Passion, Love And Death In Brontë's Wuthering Heights

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Passion, love, and desire encourage transgression, which eventually leads to Gretchen’s death sentence in Goethe’s Faust and Catherine Sr.’s and Isabella’s death from fever in Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. The women have passions for passion and desires to be desired that they discover through their involvement in forbidden romantic relationships with the male protagonists. Goethe’s Gretchen acts well-behaved until she becomes tempted by the beauty of “such jewels! [A] rich array” (I.2791), and she cannot bring herself to abandon this splendor. When Gretchen learns Faust is the gift-giver, she begins to desire him and they become romantically involved. Her passion leads her to poisoning her mother and drowning her baby. In response to her acts of murder, she receives a death sentence. In contrast, Catherine Sr. in Wuthering Heights acts wildly until she marries Edgar, where her passion for intensity reveals itself in ailment rather than action. When the passionate Heathcliff becomes a figure in her adult life, Catherine Sr. becomes ill due to a combination of his absence, her pregnancy, and her confining marriage. Her inability to act on her passion …show more content…
She suggests that her desire for beauty may have led to her deterioration. Because she hides the jewels from her mother and the priest, her desire for beauty brings about her inability to conform to morals. On the other hand, Faust believes it is he who leads her to her death. He says, “This day is my undoing!” (I.4595), revealing the blame he feels for Gretchen’s condemnation, and he refers to the undoing of her morals. He acknowledges that “her transgression was a trusting heart!” (I.4408). Again, his dishonesty and untrustworthiness seem to cause Gretchen’s insanity, her homicides, and therefore her death sentence. Though Faust blames himself, it is Gretchen’s passion for passion that leads her to her own

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