Destructive Love is an Emotional Process

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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“Destructive love is an emotional process of tearing down the love and affection between 2 people in a relationship. The idea of knowing the difference between having a disagreement that is trying to clear up something in comparison to a disagreement that is destructive toxicity can come. The theme of destructive love between different relationships in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Shakespeare’s Hamlet Robert Browning’s My Last Duchess results in the characters having to sacrifice their integrity,corrupt their souls ,and reinvent themselves for the sake of emotional satisfaction.

In the book Frankenstein, Victor sacrifices his integrity because the issues he had were self inflicted. He subjected himself to psychological torment almost as a form of self-punishment for his horrid creation. This directly applies to Victor as when he first sees his creation he flees and then becomes ill. Whenever Victor had any stress he would get sick for months at a time. That is psychological because he is wanting to avoid or push away the idea of dealing with the creature for as long as possible. Self destructive behavior may be an attempt to drive others away. Victor may have self sabotaged his achievement, a trait of self destructive behavior, because he may have felt unworthy of such a revolutionary act. Self destructive behavior can be derived from clinical depression and these patterns may have been learned earlier in life. Victor had sort of a mopey attitude and in present time would have been seen as depressed due to his behavior.In Shakespeare, Hamlet and Ophelia’s relationship is toxic. There relationship is a example of sexism throughout history where they could not think for themselves but were under the order men such as their husbands or dads. The destruction of Ophelia’s and Hamlet’s relationship results from Polonius trying to break them apart. The madness of their relationship drives her to insanity and suicide. Her madness can be directly traced to Hamlet, as Claudius remarks that it is because Ophelia is “divided from herself and her true judgment” that she loses her mind (IV.5.92). Hamlet’s actions caused a variety of trouble.

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Sacrificing their integrity affects their personal lives because of the extreme measure that the character go to just to prove themselves and letting emotion take over. In Wuthering Heights, Catherine took advantage of Edgar. She knows that her love will change. She knows that her attacks of fury, which Edgar was a witness that day – will occur again and that some day Edgar will find out the truth and he will have live with this knowledge. Her real reason- why does she want to marry Edgar is because she knows it is only way to help Heathcliff and her to put them on higher social status. Love to Heathcliff – justifies deceiving Edgar. In that point of view this love is destructive – it will badly hurt Edgar Linton so it is destructive for him. Edgar Linton feels deep , true love to Catherine but he is blind to Catherine’s true behavior. He is trying not to acknowledge worse side of Miss Earnshaw. That is why he would suffer after marriage from loneliness . That means also love between Catherine and Edgar (because she speaks about some kind of love – this feeling is weak but it is present) is destructive. As well as her brother – Isabella will also be a victim of Heathcliff love to Catherine. Thinking that he is not loved by Miss Earnshaw he run away.Catherine and Edgar and Heathcliff are all in a love triangle that gets the caught up in a life full of lies,lust, love, and revenge. They have to sacrifice their integrity in order to make it through? Love is actually the MAIN point of sacrificing integrity in many of the charachters? lives. They find themselves involved in love triangles that ultimately in the end hurts them all.

In ¨My Last Duchess¨ : The Duke’s arrogance only intensified his jealousy and possessiveness. He believed that he had the natural right to exercise total control over everything and everybody within his reach. His outrage is caused not only by the Duchess’ “too easily impressed” heart (Browning 23) but by the fact that she seemingly ranked his “gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name / With anybody’s gift” (Browning 33-34). The Duke “considers himself superior to others and above law and morality” (Marchino). This suggests that were he not so arrogant, his marriage would have had more chances for success, and his love would not have transformed to violence. With all his jealousy, possessiveness, and arrogance, the Duke appears to be a very egoistic person. Nothing concerns him as much as his own self. His egoism makes him a tyrant “whose wife should have been made glad only by his presence, a wife whose heart should have been impressed only by him and who should have liked and looked only at him” The characters all have something in common which is pride, and egos that get in the way of positive endings but end up in tragedies.

Along with sacrificing your integrity, there is soul corruption.The similarity that most of the characters have in common is corrupting their souls in different love triangles in attempting to compare social class, emotional satisfaction, and toxic destruction.The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia shows great love though it is very controlling and leads to various assumptions. Hamlet is a character that showed continuous indecisiveness. Also, “The King has committed fratricide and regicide and has bedded the Queen with “”the witchcraft of his wit””.Claudius represents the worst in human nature — lust, greed, corruption, and excess. Claudius and his corrupt court bask in the pleasures of the flesh.” It is clear that we are intended to see Claudius as a murderous villain, but a multi-faceted villain: a man who cannot refrain from indulging his human desires. He is not a monster; he is morally weak, content to trade his humanity and very soul for a few prized possessions.

Furthermore, Ophelia is told to ‘Get [thee] to a nunnery’ whereby her virtue and virginity could be preserved and untainted. From this, their love becomes self-destructive and gradually breaks down. Hamlet and Ophelia’s relationship has a transitioning quality. At junctures, their love is rendered virtuous and pure, as Hamlet covered her with love by sending her love letters, calling her ‘celestial’.Elements of this would also suggest that she, like the stars (celestial), is unreachable; again, the separation, both believing the other to be of greater worth.-Shakespeare also created a bond between Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, however; likewise with Ophelia and Gertrude, their relationship has a destructiveness that leads to the demise of Hamlet’s ‘friends’. This is evident when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are called to the court of Denmark and are greeted by Claudius. However, this is not enough for Hamlet to trust them with his plot to uncover is Uncle as a murderer, and therefore endeavours to make them believe he is mad. ‘I know a hawk from a handsaw.’ in examining love between characters, there is one relationship that manages to juxtapose the destructive nature of love, as their strong friendship lasts the entirety of the has created a deeper understanding of how Shakespeare’s choice of language has elevated the concept of destructive love, whether it be the conventional romance, the love between a mother and son, the complexities of friendship and trust or the realistic aspects of love, the struggles, the heartbreaks and the beauty.

A soul becomes corrupt because of mixed destructive emotions that eventually lead to brainwash and affects their behavior.Browning uses caesura towards the climax of the poem, when the male narrator murders his lover. The caesura’s are used to create a pause in the middle of the line, suggesting Browning is giving the reader time to take in the idea of murder. The use of caesura are important when looking at the context of the poem. Due to it being written in the Victorian period, it was seen to be an anomaly as very few poets wrote about the ugliness and brutality of murder.-In addition to this, Browning sets out the poem in one long stanza. This shows that although later in the poem the narrator is presented to believe he is in control, in actual fact he is not. The long stanza shows a quick thought process that is occurring thought after thought, rather than being planned in advance. It also presents these destructive thoughts to be messy (think of a better word) within his mind, and it seems to be a spur of the moment attack. However the end stops used, slow the pace down.

This contrasts to mixed emotions where there is enjambment. This shows a continuous, and fast paced line of destructive thoughts. In addition The story told by the Duke demonstrates that the line between love and violence can be very thin if love is accompanied by jealousy, possessiveness, arrogance, and egoism; in this case love just does not exist – it gives place to violence completely. From this it follows that if one wants to love, they should be ready to give up their ego. Jealousy is usually caused by possessiveness, a desire to exercise total control over the loved one, and the Duke of Ferrara unintentionally reveals his possessive attitude to his wife. The very first lines of the poem reveal that the .Duke views his last Duchess as an object that he possesses: uncovering the portrait he says, “I call / That piece a wonder, now” (Browning 2-3), and it unclear whether he means the painting or the Duchess by “that piece” – both are merely objects in his collection. By adding the word “now” the Duke also reveals that his “insistence on control is better satisfied by the portrait” than by the living person (Negrut 151).

In Wuthering Heights is a tragic love story. Emily Bronte tells the story of a love gone sour due to subordinate emotions that overrule love and hate. Bronte shows this through Catherines empty love, Heathcliff’s lust for Catherine, Heathcliff’s obsessive behaviour and the jealousy displayed within both Heathcliff and Catherine. These emotions destroy every relationship in the novel. The feelings displayed between Catherine and Heathcliff are neither of love nor hate, but rather emotions of lust, obsession and jealousy. First of all, Catherines empty love is a huge example of her selfishness. “”Wuthering Heights is the name of Heathcliff’s dwelling. Wuthering being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather.””(Bronte 4). Wuthering Heights beholds more than tempestuous conditions. Catherine states that she loves Heathcliff, however her materialistic desires surpass her so called love. “”And we shall be rich, and I shall be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband.”” (Bronte 81) If Catherine’s love for Heathcliff was genuine she would never have been able to marry into an empty marriage. The man she chose to marry Edgar Linton, fulfilled her every desire for riches, but left her heart vacant and her life tumultuous.Heathcliff’s lust for Catherine takes over his emotions of love for her. A line from Genesis captures the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine, “”But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said. Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it lest ye die.”” (Genesis 3, 2-3) Heathcliff is Catherine’s forbidden fruit. Her empty heart longs for fruition and is tempted by Heathcliff. Nelly notes, “”I was amazed, more than ever.

Also in Frankenstein,Victor finds a way to corrupt his own soul in the mix. Self destructive behavior may be used as a coping mechanism. This directly applies to Victor as when he first sees his creation he flees and then becomes ill. I found it odd that whenever Victor had any stress he would get sick for months at a time. I see that as psychological because he is wanting to avoid or push away the idea of dealing with the creature for as long as possible. Self destructive behavior may be an attempt to drive others away. Victor suffers from mental issues. Not only that, but he handles situations in a way that end up causing him more pain and trouble than he would have to suffer if he just faced his problem head on in the first place. For example, you say how he avoids dealing with the creature as long as he can and the fact that he doesn’t seek help for dealing with the creature also indicates that he doesn’t know how to handle his own problems very well. Running from your mistakes or you life problems can lead to soul corruption very fast. A lost in identity can result in you losing your soul or trying to impress others. Victor ran away from his creation that killed his family members and he felt bad that guilt and shame and embarrassment came over him in which it led to his soul corruption.

In all of the relationships in all of the texts, emotional satisfaction plays a huge role. The characters are involved in a variety of love triangles that causes them to change who they are and reinvent their character, values, or mindset to make them emotionally efficient. ¨Frankenstein’s dream is indeed universal. Having stolen nature’s secret of life, he imagines a world flooded with his own immortal and transcendent light, a world in which a ‘new species’ exists only to adore his godlike mastery (54). His pursuit of a totally authoritative position, however, demands the effacement of all others — others, like darkness and death, on which his project depends: ‘to examine the causes of life’, Frankenstein states, ‘we must first have recourse to death’ (51). It is these others, moreover, that overturn his exorbitant aspirations. After the moment of the creature’s animation, when the idealised and beautiful being appears repulsive, Frankenstein sleeps only to be confronted by a nightmare in which the others he tried to repress all powerfully return: women, sexuality, bodies, decay, death, darkness and madness exert their force. Frankenstein’s world has been turned upside down. His dreams, he acknowledges, ‘were now become a hell’ while ‘the change was so rapid, the overthrow complete. The scientist-dreamer has undergone a major revolution.¨

For example in Frankenstein, Victor begins to realize the seriousness of his actions which scares into the automatic guilt and shame feeling. Instead of facing the consequences of his creation he decides to try and change himself and cause self-punishment for the monstrous creation that had destroyed a family, and a assemble of people. Emotional satisfaction became a huge issue that caused major drama in many of these texts. The power of the heart over the mind is a big factor. Wanting to go with what’s in your mind which would typically be to be yourself and not to let anyone change you. Emotions and feelings are one of the strongest things that will mentally, physically, and spiritually tear you apart. Along with that when other people come into the picture that attract you and you push aside how toxic they are to your life you let them and the relationship have power over you and that is the reinvention or the change that the characters suffered in trying to be emotionally satisfied which was extremely unhealthy and poisonous and affects all of your future.

“”‘All men hate the wretched; how then, must I be hated, who am miserable beyond all living things! Yet you, my creator, detest and spurn me, they creature, to whom thou art bound by ties only dissoluble by the annihilation of one of us.'”” (Shelly 83) This is from Frankenstein when Victor denies his own creation because of emotional satisfaction. He doesn’t want to face the fact that he has created a dangerous species and he doesn’t know how to handle the overwhelming guilt feelings. “How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form?” Frankenstein(55) Also in Hamlet the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia is toxic and causes the characters to reinvent themselves for emotional satisfaction. ¨The relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia displays great love though is controlling and often leads to assumptions. A prey vs. predator like relationship is shown through Hamlet and Claudius as they both compete with one another.¨ These relationships tend to end in feelings of hate and regret or sorrow because of the dramatic mix that goes on. Changing for the sake of emotional satisfaction is something that comes with life that can´t be changed. It’s important to keep an extremely strong piece of mind when your dealing with relationships with others. It’s important you keep yourself first and put everyone else last to avoid reinvention.

To overcome emotional satisfaction, you have to be strong-minded, determined, and purposive. You cannot be weakened by the fatality of others. For example. “Relationships hold everyone together. They create a bond between two people. Though, this is not the case in the play Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare. The relationships end in destruction. Hamlet is a character who is portrayed to be indecisive and active consciously. He deals with things emotionally, not pragmatically. This has a large impact on his relationships with others. Hamlet, when speaking to Polonius, hides puns and insults into his speech, causing his relationship to be built upon misconceptions.” Also in Wuthering Heights: With Edgar and Catherine – as with most relationships in Wuthering Heights “violence and desire go hand and hand. Edgar is so taken with Catherine that he refuses to heed the warnings of her troubled behavior. In this sense, he shares one thing with Heathcliff: a masochistic attraction to drama. Heathcliff’s revenge will hit not only Edgar but especially Catherine.

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That would cause Catherine deadly illness. She is depressed, feels guilty and her mental state is reflected by her body state. All that symptoms are multiplied – due to her pregnancy. Finally Catherine died. Her love to Heathcliff was overwhelming her and for sure she felt guilty because of Linton to whom she also felt some affection. Love to both men was shown in the book when Catherine is telling to Nelly.” In this particular situation, the characters go in a roundabout about their emotions and feelings that eventually led to death. The mental state was deprived because of Heathcliff and Edgar. It’s important to never let your guard down when you are trying to be in a relationship with someone. “To Catherine, she and Heathcliff are one and the same; thus marriage to Edgar does not mean leaving the man she really loves. That Heathcliff sees her marriage as a betrayal is what ultimately divides them. That is why she dyes – because she cannot live without him, and while he is married to Isabella, even though he treats her like a rubbish, Catherine cannot stand it. The same speech proves also that within Catherine there is no selfishness on the contrary to Dorian Gray. One might say that she married Edgar because she was egoistic and wanted to achieve social status.”

You have to be extremely strong within your mind and heart. It’s important to not let things get in the way of your strength even though it might hurt. Pain hurts for some time but finding who you are is more important in going through life. It takes a person of self-control and discipline.” Isabella will also be a victim of Heathcliff love to Catherine. Thinking that he is not loved by Miss Earnshaw he run away. When he came back, Catherine is married for 6 months to Linton. Heathcliff coming to the Thrushcross Grange at first pretends that he wants to keep friendship with Catherine. At the same time he claims that he does not really want to act revengefully towards Catherine, which I found not true according to his words: ‘I seek no revenge on you,’ replied Heathcliff, less vehemently. ‘That’s not the plan(…) You are welcome to torture me to death for your amusement, only allow me to amuse myself a little in the same style, and refrain from insult as much as you are able.”Bronte says “ they forgot everything the minute they were together again: at least the minute they had contrived some naughty plan of revenge. (Bronte 11) This shows how strongly people can affect you and numb you. The strength is takes to not do things simply because it satisfies you is extreme. As the authors wrote their texts they knew the theme and important lessons and purposes. These particular stories are covered in one big thing: Emotion. Every character has them towards 1 or more of the characters which causes things to be abnormal and get out of hand simply because emotions are something that are hard to take control of within yourself.”

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