What is Love? Essay

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“I love you”. No other sequence of words has so much power; these words have the power to strengthen a bond, weaken a relationship, ruin a friendship or bring two people together. The concept of love is puzzling and we have struggled to understand it for centuries, everything between the Greek goddess Aphrodite and today’s Romantic comedies have attempted to comprehend and explain it. The theme of love is popular in Donne’s early poetry. His understanding of love from the perspective of a protestant preacher reveals much about the anti-Christian sentiments and of the scientific revolution of the 17th century. A close analysis of Donne’s poem, “Love’s Alchemy” and of the film “When Harry Met Sally” reveals the strength behind Donne’s…show more content…
Donne does qualify the Platonists when he expresses their experience. The appeal to experience is important in the context of the scientific revolution; the focus shifted towards observable facts rather than inferred ones. The argument between the Platonists and Donne is similar to that between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally”. Billy Crystal’s character Harry claims that a man and a woman can never be friends because sex will interfere. Meg Ryan’s character Sally refutes this claim based on her own previous experiences.
Experience is an important theme during the renaissance and in “Love’s Alchemy”, Donne establishes his position as an expert with “I have lov’d, and got, and told,” (3) and then goes on to counter the Platonist opinion in saying “I should not find that hidden mystery.” (5) He argues that both he and the Platonists have experience, but that his observations have led him to a different conclusion. The hidden mystery in line 5 refers primarily to platonic love. The speaker prefaces this by saying “[b]ut should I love, get, tell, till I were old[.]” (4) The importance of this line is the concept of time, even if Donne continues his observations he would never find platonic love. The fact that it is hidden can be understood to mean that as a

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