Monday, October 4, 2010

First English Lit. Tutorial

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh no, it is an ever fixed-mark
That looks on tempests but is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

~William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

This is the Shakespeare Sonnet that we discussed today in our first tutorial. I heard some interesting ideas, but I think mine is almost a combination of all of them. I think it basically means that true love is not a feeling that can change quickly if ever at all. Even when the people are old, wrinkled, and sunken those two people will see the young person they fell in love with so many years ago. Love, true love, can withstand anything and will be there even in the toughest of times or "to the edge of doom." Upon the first sign that something can be changed a true love will not look to change it. And we all feel this love the same. It is the same for every person who feels true love. Some one's love is no stronger than another person's. We all feel the same fiery passion, deep intimacy, and strong bond between our significant other and us. It's no different if it's felt by a couple who have been married for 50 years or for a newly wed couple. If it's true love it's the same feeling. Though the love in the 50 year old marriage might be wiser, it is not stronger because it has endured more than the new true love. And at the end of the day it's just love. It's only a feeling, but it's such a strong feeling that we take comfort in knowing that we're loved. When we're young we go to our parents. We climb into bed with them when we're scared, we climb onto their laps when we're sad. It's because we're looking for that true, unconditional love. Even though love is just a feeling at the end of the day, we all need it to feel truly human.

Anyway, that's my thought on the sonnet. I think it's very interesting that this was the one my tutor decided to choose this sonnet because on Sunday I went to church. For those of you who have read my previous posts or have perhaps read my other blog, you know that I am not particularly religious. But I thought it would be fun to get out of the house, see what the Church of Scotland was like, and two of my flatmates were going so I figured "why not?" The pastor (I'm not too sure what he would be called here) talked about love. Unconditional love and he said this quote. I wish for the life of me that I could remember it fully but I can't. It did go something like, "Love is not love without sacrifice." I think that's awfully true. Parents make sacrifices all the time. Why? Because they absolutely love their children and they're happy to do whatever to make sure that they get what they need. And they don't present us with a bill later on in life. They are generally happy to make these little sacrifices for us. I can't count the numerous times my dad has left work early to get me to a doctor if I was ill or to get me to a play rehearsal and back again. He did this because he loves me. My mom allowed me to climb into her bed past the age of 10 because I was "scared of her house" (it was a very large, old house and I have a vivid imagination) and occasionally because I had a tummy ache. She didn't question why, she just knew that I felt safer with her there. There was something familiar in her room that I didn't have in my room at that house. She's helped with homework and taken time out of her work to do it. All four of my parents have supported me even though my step-parents haven't been around as long. All four of them have allowed me to be a brat occasionally (or more than occasionally I'll be the first to admit) and still they support me. I don't call this anything but love.

Now it's quite like how Ryan (you all knew where this was going right?) likes to pay for everything. I tell him occasionally that I would love to take him out to dinner or lunch or something, but he generally insists on paying. Now, I'm really hoping he doesn't have a running account on how much he's spent on me and will present me with a bill if our relationship ever ceases to be and I don't really think he does. I think in general he likes buying my food. There have been other things that he has bought for me and things I have bought for him. Sacrifices in their own right. We both sacrificed a little money. But do we know how much? I sure don't.

I spent both of these lectures, the one at school and the one at church, thinking about wonderful, amazing boyfriend Ryan and my relationship with him. I mean the ENTIRE time.

Now of course, the question you've all been waiting for. Is this true love? Do I think it's true love? The answer to that is that I have absolutely no idea. After all my pondering and questioning I still do not have a definite answer. Does this, in its self, mean that it's not true love. Of course not! It could very well be. We both made small sacrifices here and there and didn't ask anything in return. We're in the middle of our first "hardship" and we're still as strong as ever. I mean we are thousands and thousands and thousands of miles away from each other in really different time zones, but we're still strong. I've spoken to a few people from England who broke up with their boyfriends before coming here because they thought the distance was too much and I talked to a couple (one of them is here and the other is about two, three hours away) and they were worried about the distance. I'm not worried about the distance having an effect on our relationship. I think we can survive the distance though we miss each other terribly and tell each other that everyday, I don't think that me being here and him being there will end our relationship. Our feelings toward each other have not changed from when I left to now (I know it's only been 3 weeks). Even though we've both been presented the opportunity to "see what else is out there" while I'm away, neither one of us wants to take that opportunity. We're not interested in it in the least. And we both know that the other has no interest in "playing the field" and yet we're both still worried about it. He's absolutely sure that some Scottish guy is going to whisk me off my feet. Silly Ryan. And there's definitely a strong physical and mental love for one another. Stronger than I've felt with any other guy (sorry to any ex's who happen to be reading, that's just the way the cookie crumbles sometime).

So, true love? I don't know. I have a strong bond with him already and I'm willing to do anything for him. True love...I'm very keen on the idea of finding out together with him.

Dedicated to my wonderful parents (all four of them) and my amazing boyfriend, who is seriously still worried about the Scottish men. Readers? Would you like to tell him how wrong he is?


  1. I love this post! I just have to say that my husband still tells me not to get swept away by some guy at college and he goes to the same college. I think that's just a man thing ;-)

  2. Such lovely thoughts. Thank you Erin.