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Addicted To Love Essay

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Addicted to Love
In Gottfried Von Strassburg’s retelling of the ancient romance, Tristan, love’s portrayal as a psychological disease is considerable. For Rivalin and Blancheflor, Tristan and Isolde, and also King Mark, the affliction causes them to act in a way that they would normally shun. Love changes the perspective on life of those who become intoxicated by its power; whether it’s shared as a couple or entirely unreciprocated, the lust to attain and secure its presence is consuming.
Love’s torment of Tristan and Isolde is a sweet torment that “noble lovers” endure. Grieves are shared, blessings are doubled, and embraces are electrifying on both the physical and emotional levels. One sided love is a hell like no other. Here,
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For both Rivalin and Blancheflor the danger involved in consummating their love is twofold. Bearing a bastard child would result not only in the cataclysmic loss of societal position, but quite possibly her death. Rivalin, less prudent then his future son, risks the wrath of an angry Mark by out right eloping with his true love. Under the influence of love’s tyrannical reign, both disregard their reservations and good sense; blinded by passion they escape to Parmenie to be legally wed. Like a wounded cowboy in a classic western film who downs whiskey to avoid the pain of a gunshot wound or snake bite, love appears to ease the pain of Rivalin’s wounds after a battle. Although on what is almost his death, the passion for Blancheflor numbs his hurt and allows Tristan to be conceived.
As perfect lovers, Tristan and Isolde’s addiction to Cupid’s opiate is surpassed by none. This is proven by the trials Brangane endures, the disregard for Isolde’s personal acts of treason, and also the blows to Tristan’s honor and loyalty to his uncle. Once Isolde has the epiphany that the killer of her Uncle Morold is bathing in the next room, she is enraged. However, she is unable to extract revenge on Tristan. Gottfried suggests this is due to a feminine instinct; simply, that Isolde was too refined to commit such an uncouth act. This delicate characterization of Isolde would not last long. Upon the accidental ingestion of the love potion,
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