Humanities and love

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Love has long influenced works of fiction, visual art, and music, creating a multitude of interpretations, features, and values (Feenan, 2009). It is worthwhile to investigate the theme of love because it is so important in human life. Life is more enjoyable when we are loved and when we love others (Dworkin, 2010). In human life, love is more than just an accessory. According to Helm (2014), we would be less than human if we did not have love or the ability to love. This paper would look at three works of art that demonstrate the importance of love in the humanities. Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, and Springtime are the works.
Romeo and Juliet( Shakespeare, 2014)
This is a piece of literature by Shakespeare and revolves around Romeo and Juliet love life. Romeo had attended a party at Juliet’s house when the two fell in love. The two planned to get married quicklyand a friar married them. At this time, Romeo and his friends meet Juliet’s cousin who kills one of Romeo’s companions. In revenge, Romeo killed Juliet’s cousin and fled back to his country. Juliet’s father forced her into marriage with Count Paris but Juliet takes a potion from the friar and appears dead. The friar sends for Romeo to be at the grave when Juliet would wake up. When Romeo got to the grave, Juliet did not wake and out of love, Romeo killed himself. Shortly after, Juliet wakes up and when she finds Romeo is dead, she commits suicide.

Swan Lake (

This is a dance music piece demonstrating the role of love in human life. The clip contains four ladies dancing together. They have their hands held together and they really seem to enjoy the music. The bond even appears stronger when they move from side to side with interlocked hands. At the end of the dance, the audience is heard applauding.

Springtime (Cot, 2011)

The springtime provides a painting of a young couple. The painting was made by Pierre Auguste Cot to demonstrate love. In the painting, the couple’s eyes are each face and the lady has a bright smile. In addition, the woman has her arms around the man’s neck. The man is dresses in red, which symbolizes love. The lady is dressed in white and from her cloth, a light extends to the background. This symbolizes the peace in the woman after finding love in the man.

In these three examples, the authors have successfully demonstrated the role of love in human life. Shakespeare brings out the concept that life without love is meaningless, a reason why Romeo and Juliet commit suicide. Both would not have lived without the one they loved. In addition, the play shows that love draws people together. When Juliet’s father forces her to marry another person, she rejects it, which symbolizes the need to live around people we love. Thus, love adds to the quality of life.

In the dance clip, the author demonstrates how love binds people together. A difference can be seen towards the end of the clip when the dancers stop holding hands. One can clearly feel there is a bond that has broken. Thus, the author passes his message across that love binds people together. Furthermore, the dancers when moving from side to side are not afraid of falling, as they are sure they support each other. This shows that together in love, humanity can stand.

In the painting, Cot has effectively demonstrated how love lights up human life. The couple has bright faces and their eyes drawn to each other’s face. Cot has extended a bright light from the woman’s dress to the background, showing that love has the potential to enlighten life. Additionally, the woman holds onto the neck of the man, which shows there is no fear in love. The cuddling and the environment in which the couple is (forest) effectively communicates that love eliminating fear and build onto trust.

Elements of Representation

Elements of representation in art are important as they enable the audience to understand art and infer meanings (Winget, 2009). Accurate representation throughout a piece of art whether literature, video, painting, or a play guides the viewers into establishing what the author intended. In the examples analyzed in this paper, the authors make clear representation, which has shaped the meaning readers derive.

In the Romeo and Juliet play, Shakespeare has a strong diction, which guides the readers into inferring meanings. The description of the environment in which the characters fell in love creates a romantic feeling in the audience. For most people, parties are associated with having fun, and when Shakespeare chooses a house party, then the audience expected some people would fall I love. Again, the author describes the proximity of the main characters when they were dancing in the party. Standing close to each other and staring at each other’s lips means that Romeo and Julie were in love. As a reader does through the piece of literature, the description sets a romantic mood in the mind of the reader. Thus description of love events helps the reader identify with Romeo and Julie and when they eventually take away their lives because they would not live with each other, the reader feels that their action was justified.

In the dance, interlocking arms brings to light the feeling of the characters. Again, the blue dim lighting evokes a feeling of love. The costumes of the dancers are also elements representing the theme of love: white color and strapped dresses exposing the cleavage. Furthermore, the musical beats to which the character are dancing are harmonized to the love rhythm. This helps set the mood of the dance and the viewers can see how love unifies people. Additionally, the author uses representation when the dancers stop holding hands towards the end of the dance. This is used to communicate the disunity breaks love.

In the painting, the color, the posture: woman embracing the neck of the man, facial expression: the smiling woman and direct eye-contact, the design of the light extending from the lady’s white attire to the background, and the bushy environment where the couple is featured guides the viewers into conclusions.

From the discussed pieces of art, love can be said to perform various roles in humanities, which include improving the quality of life and binding people in strong bonds that can hardly break. In addition, love facilitates care for each other, sheds light to life, provides a sense of belonging and value, and establishes a level of human interconnectedness where people cannot live without others. Therefore, it is necessary for humanity to grow in love for each other as it adds taste to life.


Cot, A. P. (2011) Spring time [Online] (Updated Dec. 13, 2011) Available at [Accessed Jul. 10, 2017]

Dworkin, R. W. (2010). The rise of the caring industry. Policy Review, (161), 45-59. Retrieved from

Feenan, D. (2009). Foreword: Socio-legal studies and the humanities. International Journal of Law in Context, 5(3), 235-242. doi:

Helm, B. (2014) What is the role of love in human freedom. [Online] (Updated Aug. 19, 2014) Available at [Accessed Jul. 10, 2017]

Shakespeare, W. (2014). The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. [Online] (Updated Sept. 13, 2014) Available at [Accesses Jul. 10, 2017]

Winget, M. (2009). Describing art: An alternative approach to subject access and interpretation. Journal of Documentation, 65(6), 958-976. doi:

July 24, 2021

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