The heart of many of Shakespeare’s works is love and tumultuous relationships. It is not a difficult task to attempt to analyze the relationships of his protagonists. Many of his characters would fit into at least one of the “love-styles” presented by John Alan Lee. There are many different types of relationships and John Alan Lee aims to categorize them, or breaking them down into “different colors,” (Lee, 40). The love-styles can be applied to many relationships such as those in the works of Shakespeare. The love styles that John Alan Lee describes can also determine the successfulness of a relationship. He fits the love styles into a diagram and the location of one style of lover in relation to another can cause a relationship to succeed or fail. This phenomenon is known as the “theory of proximity” (Lee). Two people who share the same love style or who are close to each other on the diagram have a better chance at a successful relationship.
Two of Shakespeare’s most famous works, Antony and Cleopatra and Romeo and Juliet, have much in common. Both center around the romantic relationship between two people who have many reasons why they shouldn’t be together. Romeo and Juliet is focused on the love of two children of feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Similarly, Cleopatra is queen of Egypt and Antony is one of the triumvirs of the Roman Empire. Both are expected to handle their duties but disregard this in order to be together. Both couples meet an early demise due to their inability to live without the other. Both couples also have an underlying awareness that their relationship is doomed to fail. Antony and Cleopatra are somewhat more...
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...leopatra were fated to fail. If this theory is correct, perhaps Romeo and Cleopatra would have been better suited for one another. Romeo would give Cleopatra the attention she craved and Cleopatra would return the same attention. Cleopatra needs someone to give her his undivided attention. Romeo would happily oblige to this. While the relationship would indeed be quite dramatic, it might have a better chance at success. The ideals of relationships that Shakespeare holds differ quite a bit from those of John Alan Lee.
John Alan Lee and Shakespeare both have conflicting ideals on what is necessary in order to maintain a successful relationship. Shakespeare writes his characters into relationships that would be extremely successful had some matter of fate not torn them apart. John Alan Lee would argue that their relationships were doomed from the beginning.
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