Speech:

  • Two concepts, both alike in morality, in our modern world, where we lay our scene. From ancient beginnings for business, where now prison like monogamy makes a civil war of divorce, making modern love and marriage an illusion. This beginning may sound familiar to you all, and that will be because I have taken the liberty to re-write one of the most recognisable romances of our history; Romeo and Juliet. Ironic though isn’t it? To start with an allusion to a romance when its been re-written as to demonise the very act, well that’s what I will be speaking about today. The demonisation of romance through marriage and how in reality, real Love and marriage have no actual correlation.

 

  • Marriage and love are two concepts that over time have become entwined through a signature on paper and a shackle on each others index finger, the promise of a forever with a very handy combining of assets to be more of less equally shared. In 1922, Edvard Westermarck defined marriage as “A more or less durable connection between male and female lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after the birth of the offspring.” So to say marriage not even a hundred years ago was all business and no play, has a ring of truth to it, and really has it changed all that much? People in that era and before it were expected to marry for wealth and privilege, also to produce heirs to their accumulated fortunes. Marriage in its earliest origins was never even for love, it was all about connections. With Royal families marrying off children left, right and centre in order to have a bit of the British royal family influence all over Europe, and look at them now they’ve finally snagged an American to bridge the  gap between the two world superpowers. It’s not only the marriage itself that has become a cycle of business perpetuated by the masses, it is a real commodity for those who need it. Nowadays it is easier to marry a complete stranger to gain accesses to a country, than it is to apply for a visa. The marriage grants the partner a visa, allowing them to hop borders and now live and work within their partners country. My own parents have been married for 26 years, however a romantic proposal wasn’t made, my dad never got down on one knee. The reality was that my parents married for connivance.  Hence a long standing commitment to one another was signed into the institution that is marriage, not because of the need to establish love, but for the benefit that it would bring. My own parents did not marry for love, as it was already present, the marriage was a separate benefit to the relationship they had already maintained for years. And they both firmly believe that they would have remained together had they not been married, the marriage came as a way to beat the system. American comedian Groucho Marx once said “ Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution.” Well he may be right but when the institution is established as a beneficial contract rather than as the sole display of love then it maybe an institution willing to change with modern ideas of love and relationshipsOlder generations typically in their ignorance, often think that if we don’t get married that the love wasn’t real, that the couple won’t stay together, that if they don’t get married they won’t have kids, and if they don’t have kids then what will happen to the family line, and then what if the family line dies out? Shocking really, but family lineage has absolutely no meaning whatsoever in this day and age; the oldies are gonna take awhile to wrap their heads around that one.
  • The other part of this apparent correlation is love. Love, when trying to find a definition, was almost impossible to find with something concrete that in english seemed to fit the enormity of this emotion. But a common thread through all my searching was that the idea of monogamous, long term commitment, or any form of institutional ceremony to “celebrate” the act of love was non-existent; and totally irrelevant to the concept. If love by various  definitions does not require the act of marriage, then why I ask you, do we require it to show our love for the ones we do. The answer being that we don’t and that we are socialised through media, history and by economics to feel required that after we have meet the ‘one’ or have stayed with someone of that nature for an extend period of time that is becomes and expected next step. Often times in ancient greek society, a couple would be married but would both me having separate known affairs, this was not frowned upon because it was  understood that the marriage was a separate entity to the love they had with others. In ancient Greek there were considered to be four forms of love: familial love storge, friendly love philia, romantic love eros, and divine love agape. These were all used in everyday language to allow for the distinguishing of what we in common english call love. Can you remember what you said when you are first in a relationship with someone? no ? maybe it’s because it seems too childish to explain that we have such a limited vocabulary to talk about what is one of the driving forces of humanity. In english we don’t have these distinguished terms that the greeks had, instead when someone says, ” So…do you like  like them,” we say ” yes I like like them.” We, in english, have to double the adjective for lack of a better form of expression of the beginning of love. To me this comes across as a lack of understanding of what love even is, if we a supposedly smart species, cannot find the words to define it, and if we cannot define it, then who are we to say that what and when and where loves place is; personally I don’t have the words to describe it either, but I do know that a word such a love should not be attached to an institution based on accrued monetary value.

 

  • “In love there are two things—bodies and words.” -Joyce Carol Oates.  I’ve spent a great deal of time talking about the crime that is marriage to the victim that is love. And if marriage be a crime then what is its punishment I ask you the audience? is it to take out marriage completely from our society, or is it more reasonable to systematically change the way in which marriage is viewed by new generations.

 

Respond now!