All posts by s.aziz

Love Is …

Medieval poetry was largely about courtly love. Courtly love is a tradition represented in Western European literature that idealizes love within a knight and a lady. This love was more spiritual rather then about physical desire. Ibn Zaydun reminisces about a past love in his poem From Al-Zahra and uses a flashback method where he goes back and forth between the past and the present, when he was with his lady and “now.” “It was an unfenced field and we ran there, free like horses. But alone I now can lay claim to have kept faith. You left, left this place. In sorrow to be here again, I am loving you (Volume B, 324).” Zaydun sounds as if he’s clinging on to what is no longer there and is hurting with the flood of memories. Similarly, Arnaut Daniel, is hopelessly pining for a lady to love as he says ” I burn lights of wax and oil, so may God give me good luck with her (Volume B, 327).” He strives to be the best fit man to care for a woman and if he doesn’t receive love, he is worthless. On the other hand,Guido Guinizelli and Guido Cavalcanti, portray the total opposite views towards love. Guinizelli believes that love ruins our lives for something so complex that cannot be fully understood. He describes women as having an angelic exterior and a cold interior whereas they would take control over men like puppets. Cavalcanti sees love as something that makes you a better person. “It shifts about, changing color, drawing laughter out of tears, and the form you see out of fear, flies away from sight (Volume B, 357).”  This line represents how another person can release the better person in you. Some crave love so deeply and others may avoid it perhaps its dangerous. Love is defined differently within every individual.

The Qur’an

Why does the Qur’an place such great emphasis on gardens and/or feasts?

From prior knowledge of the Islam, followers of this religion attend Hajj, which is a pilgrimage to Mecca. Throughout this journey, the people are required to fast as they would for Muslim holidays such as Ramadan, follow the rules of Islam, and pray multiple times a day. The Qur’an states that in order to fulfil your obligations, you may only consume the food announced to you. “You are forbidden to kill game while you are on pilgrimage… do not violate the Sacred Month, the offerings, the garlands, nor those going to the Sacred House to seek bounty or pleasure on their lord (The Feast, 74).” The Qur’an places such great emphasis on feasts because within the month on the pilgrimage, one must show respect to God as well as be pure when entering God’s home. It is forbidden to eat pig’s meat or meat from any type of animal that has been strangled or a victim of violent blow or fall but it must be slaughtered in the correct manner. Those who follow Islam must abide by the rules of God and if they shall not do so, they will be on the wrong path and will be distanced from other Muslims. As for those who are faithful to the religious are then rewarded by wiping away your sins and admitting you to the gardens, representing paradise and good fortune.


How is the sanctity of marriage bond portrayed throughout the narrative?

The bond of marriage is sacred to the main character Rama and Sita, but marriage is not held on a pedestal in the relationships of the parents or others. The narrative portrays the marriage of Rama and Sita, who both are considered royalty and deeply in love with one another. “To a woman her husband is verily god himself… Even a pious woman who is otherwise righteous, if she does not serve her husband, is deemed to be a sinner (Ayodhya 24-25).” This was spoken from Rama to his mother, Kausalya, explaining the importance of a wife to her husband. Kausalya wishes that Rama would not disperse into the forest for which she will burn to her death without him. Rama wished that his mother stay put and take care of his father like any wife should but she would rather be with the one whom she gave birth too because her husband was occupied with his other wives. On the other hand, Rama had yet to tell Sita, his wife, that he was succumbed to the forest for fourteen years and that he had to leave her behind in respect to his father wishes. Sita insists she follow him to the forest where she says “I should go too; I am your half: and because of this, again I will not be able to live separated from her husband.” She also compares being with her husband as if being in heaven. “Life with the husband is incomparably superior to life in a palace, or an aerial mansion, or a trip to heaven! … Nor will I regard life in the forest as exile or as exile or as suffering. With you it will be more than heaven to me. It will not be the least hardship to me; without you, even heaven is hell (Ayodhya 26-27).” Their love is filled with passion and they both would sacrifice their life for one another. As for other character such as Ravana, who has abducted Sita and wishes to marry her, does not value his marriage seeing that he has multiple wives and has abducted other wives in the past. Even though Rama and Sita only belonged to each other, their society accepted polygamist actions.

Sappho, Love is…

Love comes in many different forms. Whether it be within a man and woman, man and another man, or woman and another woman; love is feeling compassion and happiness with another person. Sappho makes it clear that love is truly based on feelings and emotions. She continuously uses metaphors throughout each of her poems to portray love. In Poem 16, the first line says “Some men say and army of horse and some men say an army on foot and some say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing on the black earth. But I say it is what you love” (Poem 16, 1-4). Love is something that brings her happiness and when there is no love and her heart is broken, she wishes to be dead. Sappho is quite the opposite from Lysistrata whom wishes to create a pact with the women of Sparta and Athens to withhold an important element of love, sex, from their husbands. Lysistrata isn’t very empowered by love and thinks of herself as an independent individual rather than a shadow behind a man or spouse for that matter.