What is Love? or Love and Its Discontents
Shakespeare famously wrote ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’, but many ancient writers had already explored this idea long before he articulated it. In this response, you should consider those writers who set out to explore what love is, what it means to love, or how it feels to be in love. Importantly, the feeling of being ‘in love’ is anything but simple, as writers tried to capture the different emotional states, moods, and physiological responses that follow from being in (or out) of love. If a traditional Hollywood romantic comedy view of love suggests something like: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love/get married, boy and girl live happily ever after, then your aim in this response should be to elucidate three views of love that complicate or challenge such a simple formula or to consider three important ways of thinking about love that may be gleaned from reading ancient literature.
The directions for the essay prompts are the same as for Test 1: you should pick two of the prompts below and prepare three main points for each essay. Each response should be at least one handwritten page. You may prepare one 3 x 5 notecard in advance with direct quotations and citations, but these must be your own ideas – writing down phrases from internet/outside sources counts as plagiarism. *Please make sure you use only your own words and quotations from the texts. If I did not speak to you individually about an issue with plagiarism, then your previous exam responses were not at risk.
TEXT BOOK The Norton Anthology of Western Literature, ed. Martin Puchner, 9th edition, 2014, Volume 1 PAGE 821-865