The Princess Of Cleves : Jealousy Stemming From Self Love Essay

1334 Words Oct 5th, 2016 6 Pages
Madame de Lafayette examines the theme of jealousy stemming from self-love in her novel, The Princess of Cleves. This idea of self-interested jealousy was studied by multiple intellects of the time, including Thomas Hobbes and Francois de La Rochefoucauld. These men greatly contributed their ideas to the incredibly introspective age of the 1600s, illustrating the idea that the actions a person takes in everyday life are fundamentally ingrained in their own self-interest. Despite being self-motivated, these jealous actions are counterproductive and result in the inability for a person to be satisfied and happy. Madame de Lafayette proves in her revolutionary psychological novel, The Princess of Cleves, that jealousy is a dangerous and destructive disruption to others and to one’s own sense of self, because jealousy is ultimately rooted in self-love. The Princess de Cleve’s jealousy manifests in a self-interested way through social comparison in order to validate herself and throws her own vanity into a state of disarray. Lafayette examines the causes and effects of extreme jealousy in regard to a young heiress, the Princess de Cleves, who marries an affluent suitor, the Prince de Cleves, but quickly falls in love with another man, the Duke de Nemours. As she begins to subject herself to the Duke’s love, the Princess embarks on a journey through first love’s giddy joy, as well as its hardships. The Princess finds a romantic letter in the Duke’s possession and believes that…

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