The Princess Of Cleves Analysis

1589 Words 7 Pages
Though commonly depicted as an empowering emotion, in her novel the Princess of Cleves, Madame de Lafayette describes love as dangerous, as something that causes dependence on others. La Rochefoucauld, a close friend and intellectual collaborator throughout Madame de Lafayette’s life, shares this perception of danger. He states: “The passions set aside justice and work for their own ends, and it is therefore dangerous to follow them…” (La Rochefoucauld, 39). By saying that love disregards justice, La Rochefoucauld is claiming that passion causes one to act on immediate desires and lose sight of long-term happiness. The temptations of instant gratification are therefore dangerous, for they threaten to sabotage our future wellbeing. This concept is woven throughout The Princess of Cleves, describing countless examples of love disrupting the characters’ lives. Madame de Lafayette ultimately portrays love as a destabilizing force that causes vulnerability and uncertainty, suggesting that in order to live peacefully, one must isolate oneself from the source of their love. Only by removing oneself from love can one be content and confident in their decisions.
Love itself is wild and powerful, making those
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Throughout the novel The Princess of Cleves, both Madame and M. de Cleves are discontent for they are deeply affected by their love. M. de Cleves’ love for the princess causes him to depend upon her faithfulness toward him, while the princess’s love for M. de Nemours weakens her resolution to do so. The imbalance of love in Madame and M. de Cleves’ relationship combined with the princess’s uncertainty leads to a highly volatile marriage. Throughout the novel The Princess of Cleves, Madame de Lafayette depicts love as a dangerous emotion that causes characters and their relationships to become unstable, with the only solution being isolation from these

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