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The Realities of Passion

June 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 174

What is man, the touted demigod! Does he not lack powers

just where he needs them most? And if he soars in joy or sinks in sorrow,

isn't he in both brought to a halt by his cold, impassive consciousness,

just when he longs to lose himself in the fullness of the infinite? - J.W. von Goethe

Lamentations such as these are not unknown to many. Intimations of immortality, of transcending one's consciousness abound in various works of art. Thus, the main protagonist in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's maiden novel, "The Sorrows of Young Werther", mainly echoes the central theme of man's longing for freedom from the shackles of reality.

Yet it does not merely echo, rather, Goethe's masterpiece incarnates the strongest feeling of man: love. Here we are drawn to the main protagonist's noble and pure desire for Lotte, a creation infused with immeasurable charm and innate kindness. But such longing for love alas is unrequited, since the girl is already engaged and later shown to be married to Albert, depicted as a rational and well-mannered man. And so the conflict is built around this limitation of Love, which will constantly reverberate throughout the novel in poetic lamentations of freedom from want.

The seemingly endless chaos of daily living is transcended though the depiction of the make-believe world as reality, a reprieve from the rigours of the finite. Werther's passionate exuberance awakens the impulsiveness of youth. Such impulsiveness derives from perfection, a stubborn allegiance to idealism that is gradually diminished as one ages, and its place permeates the cold rational reality that society readily embraces.

The power of Goethe's character lies in its awakening of the unfathomable human spirit. Through Werther's crisp senses and boundless passion, we are re-introduced to the uniqueness of human nature: its capacity to transcend above the limits of tradition and reality, its audacity to dream of things yet unseen, its power to love beyond the infinite...

Through the creative syncopations of von Goethe's writing, we come face to face with ourselves - those impulsive and pre-emptive machinations which makes us, alas, humans. We are, after all,imperfect, with our proclivity towards the lure of the emotions, our clinging to the call of passion... And in all these machinations, we remember our youth - that phase of our lives where the ideal reigns supreme, where reality is not shackled by our need for conformance in a society ruled by rigid laws.

Freedom, after all, can be had in the ideal; in the belief that love is unboundless, that passion is endless...

Source: EzineArticles
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