Happy Valentine’s Day to me, destined to die alone with a bottle of red. Oh well – I can drown my sorrows not only in alcohol, but also in literature, as I am certain that there are characters out there worse off than myself. They probably don’t have Hamlet tickets. With Andrew Scott in the titular role. Tickets that cost me an Othello essay this morning (and absolutely nothing else!), but it’s all Shakespeare anyway.
This post will contain spoilers.
Othello and Desdemona
I am running with the ‘A-Level English Literature set text’ theme in this post, because quite honestly, this particular relationship is not the type that I’m looking for. Yes, it would be lovely to have a guy that would speak eloquently about our courtship and probably has killer abs to boot, but I most certainly would not appreciate his underlying anger problem. Conversation is the basis of any relationship, and if he’s more prepared to listen to his ‘best mate’, then chuck him. Or risk being strangled.
Catherine and Heathcliff
Again, set text. Also a set text that I have a secret love for, and gone is the attitude of ‘ah yes, I appreciate this wonderful literature, but not quite my cup of tea’. This relationship is perhaps not an ideal – not if you’re a woman restrained by the expectations of society and are forced to marry someone, in part, for the material benefits. You could argue that there is some form of love here – I mean, it does lead to a number of premature deaths and an all-encompassing cycle of revenge, but it’s fine! Heathcliff adheres to the tall, dark and handsome wish, and that means that everything’s forgivable, right?
Catherine and Edgar
I feel that Edgar Linton is somewhat overshadowed by his sexier, more passionate rival. Although Edgar probably has all the libido of a wet dishcloth, the sacrifices he makes for Catherine are extraordinary. Yes, he’s a little bit weak, but he’s rich and he’s loving and he nurses Catherine despite the fact that all she wants to do is get out onto the moors and, according to one theory I’ve discussed, do some strenuous exercise with Heathcliff. Edgar is the real deal here folks. No more of your fiery, passionate love for me – Linton’s rich, devoted, and unlikely to want to kill your family.
Oedipus and his mother
Lyra and Will
From the Northern Lights series by Philip Pullman, I thought that this relationship was rather lovely. Not primarily a romantic one, but their friendship is amusing and faithful and honestly who doesn’t want a relationship like that? The best relationship that I have with a guy right now involves a lot of moaning, pestering, and me warning him to stay safe and not be stupid.
Clytemnestra and Aegisthus
I can no longer sleep without some remnant from the realm of Greek tragedy haunting me. The other night it was Euripides as a personal trainer, yelling at me with a large stick in one hand and a book in the other. I am using this as an example of a relationship that goes slightly wrong, because Clytemnestra ends up slaughtering her first husband, Agamemnon, partly so she can marry Aegisthus, who is a bit of a git and doesn’t really deserve her, in my opinion. She is a strong, capable woman, whereas Aegisthus comes across as a weak, whining little rat who deserves his death in The Libation Bearers.
These are the ones that come off the top of my head, because right now, all I’m thinking of are the various women in Greek tragedy, Othello, and how to discuss the various regional languages in Spain when I can barely speak the lingo anyway. Happy Valentine’s, everyone. (especially to Liv, who is my best friend and if I end up single and sad at 50, I’m moving in with her)