Monday, November 15, 2010

Real Love

For my event, I went to the Theology department’s performance of the Song of Songs. The Theology department dedicated its year to the Song of Songs, which is a celebration of human desires and intimacies. This performance was a series of soliloquies, quoting different sections. There were three people, the Bridegroom (the man), the Bride (the woman), and the Chorus (another woman). Usually, in the Song of Songs, these people are referred to as the Lover, the Beloved, and Daughters of Jerusalem, respectively. It was a bit odd, not going to lie, that three people stood reading aloud these lines to the audience, instead of towards each other. The Lover occasionally was stating his emotions in such a mundane way that it seemed almost sarcastic. He was saying some of these comments that should be said tenderly and lovingly, not only not directed at anyone in particular, but in a manner of almost boredom. I originally thought that this event was going to be a legitimate performance, but when I came into the church, I was mistaken. At my parish in Connecticut, there are performances of the Nativity scene and of the Stations of the Cross. I thought, perhaps, that this performance might be like that. But, again, I was mistaken.

Immediately, when I learned the Song of Songs was about romantic love, I thought of “My Mistresses’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun” by William Shakespeare. A love worthy enough to have its own book in the Bible certainly needed to be strong and real, just as the relationship between the speaker and his mistress. He sees her for who she really is, just as a true, real love should be according to the Bible. Though Song of Songs is a bit more unambiguously about sex, it can be inferred that the speaker and his mistress are also involved sexually. The Song of Songs represents a powerful love that can be compared to the love between God and the Church; something very pure, just like the speaker’s love of his mistress.

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