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That which seeks marriage is not romance, but marriage can try to elevate itself to the level of romance.  

— Karmayogi

Eternal romance

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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a romance of love at first sight between two youngsters separated by powerful social barriers. The joyous intensity of their emotional attraction for one another brings them together in spite of the animosity between their families, but patient and impulsive, their love lacks the strength and maturity to prevail over the negative atmosphere.

 

Articles on Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet’s deep love and care for each other is an excellent example of Affection, Level 5 in the Scale of Romance. See the article and videos.
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Plot Summary

 A long-standing feud between the Montagues and the Capulets flares up in a brawl on the streets of Verona, halted only by the arrival of Prince Escalus. Romeo, only son of the Montagues, is hopelessly in love with the unattainable Rosaline. In hope that meeting other girls will shake him out of his melancholy, his friends Mercutio and Benvolio persuade him to go to a party at Capulet's house. Romeo agrees, hoping to see Rosaline there. Instead he meets and falls instantly in love with Juliet, Capulet's only daughter. She returns his love. With the help of Juliet's Nurse, they are secretly married the next day by Friar Lawrence.

Juliet's cousin Tybalt quarrels with Romeo and in the fight which ensues, Mercutio is killed. Romeo avenges his friend's death and kills Tybalt, for which he is banished from Verona on pain of death. After spending a single night with his bride, he escapes to Mantua. Juliet learns that her parents plan to marry her to Count Paris in two days' time. Capulet then decides the wedding will take place the following day. Distraught, Juliet turns to Friar Lawrence who devises a plan. He gives her a drug which will make her appear to have died. The Friar hopes that her parents will place her in the family tomb and when she awakes from her drugged sleep, she will find Romeo waiting for her. The Friar writes to Romeo to tell him of the plan, but Romeo never receives the letter. Romeo hears of Juliet's death and returns to Verona, to see her in the Capulet tomb. There he finds Paris, whom he murders. Romeo enters the tomb, finds Juliet's 'corpse' and poisons himself. Juliet wakes to find Romeo dead. Unable to live without him, she stabs herself. The Capulets and Montagues, united in grief, vow to end their feud.

 

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Gone with the Wind
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli
Written by William Shakespeare (play), Franco Brusati, Masolino D'Amico,
Franco Zeffirelli (screenplay)
Starring Leonard Whiting as Romeo, Olivia Hussey as Juliet
Copyright belongs to Paramount pictures

 

 

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The Notebook

The Notebook An old man spends his idle time in a nursing home reading a love story to an old woman with Alzheimer's disease who has lost her memory and forgotten her family and her life, but listens with rapt attention to the old man's narrative. The story he relates exemplifies romantic love in its purest and most powerful form, a love born in youth and sustained for decades.

 

Articles on The Notebook
Eternal romance is not mere fantasy. Attaining that intensity requires a purity of aspiration that is willing to give up everything else combined with a capacity to give oneself in joyous love and ask nothing in return. Read about it in details and watch the videos in the article Love that lasts
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Plot Summary

In a modern-day nursing home, an elderly man named Duke (James Garner) begins to read a love story from his notebook to a female fellow patient (Gena Rowlands). From a faded notebook, the old man's words bring to life the story about a couple who is separated by World War II, and is then passionately reunited, seven years later, after they have taken different paths.

The story begins in 1940 when as teenagers, Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) begin a whirlwind courtship that soon blossoms into tender intimacy. The young couple is quickly separated by Allie's upper-class parents who insist that Noah isn't right for her. Several years pass, and, when they meet again, their passion is rekindled, forcing Allie to choose between her soul mate and class order. The film goes back to the elderly couple, and Duke asks Allie, the old woman who she chose. She soon realizes the answer herself; young Allie appears at Noah's doorstep, having left Lon at the hotel and chosen Noah. They embrace in reunion.

The old woman was deeply moved by the old man's narrative. Suddenly she realized that the story was one she had heard before, it was her own story and the man who read it to her was Noah. For five minutes they enjoyed the intensity of emotional reunion before she lapsed back into self-forgetfulness once again. She herself had written it down when she realized she was losing her memory and had made Noah promise to read it in the hope of bringing her back. For months Noah had been reading her the story daily. She had forgotten her children and grandchildren and could not recognize them, but the story in the notebook brought back momentarily the most sacred emotions of her life. At first her recovery came every few days, then every few weeks. Now it had been months since she had last remembered. But for those few brief minutes they both relived freshly with the original intensity the love they had felt for each other the first summer they met. In one such moment of lucidity, she asked Noah whether they might die together and the next morning they were discovered lying motionless next to one another in bed.

 

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The Notebook Directed by Nick Cassavetes
Written by Nicholas Sparks (novel), Jan Sardi (adaptation), Jeremy Leven (screenplay)
Starring Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun, Rachel McAdams as Allie Hamilton,
James Garner as Duke, Gena Rowlands as Allie Calhoun

Copyright belongs to New Line Cinema

 

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Love that Lasts

"Love is a passion and it seeks for two things, eternity and intensity." (Sri Aurobindo) Yet all too often that passionate feeling arrives without warning out of nowhere and then vanishes just as suddenly without a trace. In The Notebook, an old man spends his idle time in a nursing home reading a love story to an old woman with Alzheimer's disease who has lost her memory and forgotten her family and her life, but listens with rapt attention to the old man's narrative. The story he narrates exemplifies romantic love in its purest and most powerful form, a love born in youth and sustained for decades.

It began at a carnival on Seabrook Island, South Carolina, as an unlikely summer romance between teenagers from very different backgrounds and strata of society. Allie was the only daughter, heiress and pride of a wealthy southern family of distinction, given the finest education and raised with the highest expectations of accomplishment in life. Noah was the son of an intelligent, working class father with aspirations that did not extend beyond raising a happy family on this beautiful island of his birth. Initially Allie was put off by Noah's bold intrusion and pursuit. He was handsome enough, but one look was sufficient to show the differences in their origins and up-bringing. Yet differences can be deceptive. For beneath the striking contrast, they found a deep and joyous commonalty of shared affection. Noah was all too aware of the social distance and obstacles that separated them, but he was sure of himself, the intensity of his love and his capacity to make her happy as no one else could do. He helped free her from the stifling conventionality in which she had been raised and brought out her creativity as a painter. She was thrilled with wonder to discover the poetry of his unpretentious heart. He offered her little, but pledged himself to buy the dilapidated Windsor Plantation on the riverbank and restore it to its former grandeur for her sake.

Knowing their daughter to be head strong and independent, initially her parents tolerated the summer romance with little doubt that it would end when Allie left for college in New York in the fall. But the ardent intensity of her feelings alerted them to a deeper danger. After failing to curtail her emotions, they cut short their vacation and forced her to leave a week early. Noah outwardly resigned himself to the campaign against him, while silently accusing Allie of not openly refusing to leave. Feeling deeply hurt by his accusations and rejected, she decided that Noah must take the initiative to pursue her if he really cared to.

The following year Noah wrote to her every single day, but Allie waited in vain to receive his letters, because her mother confiscated them without her knowledge. Mistaking Noah's silence for indifference, Allie was heart-broken for months but finally decided to move on with her life. Noah went off to WWII, where he lost his closest friend. Allie became a nurse for wounded soldiers, where she met and was attracted to Lon Hammond, a handsome, sophisticated southern lawyer from a wealthy family, precisely the type of man her parents had always wanted her to marry.

After the war, Noah's father presents him with the deeds to the old mansion and together they embark on a labor of love to restore its lost beauty. Seven years have passed. While visiting Charleston, Noah catches a glimpse of Allie walking down the street. He sees her enter a restaurant and kiss Lon affectionately. The passage of time has not dampened his feelings, nor has it disturbed the quiet reserve which prevents him from speaking up for what he wants. He returns to the island alone.

Shortly thereafter, Lon proposes and Allie accepts him to the great joy of her family. The day their engagement is announced in the Charleston papers, Allie notices an article on the very same page with a picture of Noah and Windsor Plantation, relating the story of the restored mansion. Preparing for the wedding, Allie tells Lon she must go away for a few days. She returns to Seabrook and drives out to the magnificently restored mansion where Noah is living by himself. Amazed to see how Noah has remained faithful to his promise, shocked to discover that he had written her 365 letters which she had never received, and deeply moved by the evidence that he had never ceased to love her during all the years of their separation, her long buried feelings of joyous love rose to the surface and overwhelmed her.

Two blissful days later, her mother drove up to the mansion and informed her that Lon has come to Seabrook in pursuit of her. After Allie confronts her with the treachery of concealing Noah's letters, she drives Allie to the sand mines where she points out a middle-aged laborer and describes the passionate love affair that she had with him on a summer holiday in her youth. Then she had chosen convention, conformity and security over love. She had tried to impose the same decision on her daughter. She now withdraws her opposition and returns Allie to the mansion, gives her the 365 letters and leaves her daughter to choose for herself.

For once in his life, Noah breaks his stoical silence. He accuses Allie of giving in to security and social pressure and tries to compel her to choose what he is sure she really wants. Strong willed as ever, she quarrels and drives away to meet Lon. Hours later she returns to Windsor with her suitcases to spend the rest of her life with Noah.

The old woman was deeply moved by the old man's narrative. Suddenly she realized that the story was one she had heard before, it was her own story and the man who read it to her was Noah. For five minutes they enjoyed the intensity of emotional reunion before she lapsed back into self-forgetfulness once again. She herself had written that story down in a notebook when she realized she was losing her memory and had made Noah promise to read it back to her in the hope of reviving her memory. For months Noah had been reading her the story daily. She had forgotten her children and grandchildren and could not recognize them, but the story in the notebook brought back momentarily the most sacred emotions of her life. At first her recovery came every few days, then every few weeks. Now it had been months since she had last remembered. But for those few brief minutes they both relived freshly with the original intensity the love they had felt for each other the first summer they met. In one such moment of lucidity, she asked Noah whether they might die together and the next morning they were discovered lying motionless next to one another in bed.

What kept alive the flame of love between Allie and Noah over more than half a century of quiet living in the same home, raising children, seeing them married and having children of their own? What made their love so very different from so many ordinary or disappointed marriages? Though physically attractive in their youth, beauty and good looks that vanish quickly with age could hardly explain the longevity of their love. She came from wealth and sophisticated society, he from the plain simplicity of the rural South. Nor did they share any intellectual interests or artistic pursuits. She was well-read, highly educated, played the piano and painted pictures. He never went to college, read poetry and crafted furniture. She was vivacious and extroverted, he somewhat quiet and reserved. She had aspirations to see the world, he to live in the world he already knew. What they shared was at once much simpler and more profound than the long list of factors that purportedly determine emotional compatibility.

Allie did certainly love Lon, but the heart is a plant that blossoms just once in a lifetime. After that it may continue to give fruit, but a second blooming can never match the purity and intensity of the initial bloom when the love it is based on is true. Allie's love of Noah was no mere childhood infatuation. Its fragrance arose from deep in their hearts and remained true throughout their lifetime.

The secret of lasting romance is not a matter of chance or luck or the magic of finding the perfect person. It lies rather hidden in the aspirations and values that bring two people together in the first place. Allie made a conscious decision to follow the deeper urges of her heart, rather than the surface attraction of wealth, material security, status, respectability and social success. It is true she did love Lon in her own way, the way we love all our families, all that we are used to, all that represents a comfortable and acceptable way of life. But her love for Noah issued from the depths of her being. She had the strength which her mother lacked to renounce the safe and secure path in favor of an emotional adventure of the soul.

Though often felt but briefly, never to return, true love is not altogether a myth. Eternal romance is not mere fantasy. Attaining that intensity requires a purity of aspiration that is willing to give up everything else combined with a capacity to give oneself in joyous love and ask nothing in return. Rare are the hearts qualified for it. Rarer still those that can sustain and revive it year after year, but love lies always in waiting, ready to return to hearts that remain true to love.

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Eternal Romance

The search for constant delight in life especially in another person is the deepest, most intense and universal of human aspirations. It is the quest for eternal romance. Except in the pages of fiction, it is rarely achieved for more than a few moments. Yet few can abandon the dream of achieving it, because the aspiration originates in the depths of our emotional being. RomanceEternal.org is intended to explore the possibility of achieving it in your life. The very endeavor to seek this goal is an act of idealism which can bring greater delight.

Delight is at best a fleeting experience for human beings. The common experience is that if the magic of romance comes in a relationship at all, it quickly fades in the dull light of everyday life. Yet having once tasted the sweetness of romance, we never forget it and yearn to get it back.

Romance is to discover the eternal moment in another individual, so that the delight of existence can be felt ever-present and growing. Romantic attraction arises because we find in another person a psychological and spiritual complement to our own personality which fills each moment with unexpected novelty and surprising revelations of our partner's individual uniqueness.

Countless lovers have pondered over the mystery of why romance tends to fade so quickly. Yet the answer is not difficult to discover. Romance does not originate in another person. Romance is a quest for adventure which arises within ourselves, the search for an ideal which we seek to attain. The aspiration and courage for adventure in which we risk all and nothing is guaranteed, is the true basis for romance.

When the wonder of romance fades, our first instinct is often to blame our partner for not being the same as before, not being all that we need, little aware that we too have changed along the way. Often this leads us to question our original choice of the other person. The mistake is not in our choice but in the way we have implemented it. The power lies in us to revive the wonder.

To discover romance in another, one has to first discover it in oneself. We discover and evoke romantic feelings in another person through the attitude of self-giving we bring to the relationship during the initial period of acquaintance and pursuit, before we feel secure in our partner's affection or the permanency of the attachment.

Once that security is achieved, our natural inclination is to seek more for what we can get from the other person than what we can give. That subtle shift in attitude from wanting to please and wanting to give, to wanting to take and wanting to be pleased, gradually converts the magic of eternal romance into the routine habitual patterns of everyday life. Therefore the real work lies within ourselves, in a change in our own attitudes and behavior.

As common as it is, the fall from delight is not irreversible. If we can recover the original attitude of romantic adventure, the feeling can return. Romanceeternal.org offers knowledge and guidance to help you make that reversal and rediscover the delight of romance in yourself and your partner. Those who seriously aspire for that achievement will find their lives richer, fuller and happier for the effort.

You can use this site to obtain expert advice to solve a problem in your intimate relationship, to learn more about the true basis for eternal romance in relationships, and to explore ways to grow your own personality so that your capacity for feeling delight and offering delight to your partner is ever-expanding and richly fulfilling.

If you would like to raise general questions on romance, love, marriage and relationship or about any of the content in this article, please post your entry in the appropriate forums

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