The Union Of Peter Abelard And Heloise
The relationship between Peter Abelard and Heloise is not based on love, if it were then both would not resort to unfaithfulness and strained love, neither shows pure commitment to the other.
Due to an inability to actually fight to stay together, Abelard and Heloise again show their lack of commitment toward each other, warranting that they are not truly in love. Marriage is a sacred bond that, throughout history, has been a symbol of love for one another. Most times, couples get married out of true love, yet this is not the case with Abelard and Heloise. Abelard did marry Heloise; however, this marriage was not out of love for the woman or the want to stay with her, but rather to quell societal criticisms. Abelard states, “the marriage should be kept secret so as not to damage my reputation”. Abelard is not fighting to be with Heloise, but rather he is settling into a situation that will be the least amount of work. By marrying Heloise, Abelard is able to eliminate the problems that could potentially be created between himself and Heloise’s uncle. Additionally, Abelard does not truly want marriage seeing as it would open a door for insults and the opprobrium of being closely related to a pregnant woman out of wedlock. Heloise also fails at acknowledging marriage as a symbol of love, but rather as something that is going to disgrace Abelard. With regard to Heloise, the marriage is not a form of love or affection but rather servitude and subjugation. According to Heloise, “I looked for no marriage bond, no marriage portion, and it was not my own pleasures and wishes I sought to gratify, as you well know, but yours”. If Heloise truly loved Abelard she would want to know whether or not Abelard had an agenda in marrying her; love would be Heloise actually caring about how she feels with regards to the relationship. And trying to make it work even if that means disobeying Abelard. Instead, Heloise has readily given herself over to the will of Abelard. It is not love as much as it is enslavement. Since both Abelard and Heloise fail to fight for one another in the bondage and sacraments of love through marriage, they show how their relationship is not love; Abelard uses Heloise to protect his own reputation, while Heloise is not interested in the love aspect of marriage but rather in serving Abelard.
Lastly, the union of Abelard and Heloise to the Church also accentuates the fact that the two are not in love, but rather are willing to fall to societal challenges faced. A major aspect of love between individuals is the fact that they fight against societal judgments to be with one another; death is the only and ultimate severer of love. In the case of Abelard and Heloise, both married the Church in some way or another; Abelard withdrew to an abbey, while Heloise “publically bound herself to the religious life”. At the first signs of trouble, more specifically the mutilation of Abelard, the couple ran into the arms of religion to solve their problems. If this relationship were truly based on love, then both Abelard and Heloise would consult one another and face society together; love would be able to conquer their materialistic problems. By running into the arms of the Church Abelard and Heloise only exhibit the weakness and inability the couple has on relying on love as a strong force. Concurrently, this bond to the Church completely condemns the lifestyle of the relationship between Abelard and Heloise. If the two were truly in love, then they would fight to stay together rather than give up themselves to a higher being or to what society was asking for in the way of how a relationship should be defined religiously. If Abelard and Heloise were truly in love, even the Church would be unable to separate the two.
Abelard and Heloise faced a gamut of problems with regards to their relationship; they faced their own pride, inability to separate love from lust, as well as forces severing their relational bonds. If the two were truly in love then nothing but death would be able to separate them. Neither Abelard nor Heloise vied with much vigor to be with one another; they allowed for other entities to slowly tug at the bonds of this partnership and because of this Abelard and Heloise failed to truly be in love.
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