The big romantic love
We All Are Heloises And Abelards
Big romantic loves aren’t only a creation of our minds and dreams. They are also a creation of our societies, as Heloise and Abelard’s love vividly illustrates.
Would Heloise and Abelard’s love be possible nowadays?
We can uphold the yes-thesis. And even maintain that it could be a yet bigger love, a truer one. Freed from the constraints of medieval society, Abelard and Heloise could have offered much more to one another, without falling into separation and a monastic life.
But we can see things from a distinct angle. Would Abelard and Heloise, in our time, without the repressions and conventions of the French twelfth century, felt and loved the way they did? And would they have written the letters which have immortalized them? Obviously no. Heloise and Abelard's love isn’t a twenty-first century love.
And we can even postulate a more cynical argument, and plead that their love would very probably end in divorce, or at least in a banal love. It was the Middle Age society and its religious and repressive environment that created Abelard and Heloise’s love.
In some sense we all are Abelards and Heloises. In the millions of couples whose love falls into banality and turns into divorce, there are many thousands of Abelards and Heloises whose love could have been heroic and majestic, had they been born in French castles, surrounded by monasteries where men discussed the Aristotelian logic and scholarly philosophy that turned Abelard famous, and had they had the powerful uncles engaged in defending their niece’s honour sending men to «cut off those parts of the body» with which Abelard had done that «which was the cause» of his «sorrow».
See also: Quotations on Meaning of Life and Love