Love on the Pedestal: The Romantic Ideal Essay
Love on the Pedestal: The Romantic Ideal
Many people, especially women, dream of a love story that ends “happily ever after.” This is not just true for women who are naturally emotional, but also for men - Love on the Pedestal: The Romantic Ideal Essay introduction. It is because while still young, children are exposed to classic fairytales of princess and knights in shining armor. These don’t just hone people’s perception of roles of men and women but they also shape the way love is perceived as love is almost always the central focus of a fairytale.
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Thus, the Romantic Ideal is formed and whether we admit it or not, this mindset has influenced us in more ways than one. Though the word in itself connotes a level of positivism, the Romantic Ideal is far from what’s real. It would be great if we all are able to live out what it says but it has such perfection to it hence the word, ‘ideal.’ That is why, the Romantic Ideal is easily defined as one that involves too much emotions and too unrealistic. It may have fed the dreams of people but it has also caused high expectations and disappointments.
Now, music is one medium where this ideal is rampantly expressed. Examine closely the following examples.
I’ll Take Care of You
(Steven Curtis Chapman)
I’ll take care of you
Don’t be sad, don’t be blue
I’ll never break your heart in two
I’ll take care of you
I’ll take care of you
I’ll kiss your tears away
I’ll end your lonely days
All that I’m trying to say
Is I’ll take care of you
These verses speak of a man promising to play the part of the knight in shining armor, claiming that he will never break the lady’s heart and that he can end her lonely days. Such are big claims, which he will most likely fail to deliver because the fact of the matter is, people clash, and especially between men and women, disagreements do arise and can cause hurts to both parties.
Love Will Keep us Alive
There’s no more emptiness inside
When we’re hungry, love will keep us alive
These lyrics may be sweet to the ears and may actually work for a few days. But when reality sets in and the stomach grumbles, the people involved in the relationship must decide on what to do to keep their relationship beneficial and constructive for both parties.
Somewhere out There
(James Horner, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil)
And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star . . .
Somewhere out there, if love can see us through
Then we’ll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true
This song supports the belief that love can bring two people together despite the distance. This is very typical of fairytales where characters are few, have fixed identities and are seemingly the only people at the center of the world while the rest are just mere subjects. With this simplistic plot, one will never have to second-guess who gets the princess in the end. Again, idealism is heightened in this song.
Love of my Life
I am amazed
When I look at you
I see you smiling back at me
It’s like all my dreams come true
You are the love of my life
And I’m so glad you found me . . .
My angel in the night
You are my love
The love of my life
In fairytales, the object of love is always a beautiful damsel whose beauty is so extraordinary that it can inspire a prince to become his best. If only love was as easy to live out and the standards of the Romantic Ideal were easy to comply, but they’re not. Reality is, women age, men have other needs aside from beauty, and relationships do not remain in the honeymoon stage.
Yes, the Romantic Ideal can inspire people, encourage them to be optimistic about their relationships, and help them believe that love is possible. These things are important for people to have healthy relationships with one another. But as they say, anything taken in excess can be detrimental. It would be good to balance the ideal by touching base with reality—that differences between people need to be accepted, that tough times do occur, that romantic feelings can fade away, and much more. Having a healthy balance of the ideal and reality will help build a relationship that works, not just something forever dreamed of.
ChristianLyricsOnline.com (2009). Steven Curtis Chapman/I’ll Take Care of You. Retrieved March 20, 2009 from, http://www.christianlyricsonline.com/artists/steven-curtis-chapman/ill- take-care-of-you.html
Lyircs007. Clay Aiken-Love of My Life (Correct) lyrics. Retrieved March 20, 2009 from, http://www.lyrics007.com/Clay%20Aiken%20Lyrics/Love%20Of%20My%20Life%20(Corr ect)%20Lyrics.html
Lyircs007. Eagles-Love Will Keep Us Alive lyrics. Retrieved March 20, 2009 from, http://www.lyrics007.com/Eagles%20Lyrics/Love%20Will%20Keep%20Us%20Alive%20Ly rics.html
Ronstadt-Linda (1987). Somewhere Out There. Retrieved March 20, 2009 from http://www.ronstadt-linda.com/mousemovie.htm