In all ages, love is an eternal subject. The research on it has never ended. As for the definition of love, everyone has his understanding. Someone thinks it is a hope on internal spirit, while others think it is bread, an accessory of money or power. Whatever their comprehensions are, perfect love is always moving. Many classical love stories make a clear definition of love: love is a sacrifice for each other. However, it is just endowed with a perfect sense, how many people could achieve that? After reading the love story about Elizabeth Ⅰ, this view is strengthened. Elizabeth Ⅰ refused to marry her lover because of power, and used the marriage as a chip of diplomatic policy, therefore, she is destined to be single for a whole life. In modern society, love is depreciating. It is becoming a tool to get fame, material desire and sexual desire. Although love is great, it is also in the shade in front of some material things. In this dog-eat-dog age, love is just a tool to get selfish desire.
Love; marriage; diplomatic policy; interests
I. Definition of love
A. Different Definition of Love under Different Situations
In the Indian story Gain Two Kingdoms, a famous prostitute said to a hermit which was attracted by her “love is some happy experience of sense of touch between two people.” Of the two people, one is a man, the other is a woman. They are very interested in each other that have the same experience. Her definition of love includes cardinal happiness, which is very suitable for her career. People under different cultures and ages also have different understanding about it. In some ages, people believed that love contains the element of sex; while in some other ages, they thought love was a noble and no sexy experience. The hero in The Love Affair in Cholera Days got an answer after suffering from the torture of sided-love. “Just take love as a favor, it is not a measure to reach any purpose, but a start and end of a matter. Love itself is a purpose”. So his view is that love is a circle. It is a goal about itself; the process of love is a purpose, and it returns to itself at last. But what is perfect love? Love in the story means a matter happening once in people”s life.
B.Perfect Love”s not Existing in Our Present Society
Just like food can be used to entice the one you love, it is also used to symbolize love. The metaphor of love not only describes the happiness of sense organ, but also the essential need of lovers. The story of an aboriginal Australia resident named A Dexterous Girl Who Can Make Pretty Handbags. A quiet girl Lawanda loved a hunter whose name is Jodi. When her family went to a place that is very far to attend a ceremony, she was left alone. When Jodi knew that, he went to pick her up. On the way to her home, he hunted some beasts as her present. When he saw her, she was about to sink in a faint because of hunger and miss. He gave her food and watched her eating them, and then he said he wanted to marry her. He took her to attend the ceremony where her family has been there. The metaphorical meaning of the story is that if you love a person, you must offer the food for her; if a person offers the food to you, you can love him. So, love can be described as a tool to get food, as well as other things. It had a precedent that love is also a tool. In modern society, the function of love is used everywhere. We do not marry each other because of love, but money, power and so on. But in history, there was a woman who did not marry her lover because of power, who used her marriage as a chip to win a period of development for her country. Who was the miserable woman? Whose marriage was so powerful? It is Elizabeth I whose marriage and diplomatic policy has been studied by historians until now.
Ⅱ. Elizabeth Ⅰ”s Marriage Affairs
A. The General Introduction of ElizabethⅠ
A famous historian and critic Strachey, L in Britain made such a comment:
“her story had been studied by politicians until now. Although her name was used to call the whole age by the descendants, her love life suffered a fatal hurt at the beginning.”
As a great monarch ElizabethⅠ established Britain”s overlord around world. As a famous spinster and an unmarried monarch in the world history —Elizabeth I, whose love life is a misery, is an eternal subject in the western biographic literature. Elizabeth I have been far off the world more than 400years. She was born in 1533, died in 1603, was in charge of Britain for 45 years. For the endless dominative history of feudal Britain, 45 years disappeared in a flash. However, it is just in the 45 years that the destiny of Britain has changed thoroughly. The formation of “on which the sun never sets” is from this delicate woman.
The accomplishments of this queen surprised us. In such an age that women were discriminated, how could she be a greatest monarch in the Britain history? Did she have any talent or ability?
B. The Growing up of ElizabethⅠ
Elizabeth I was an orphan. When she was less than 3years old, her mother was sentenced to death. In the following turbulent ages, her destiny began to turn around the policy and marriage of her father. From time to time, she was a favorite, at that time, she was the successor to the throne; and then she was ignored, so that she was a deserted bastard. From a picture of her 14 years old, we can see the trace of experiences left on her body—experiencing the palace of fierce fighting and appearing more sophisticated and stiff to her age untimely. Nobody can deny she is the person who was kissed by God. She was proficient in languages and versatile. We cannot imagine the brilliance belonging to the girl who lived in an endless terror. In her temperament, she did not avoid the jealousy and hesitation belonging to a woman. However, these are just a skimming over the surface on the part of Elizabeth. After the decline of Spanish armada; after the conceited Scotland queen being put on guillotine, after her lover losing her pardon, who dares to underestimate the iron decisiveness and will hiding behind her indecisive veil. Just because of the inherited, combined temperament with man and woman, she could always overcome all the dangers and pull them through. Then growing in the circle of Britain, she was in a complicated situation.
Besides those, the generosity of Elizabeth which benefits Britain is a counteraction to her bloody father and sister. It is such the counteraction that produced a rare peaceful period and varied cultures, and also produced such masters as Shakespeare, Marlowe. But it also ruined her happiness as a woman—marriage is too terrible for her, the tragedy made by her father was a shadow in her love world. She stifled her marriage by herself and swore not to marry for all her life. Her decision is much fashionable. Because it was a time that dominated by men. Even her people agreed that they would feel relieved if she depended on a man. After she ascended throne, parliament pleaded her to choose a husband, wishing her leave a successor for British royal family. However the queen did not give them any response. At last, when parliament begged her with the same request again, she put on a ring and said: “I have contributed myself to a husband, his name is Britain.” The intelligent queen took the weakness of female as a chip in her political balance. She asserted that she would keep virginity, but at the same time, she took this trump card out when it is necessary. An American historian Will Duran said the most secret diplomatic methods for Elizabeth are her unmarried life. She ever said： “I hate the idea about marriage, the reason would not be revealed even to a twin sister.” Yes, she abhorred marriage. Because if she married, she had to share her throne with her husband, so she did not want it to be shared. Another reason for it is that she experienced more in her early years, she thought nothing could make her feel safe except power.
Compared with an ordinary family life, maybe she preferred to hold power in her hands. For her, throne was everything, she could sacrifice everything to strengthen her power, including her marriage. While on the other hand, she treated marriage as a chip. She put the cover of marriage in front of the covetous men across the world—Spain, France, the dependencies of Britain and so on. All of them could not escape from her diplomatic net. Just as her body was a mysterious axis, the destiny of the whole Europe was turning around it. Because of these factors, she was on the list of greatest monarchs in Britain history at last.
Elizabeth I had the ambition as well as the ability of politics, diplomacy and military science. Her characteristic was putting all her energy and soul in to the imperial affairs. Her personal love was full of romantic sentiment and it experienced the endless struggle between the emotion and senses, the alternative between love and worry. But for throne, she did not hold the hands of love, making her love flower wither from day to day. She missed the chance on love affairs, but did not miss the opportunity supported by history.
C. The Proposing Affairs
Her careful, incredulous and cautious personality was not only expressed in the politics, but also in her marriage. When she considered her marriage, she put the political element in the first place. So, we can say she was a rare woman. We have heard a lot of examples about the princesses” opposing the political marriage. But Elizabeth I took the political interests as the chip of her marriage. At that time, the English ministers also hoped their queen marry quickly so that a successor could be born. But for Elizabeth, how to choose a husband was a complicated problem. From the European situation at that time, as Britain monarch, whoever she married to, it also means forming alliance with that country. Just as Churchill said, “The marriage of monarch can be a peaceful link with her neighbor, and also a guarantee to win a war”. In terms of the European situation, avoiding the alliance with any countries is the interests of Britain. So Elizabeth had to keep the balance among the big countries, weaken the two biggest countries by the utilization of contradictions, and then sought for the development of itself.
When Elizabeth came into power, the first person proposing to her was her brother-in-law, the Spanish king Philip Ⅱ. At that time, Philip was contending with France. He tried his best to keep the alliance between Spain and Britain that formed in the Mary time. So after his former wife died, he wanted to marry Elizabeth. But being aligned with Spain to fight France publicly was not in accordance with the interests of Britain. What Britain needed at that time was sowing dissension between France and Spain and prompting them to fight with each other. So Britain would be away from them and developed its strength, especially the sea power. When the chance came, it could defend Span and then became the maritime overlord. Elizabeth used her marriage affair to help this policy. She refused the marriage respectably in manner of her outstanding diplomacy. Then she favored the dependency of Spain actively— Netherlands Revolution, to strike and weaken Spain. The sea power of Spain was the most threat for Britain, so the war between Britain and Spain was inevitable. But Elizabeth used France to hamper Spain on purpose and tried her best to postpone the war until Britain got enough strength.
When French royal family got the news about the refusal of marriage by Elizabeth, they proposed to her one by one. Elizabeth was worth the title—a tricky diplomat and shrewd ruler. As a woman, she loved beauty and was good at dressing. She was also an attractive woman in the ball. She needed love and was eager to bring up children, but she preferred throne. She was so characteristic that she did not want to share the throne with others, let alone being inferior to others. Besides that, if she married a French who believed in Catholicism, she must alienate Britain people who believed in Protestantism inevitably. So she did not intend to be connected with France by marriage at the beginning. But she wanted to utilize France to hamper Spain. So she did not refuse the marriage directly, but feigned the enthusiasm of being glad to talk about her marriage. She always invited the French little prince to Britain palace and did her best to attract him. She was playing a political trick on Philip Ⅱ. Because what she did was to break the possibility of the alliance between France and Spain.Because of the successful policy of the balance among European countries practiced by Elizabeth I, Britain earned a peaceful period for 30 years. When Spanish armada invaded, the strength of Britain was not the same as it had been. It defeated Spanish Armada and became the maritime overlord. The factors are various, but not without the relation with the marriage of Elizabeth.
Besides Spain and France, Switzerland king, Austria duck Charlie and Scottish viscount also proposed a marriage to Elizabeth. She tricked them like joining in the fun on occasion. Among the noble suitors, there are many handsome men, but for the interests of nation, the queen did not marry them at last. Among the factors, politics is one of them, the other is her personal love. Actually, the queen loved a pretty man named Robert. They loved each other for many years. At last, Robert realized although the queen showed her love in front of him, her first love was the throne. She did not intend to marry him. Then he married another girl, making the queen live alone. Though Elizabeth was very sad and angry with Robert, she did not intend to marry him at all. She wanted to be a complete queen, so she was willing to be a complete maid. After Robert, she recruited many other pretty men around her. She still wasted her time, but years elapsed fast, the queen was from the middle age to declining years, her love misery made her extremely distrustful and eccentric. She did not contact with others any more. She was dispirited and not as enlightened as before on politics, but arbitrary and dogmatic. The queen came to the end in solitude at last. When she crept into death, the sincere love in her inner heart always broke out. She always burst into tears; her unique victory just took her into a deeper solitude and destruction. Long life became a suffering. The noble queen was deprived of the only thing that was worth owing in this world. And it was deprived and deserted by her, behind the flourish, it was just dust. While the true love in her inner heart should be the soul that she wanted to approach. She was becoming more and more feeble, and then on March 24th, 1603 Elizabeth was dead as an old maid. Then English Tudor dynasty ended. For the throne, she abandoned love, but after her death, the throne dropped on the son of her political enemy. This result may be beyond her imagining. What she risked her life maintaining belonged to others at last? If she predicted this result, maybe she would choose the love but not the throne. I wonder whether she regrets about her choice when she is dying. But if she chose love not the throne before, maybe the history of Britain would change. We can conclude the life of Elizabeth I with this phrase “as a monarch, she was very great; but as a woman, she was a loser.” For this behavior, Strachey, L said: “Maybe it is just the tragedy of Elizabeth. At first, she was a politician; then she was a woman. Her love was penetrated with so much impurity that she could not be lingering thoroughly.”
D. The Comment on ElizabethⅠ”s Love and Marriage
In terms of the love and marriage of Elizabeth I, we cannot assert whether she was right or wrong. Because she was a monarch, not a common person. Her behavior and action must serve for and be suitable for the interests of her nation. The History Teaching made a comment like this: “In the early modern times, the British queen Elizabeth”s marriage diplomatic policy has its unique feature. She used her marriage as a chip in the whole European continent especially between France and Spain. This policy benefited England to a great extent. It represented not only the diplomatic feature of the sovereign states in modern times, but also started the balanced diplomatic policy. In Elizabeth”s times, a mode formed which affected British diplomatic policy of modern times deeply, which is abandoning the idea of dominating the European continent, realizing the dependence and stability of Britain island, developing navy, pursuing the balanced strength of European continent, and extending to overseas.” But as a common woman, she emphasized more on power that satisfied her, but love that was deserted will benefit her whole life. In western works, many great writers also described this phenomenon. Maupassant exposed the hypocrisy of bourgeois moral, representing the abnormality of human sense and disappearance of the expectation of love in the money-dominated world. He says that the empty, various and shameful world is full of crook, prostitute, slut and inducer, there is not pure and lofty love. In modern society, this phenomenon is becoming a common sense for most people. We cannot deny it is formed by the rapid development of economy. People under the economic society are becoming more and more practical. They sensed that enjoyment on material is more practical than spiritual satisfaction. Under such idea, love becomes a victim. At the name of love, a lot of immoral love happened.
E. The Comparison between ElizabethⅠ”s and Clinton”s Love
Not only English history has such a particular queen, America also has such a president who sacrificed his love in order to sustain his fame and reputation. President Clinton was famous for his sex scandal. After reading a book named my love, I got some details about it. President Clinton fell in love with a trainee in white house, and this trainee named Lewinsky also loved him. So, they began their love secretly. But unluckily, their love was exposed on purpose by Clinton”s political enemy. They put Clinton into the court at the excuse of sex scandal. Since then, his lover was also put into the moral and legal courtroom. She was detained by FBI and asked to retell the details about the process of making love. You can imagine what a heavy burden it was for a young girl. At the same time, she was described as a jezebel and her family was monitored and attacked by Medias. Not only she, but her family was trapped in an abyss. Their telephone and action were monitored, and they were asked to answer the questions at any time. What a big trouble for this ordinary family! But what did President Clinton do who gave the first call to Lewinsky? He refused to admit the love between them. So Lewinsky and her family had to be asked by FBI and Medias over and over. He made his lover suffer these misfortunes by herself in order to protect his fame and reputation. In the autobiography of Lewinsky, she said this matter was still a nightmare when she recalled it until now. She cannot forget that man did not stand up to admit all the responsibilities. We do not have the right to criticize their love, because love itself is not wrong. But for Lewinsky, she loved a great man whom she should not love. For a young girl, anyone has the chance to make mistakes, so does her. But as a mature middle-aged man, he knew the responsibility, but he flirted her actively. So he must be responsible for this matter. But what a selfish man he was! In the name of love, he satisfied his carnal desire. When his fame and reputation were threatened, he sacrificed his love.
Though there are some similarities between ElizabethⅠand Clinton, Elizabeth did much contribution to her nation even her purpose is power. We cannot put ElizabethⅠ and Clinton together in terms of the contribution they made, but for the selfish behavior, both of them should be criticized.
Ⅲ. Love in the Modern Society
A. The Present Notion of Love
It is said that there is no love between the strong and the weak. Because the weak can not deliberate on love from their private interests, no matter what they pursue, maybe stability, money or fame. Because they are inferior to their lovers, they cannot understand the ability that is worth loving on the part of the strong, and it is impossible for the strong to reduce them because of the love of the weak. So, his emotion is always with the color of reducing, or the characteristics of some psychological abnormality and despising themselves. The suitable subject of love is with the person who has the same status with you. Because the essence of love is adore mutually. Inferior things cannot produce anything that is greater than them. In the literature works, the true love was hardly secular, as it could not be bought by money. In the Shakespeare”s Antony and Cleopatra, Cleopatra wanted to test Antony, asking him “if it was love, tell me how much it is?” Antony replied: “the love measured by money is lacking”.
B. The Present Phenomenon of Love
In modern society, love is endowed with much secularity. It is related to money and reputation. The young men who want to marry will find a person who has a superior condition, including his salary, housing, job, even his parents” income. Only when he is suitable for these conditions, they can consider marrying him. As for the other conditions, such as the character, they do not want to think of it. In their minds, if they are not suitable for each other after marriage, it is easy to divorce. After divorce, they can get a great deal of fortune. In any case, they would not suffer losses. There was a piece of news in a newspaper: a 28years old young girl married a 82years old man. I don”t believe there is love between them. Even if there is, it is the love for a grandfather or a granddaughter. It is said that in terms of love, the height, age, weight are not the problem. I believe in it because maybe only money is a big problem. After reading a passage named Without Money, How Could I Love You? It is a real story. We cannot deny that love without bread cannot exist. In this material society, without money, we can do nothing. So it is not strange there are crowds of people who pursued the material enjoyment. Actually when we talk about a successful marriage, we had to consider their income. Money is still a base of happiness. But whether we should reduce the weight of secular things that is endowed to love? When we talk about a marriage, whether should we put the love in the first, just as I want to marry him because I love him, not because he has a good condition? We become more and more cowardly, because we dare not love a person who has nothing. We dare not marry a poor man, a paid-off man because we cannot shake off the material desire. Just like Elizabeth Ⅰ, she cannot marry a man, because she love the throne more than anything, while we love ourselves than anyone else.
The perfect love regardless of everything doesn”t exist now. When we hear that a pretty girl loves a poor man, we will think of her as a fool. With the improvement of economy, the love is destined to be economic. If you cannot afford house or a car, you cannot imagine marrying a pretty girl. I have read a real story about love in reality. The hero and heroin in this passage loved each other very much though they were poor. The girl was a sectary in a company and she always accompanied her boss attend many important parties. One day, at a meeting, when she drank water, because she used a cheap lipstick, the red trace of lip left in the edge of the glass. She felt very awkward when other people noticed that. It is a shame to meet such thing. After that, the girl departed with her boyfriend, in her letter, she said “I had thought that there would not be any difficulties if we love each other. But now I sensed we are just a part of this society, we cannot shake off many things except love. Without bread, how could you love me”? After many years, the boy became a designer of lipstick. He invented a lipstick that was cheap and would not leave the trace of lip. When a reporter interviewed him, he told this story and said that he hoped there are not lovers departing each other because of a lipstick from now on. From this story, we could sense how important the money is in the love. Yes, we belong to the society. People cannot avoid many things, so does love. It is impossible to deny the importance of money and reputation in the love. But we should do our best to reduce the influence of them in the love. When people love each other, what they think about first is the love, not the material conditions. People marry a man, not his money.
When the historians wrote about Elizabeth Ⅰ, they always talked about her contribution to nation. Only some of them studied her marriage and wanted to find out the reason why she was single for her life. Whatever the reasons are, people cannot deny that her single life helped her a lot in her diplomatic policy. However, as a queen, she was great; while as a common person, she was a failure.
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