Romance - fear of death gives an aphrodisic like effect

Blake Smith

There are many ideals related to romance, including such things as love, excitement, violence, fear and commonly war. This is presented in such texts such as the ?Trojan war? where men are fighting for the love of a woman. In Romeo and Juliet where Romeo is excited by fear of the Capulets, or in ?My Sweet old Etcetera? where the soldier is thinking of his lady rather than of the ensuing battle. Thus it is evident that romance is commonly related to violence, danger, and fear of death (particularly in the young) often giving the effect of a potent aphrodisiac.


Love has existed in many forms throughout time. There is no better example than in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In this tale, when love is most apparent, the most crucial events occur to develop this "tragedy." Juliet needed Romeo to get away from her overprotective parents who were planning her future. If Juliet were going to disobey her parents, they would have disowned her. Ironically, at the party that Lord Capulet held so that Juliet could meet her projected husband, Paris, she met her future husband, Romeo. They met by chance, looking into each other?s eyes and instantly being attracted. In the balcony scene Juliet warns Romeo of the danger to his life if her kinsmen find him there, "If they do see thee, they shall murder thee". This warning on Romeo?s life has an impression on him. However it does not make him take caution, it gives an influence making him even more excited, wanting to be with Juliet. Giving a similar effect to an aphrodisiac.


The fear of death that has an effect of exhilarating Romeo is strongly reiterated in cummings "my sweet old etcetera". Where the young soldier is at war, writing to his lady. He is telling the story of how people at home had acted towards his enlistment, for instance his mother hoping he would die, and how they were hypocritical. Such as his father stating it was an honour to die for your country and that he would "if only?.". The soldier then shows us in his writing that with the excitement and violence of war along with the fear of his imminent death he is somewhat stimulated. To an extent that he is "dreaming" more of his woman and her body, predominantly her sexual organs, instead of the battle and fate that is soon to be upon him.


The aphrodisiac effect of fearing death is further more proven in "cat in the rain".


Where an American couple are holidaying in Italy. However the wife in this story feels depressed and is left wanting as there is no excitement. She sees as "kitty" trying to keep out of the rain and wants it, perhaps to cheer her up. This relationship lacking the excitement seems sad and empty. Sex does not seem to be a part of their lives. This is because the excitement and aphrodisiac effect from fear of death is not present in their relationship.


This relationship in cat in the rain is somewhat re-emphasised in the film "True Lies" directed by James Cameron. Where the housewife Helen Tasker (Jamie Lee Curtis) is bored with life and is lacking excitement. This is as she is unaware of her Husband?s, Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger), secret, exhilarating life as an "Omega Sector" secret agent living a double life. Then she finds a mysterious and exciting man, Simon, who claims to be "Special agent" requiring Helens help on a secret mission. However little does Helen know that this secret mission is to get her into bed. This excited her and see felt exceptional. Then as she becomes more involved in the ring of international terrorists and deeper into the danger learning of her husband?s secret life, she turns from a drab, depressed housewife into a flamboyant, confident woman. This original temperament makes the home life tense and tedious, with some feel that there is a lack of sexual relations due to lack of excitement. However once fear, violence, and danger are introduced to her life Helen becomes more outgoing and more attractive, home life also becomes more relaxed and comforting, with a feel of a happy home. Helen and Harry seem to become more in touch and attracted to each other, as the level of fear and violence increases. As such it seems