marring Portia which would give him complete access to her wealth. For the financial support of his trip, he urges Antonio to lend him money and Antonio failing to see reason agrees to enter into a bond with Shylock who is seeking revenge. Bassanio needs three thousand ducats and since Antonio is not in a position to lend him money, he somehow agrees to the condition of giving Shylock a pound of his flesh if he fails to repay him.

Shakespeare clearly draws out each character's perception of love. Antonio's character is projected as on which is risking his own very self for love whereas Bassanio's character is shown as misusing the emotion of love in order to raise funds to support a trip to capture a lady in the name of love. Therefore he is a character who rather misuses the term of love for his own self center ends.

Trick and fraud is mode used to acquire love is well applied by Shakespeare through the other characters that are not the central one yet are significant enough for the storyline to be comprehended in the right context. Jessica, the daughter of Shylock, a big time Jew and hates Christians elopes with Lorenzo, a Christian. Here Jessica foregoes fatherly love (Shylock), for the love of Lorenzo. Shylock, though the antagonist is extremely trusting as far as his daughter Jessica is concerned but is betrayed towards the end by Jessica where she elopes with Lorenzo by taking away all her father's wealth.

Shakespeare here makes an attempt to show that love and fraud at times go hand in hand. In order to acquire the love of one, one has to let go the love for the other. Such conflicts add realm to this dramatic presentation as it reflects life in all essence.

"If it be so,

How little is the cost I have bestowed?

In purchasing the semblance of my soul

From out the state of hellish cruelty!" [2] 

Portia, Act 4, Scene 3.

Acknowledgement of love is well projected by the characterization of Portia. When she realizes Antonio's troubles and his trap by Shylock and the fact that Bassanio, her to be husband is responsible for the situation, she puts the wedding on hold in order to rescue Antonio from Shylock. She dresses of a lawyer and utilizes tact and procedure to save Antonio. She acknowledges his love and his sacrifice.

The element of love is visible in every character of the play Merchant of Venice. Their actions are driven directly or indirectly to fulfill the aspect of love and we are introduced to love in different forms and bonding.

On the other hand, "Blood Wedding" presents us with the tragic elements of such a divine feeling universally known as love. Love in "Blood Wedding" is shown to bring about unhappiness, restlessness and being at a loss of one's own sanity. Federico, the writer in all these thoughts shows us that love encompasses a journey of trials and troubles.

The central characters are the Bride, Leonardo and the Bridegroom. Love; here is an emotion which seems to have distress in all these characters which leads them to their eventual end. The writer shows us that the emotional bond of love never ceases to exist even though Leonardo is married to someone else and the bride still yearns for him.

The bride hopes to get away the pangs of her heart by entering into matrimony with the groom. Here Federico clearly explains the fact that people who fail to achieve love, attempt to get away their feeling by marrying other people and yet fail in the process. The writer desires to make his stand clear that love is a feeling that controls you and not you controlling the love.

Leonardo, though married, has truly never forgotten the bride and silently pursues the bride knowing very well that having her is impossibility and since horse riding trips in the locality of the bride's house validates the fact that he is not at peace, and love is a source of never ending agony.

Hatred the other side of love well explored and depicted by Federico Garcia Lorca. The groom and his mother hate Leonardo for having killed their family members i.e. the groom's father and brother. When they learn that the bride runs away with Leonardo, her lover, they are furious and the groom seeks revenge by pursuing the couple with a team of people with objective to execute Leonardo for running away with his bride and for having killed his family (brother and father). Love here gives way to revenge.

The conflict results in the death of the groom and Leonardo. The bride returns home but is inconsolable as she lost out on Leonardo who loved her very much and risked everything he had for her. She lost out on the groom who presented a hope for a better future.

"It's as though I'd drunk a bottle of anise and fallen asleep wrapped in a quilt of roses. It pulls me along and I know I'm drowning--but I go on down."  [3] 

Bride, Act 2, Scene 3.

Love in Blood Wedding, is a force which is the source of unhappiness and discontentment. The central characters of the bride and Leonardo lead lives which seem meaningless and painful as their lives lack love which would have been there had they had the company of each other in matrimonial pleasure. In the case of the groom and his family love is a source of extreme hatred directed at Leonardo who was responsible for the deaths in their family. His running away with the groom's bride intensifies this hatred which would have subsided had the bride married the groom.

On a conclusive note, I believe "Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare and "Blood Wedding" by Federico Garcia Lorca explore love in all its dimensions and meanings. We, the readers are familiar with love which has many implications and the fact that it lacks simplicity is the idea which the respective writers want to bring home.

Love which is attainted with no difficulty fails to appeal and in all probability might lose its luster, significance and charm could also be a hidden message to the readers. Love subjects itself to several tests and people who claim to be in love must endure tests is the message in accordance to me of these plays.

I am confident that this assignment has helped me evolve as a person capable of giving immense love.

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