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This Phenomenon Called Love

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The Phenomenon Called Love

What is love? Love is a deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness (Dictionary). But there are different types of love, and attitudes associated with it and commitment. Using William Shakespeare's, A Midsummer Night's Dream, this document will illustrate demonstrations with the intention of proving the aspects of love and how both genders react to it. In this piece the topics that will be covered are when two individuals fall in love, their style of loving, the prototypes of love and commitment, attitudes and behaviors associated with love, romantic love and adrenaline: the two component theory, and unrequited love.

Falling in love is the transition from not being in love to being in love (Devault, 134). There are slight gender differences when it comes to love. Although, research reveal more men than females claim they have never been in love (Hendrick as qtd. in Devault 134). One of the most important influences on falling in love is the individuals' style of loving. There are six styles of loving to verify the relationship: Eros, Ludus, Storge, Pragma, Mania, and Agape.

Eros is known as the love of beauty, such as individuals who are instantly attracted to the other and become emotionally involved quickly, then perish rapidly (Hendrick 131). Ludus is recognized as playful love; individuals that take love as a game. They contain more passion for the game rather than for their partner (Henrick 131). Storge is branded as companionate love, and consists of relationships that are based on a friendship that then progress to a higher levl of intimacy. The couples trust one another, but lack passion (Hendrick 131). Pragma is defined as realistic love, human beings that are rational and practical. They have their main assets that they want in a lover. They develop intense feelings once they choose their partner (Hendrick 132). Mania is identified as obsessive love however, the are individuals are very possessive with intense mental preoccupation but are hardly ever satisfied. Agape is known as altruistic love, human beings that are very generous and unselfish. They would rather sacrifice themselves than let their lovers suffer (Hendrick 132).

Men and women are more likely fall in love when they have just parted from a serious relationship, are looking for excitement, crave an intimate bond, or have lowered self esteem says psychologist Dr. Rubin. If the individual reveals their feelings to the one they love whether it is through physical contact, eye contact, or verbally, it usually draws the person to feel the same towards the other. However, there are those few reward that by not being liked from the person they are drawn to. This is called unrequited love, the individuals become even more attracted to the person because they like the challenge of trying to receive those feelings in return (Devault 135). As an example, Shakespeare for a visual of the appealing. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Helena, the best friend of Hermia, is frustrated and depressed because the man that she loves, and who once loved her, left her for the beauty of Hermia. Helena's self esteem lowers, and she begins to stalk her lover Demetrius:

Demetrius: Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?

Or rather do I not in plainest truth

Tell you I do not, nor cannot love you?

Helena: And even for that do I love you the more

I am your spaniel, and, Demtrius,

The more you beat me I will fawn on you.

Use me but at your spaniel: spurn me, strike me,

Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave

(Unworthy as I am) to follow you.

What worser place can I beg in your love

(And yet a place of high respect with me)

Than to be used as you use your dog? (Shakespeare 2.1. 199-210)

Usually one gets the point when the one they love does not feel the same way about them. Helena obviously got the point but she was appealed to the fact that Demetrius neglected her love. Helena was up for the challenge and stuck to it.

Once two individuals love one another they usually form an intimate relationship that is called commitment. They commit to each other. However, it is possible to love someone without being committed, and it's also probable to be committed with a person without loving him/her.

Although, there is no an exact definition for "love" and some speculate whether or not it is actually possible to define love (Fehr as qtd. in Devault 125). Therefore, instead of looking for definitions of love and commitment researchers advise humans to observe peoples prototypes that they use to define the level of their relationship. Prototypes are a original type, form, or instance serving as a basis or standard for later stages (Dictionary). Researcher Beverly Fehr asked a total of 172 individuals to state main features of love: trust, caring, honesty, friendship, respect, loyalty, commitment, supportiveness, wanting to be with the other, and interest in the other. The eleven major characteristics of commitment: loyalty, responsibility, keeping their word, faithfulness, trust, emotional support, devotion, reliability, perseverance, and concern about well being (Devault 128).

Characteristics of love such as daydreaming about the other all day long are considered to be less serious if changed than central features such as loss of trust, caring ness, and honesty, are lost. If a couple lacks one or more of those type of features, it endangers the relationship, as it could have or maybe did in the relationship of Hermia and Lysander. When Hermia awoke and found her lover praising Helena:

Lysander: Ay, by my life,

And never did desire to see thee more.

Therefore be out of hope, of question, of doubt.

Be certain, nothing truer, 'tis no jest

That I do hate thee and love Helena.

Hermia: O me! To Helena. You juggler, you

Canker blossom,

You thief of love! What, have you come by night

And stol'n my love's heart from him? (Shakespeare 3.2. 279-285)




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