The Princess Of Cleves, By Madame De Lafayette Essay example

1589 Words Oct 5th, 2016 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 who possess it vulnerable and dependent upon others. Throughout the novel The Princess of Cleves, M. de Cleves demonstrates this dependence as he desperately seeks the devotion of his wife. Set in the French Court during the mid 16th century, The Princess of Cleves tells of a…

Related Documents