'Love is in the air' we can hear in the song. Throughout the centuries, the notion of love became very significant for people of different age, colour and religion. But what is love? Everybody seeks for it but nobody exactly knows what it is. Each person associates it with something different. Some people say that if you love somebody you can feel butterflies in your stomach when the beloved person is close to you, his or her good is at the top of your hierarchy of importance. Others claim that love is strongly connected with lust, desire and emotions that are out of your control. Who is right? Everyone is, because love has a lot of faces and is different for each of us as we all have various personalities and psyche. There are as many notions of love as many people living on the Earth. Thus, love can be blind, at first sight, unrequited, there is platonic love, free love, amour propre, a mother's/father's love, puppy love. Love is also one of the main themes in literature. Some writers eulogize it, some of them swear it. No small wonder that love has its own feast - on February 14 we celebrate St Valentine's Day .
Why is the feast of love called St Valentine's Day? Who was St Valentine? The unambiguous answer does not exist because there were at least three different saints, all named Valentine or Valentinus. However, different sources the most commonly mention about St Valentine who was a 3rd century Roman Bishop. Let's now move 18 centuries back into the past. We are at the court of Claudius II, who believes that the best soldiers, completely devoted to their duties are men who are not married. That's why he has decided to forbid them to get married. Here comes St Valentine who does not agree with his decision, and decides to go against emperor's wishes. St Valentine encourages lovers to come to him in order to be married. The legend says that the couples who were blessed by St Valentine were happy and lived in peace. Unfortunately, when Claudius learns of St Valentine's mysterious practices, he wants the bishop to be beheaded. St Valentine is captured and thrown into prison. While he is awaiting execution, he falls in love with a blind girl who is the daughter of the jailer. In his last moments of life, he writes a farewell letter to the girl which is signed: "From your Valentine".
St Valentine was called a Christian martyr and the phrase became popular, and is widely used in valentine cards until now. In 1415 Charles, Duke of Orleans sent a valentine card to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. The card is exposed in the British Museum as the first valentine card which standed the test of time.
When discussing the subject of love we should not forget about famous couples (genuine and fictional) which affected us and became an intrinsic element of literature and art.
Adam and Eve - the ancestors of people; because of their disobedience towards the God (they ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil) they were expelled from the Garden of Eden. They lost their immortality and since then they had to work hard. Adam is said to have been 930 years old when he died.
Romeo and Juliet - the most famous pair of lovers in history of literature. Their love is unremitting inspiration to a wide range of directors such as: F. Zeffirelli, G. Cukor, B. Luhrmann and many others.
Pocahontas and John Rolfe - everybody know this figure thanks to cartoon "Pocahontas" (1995). Her life, however, differed from the reality showed in the cartoon. Pocahontas played a significant role in Virginia's survival by feeding the starving settlers. As a twelve - year - old daughter of Powhatan, the chief of Amerindians she saved the life of John Smith ( he was the settler of Jamestown). She accepted Christianity as Rebecca and married John Rolf. In 1616 she travelled to England. She died of smallpox the next year.
Soraya Esfandiary Bachtiari and Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi - she was a 18 - year - old student from a Swiss finishing school when she was introduced to the thirty - two Shah of Iran who had been already divorced. Shortly after their meeting they got engaged and married ( the engagement ring had a 22.37 carat diamond). They split up after seven years of marriage. The main cause of divorce was simple: Soraya did not give a descendant to her husband.
Giulietta Masina and Federico Fellini - she was an Italian actress, he - an Italian director. Their relationship was full of passion, tempestuous and hard moments. Giulietta died from a cancer (at the age of seventy-three), he just a couple of months earlier. They were buried together at Rimini cemetery.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon - there are two versions of their meeting; the most common one is that John Lennon met seven - year - older Yoko Ono at the Indica gallery in London where she was preparing her exhibit. They got married on March 20, 1969. They made so called "Bed - in" campaign for peace. John Lennon was murdered at the age of 40.
Category: General English - Reading
Tags: Love is in the air, love, song