Comparing the Love of Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night and the Bible

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No emotion has such universal meaning as love. It is an integral part of the human condition. Love is the basis for by which all other emotions can be gauged. Friendship and even grief are steeped in love. Love is so central to our lives that it is fitting and proper that it should be the topic of so much discussion. Every culture and every writer has some commentary or evaluation of love. The New Testament has its share of love commentary. The entire basis of the Christian tradition is God's love for humanity. "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son." (John 3:6) Jesus preached a great deal about love of neighbor, love of God and even love of enemies. (Matt 5:44) Shakespeare's Biblical knowledge is well known and he…show more content…
Among the multitudinous biblical references to love, the most comprehensive and decisive assessment of true love comes in St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians. He begins by stating that despite all of his faith and gifts from God, "if I have no love, I am nothing." (I Cor. 13:2) Clearly, Paul recognizes the importance of love. He goes on to define love in very explicit terms, telling both what love is and what it is not. Paul begins, "Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs." (I Cor. 13:4-5) The Apostle continues with the declaration that "love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth." (I Cor. 13:6) Recall here the biblical prohibition of cross-dressing (Deut. 22:5) and lying (Deut. 5:20) Disguise and deceit are far from the truth that makes love happy. The exhortation continues:

Love never gives up; and its faith, hope and patience never fail. Love is eternal... when what is perfect comes, what is partial will disappear... Meanwhile, these three remain: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love. (I Cor. 13:7-8, 10, 13)

Paul's letter provides a comprehensive basis

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