Courtship Practices Throughout History Essay, Research Paper
Callie LiebmannFreshman Seminar IIHal Holladay Power is that which creates, destroys, constitutes, and forces change. The ability to use one s power lies within reach, but must be recognized, respected, and put to use. A pure light governed by love that runs infinitely in all directions, is the ultimate form of power. Love is eternal and strong, while hate is impermanent and weak. Love brings things together, while hate separates things. Don Giovanni uses his power to live in the here and now and to forget his past in order to have a guilt-free conscience and move on with his life. To take the path of love one should understand the effects of violence and aggression. Those who are hostile or violent towards others when there is no reason to be, are insecure with themselves and use violence to feed their aggression and feel adequate as people. Violent people often times use their aggressive behavior to intimidate others in order to gain full control over a situation. By making others power-less, the aggressors can virtually direct the situation in their favor, depending on the extent of domination they use on those whom they disempower.To love another is to bless that person with the ultimate and highest gift. Love supports others who are unstable, and acts as a form of comfort and nurture. Being around loving individuals can often times bring a sense of faith and hope to one s self. Because of love s attributes, most people tend to enjoy being around individuals who possess a large amount of love and esteem for life. Nevertheless, loving individuals, in my opinion, should be weary of who they share their love with. Love that is not interchangeable is not true love to begin with. Since love, in my opinion, is the absolute form of power one should only bestow his/her love on those who are worthy and will respect and return the love. This factor deletes the chance that a member of a relationship will feel used or depleted of time, energy and, most importantly, love. When both people in a relationship invest themselves in the give and take matters of love, they progress and support each other, instead of possibly digressing and hurting each other. If interchangeable love does not occur, sooner or later, one or both members of the relationship will get hurt. Don Giovanni loves to take advantage of and seduce women because it makes him feel powerful. His love for women comes from a selfish place within himself, and is not the type of love previously talked about. He is a prime example of a person who leads others into believing that he cares for them. In the aria where Don Giovanni and Leporello go to Zerlina s wedding, Don Giovanni tells Zerlina that he will make her his bride, but all he is really doing is lying to her in order to get what he wants. He seeks to oppress and dominate women, because it makes him feel in control. This is true in all instances. He is always the first one to initiate a sexual interaction and never literally asks the woman involved if she wants to continue. He does not love women, he only loves their bodies and sex, and no matter what size, shape, or frame they might have. He treats women like objects; as if they are something to be used until there is nothing more left to get out of them. Don Giovanni rapes, betrays, and lies in order to attain what he most highly desires, women s sex. He is a woman’s enemy and should not be mistaken for a friend. Nevertheless, any woman who falls for his act should question what she desires and looks for in a man, and analyze her own self.In order to grow as a person, one must stop placing one s self in situations which jeopardize a loss of control or power. Any person who makes others feel power-less should be avoided. If one is fearful of doing something that could be regretted, then he/she should not put one s self in situations that might persuade him/her. It seems the women that the reader is introduced to as having been seduced by Don Giovanni, are often times spiteful towards him for having been nothing more to him than one more woman to add to his list. The important thing to remember is that any woman who willingly participates in a sexual activity with a man while being sober, is just as much responsible as the man is.Don Giovanni chooses to live in the present because it helps him forget the damage and pain he might have been responsible for in the past. There are many valuable aspects to living in the present, except when one does not learn from lessons and mistakes made in the past. If one does not value the knowledge and wisdom that comes from making mistakes, then one will keep repeating the same mistakes. Life can often times have a stifling effect on those who do not strive to grow as wiser and more knowledgeable human beings. A person will not grow and ascend through life if he/she does not examine his/her own life and see what needs improvement.
No one entirely tries to stop Don Giovanni from seducing and abusing women. Donna Elvira lives passionately to stop the “victimization” of women; however she too is swayed by Don Giovanni’s tenderness and appeal. Donna Elvira s heart is torn between remorse and love for him. It clearly shows when Donna Elvira talks of Don Giovanni after he has approached her on her balcony by saying, “Heavens, what strange emotion wakens in my bosom!” Since no one prevents Don Giovanni from seducing women he becomes even more powerful. He does not abide by rules and regulations because no one enforces them on him. As far as he knows, he can get away with almost anything without being punished. Even though some people might refer to Don Giovanni as being bad, most are still attracted to him because he lives passionately and by his instincts. He is appealing to almost all women and even most men, in the sense that in their eyes they can never amount to what he represents. Many people lack the power, self-confidence, charisma, and spontaneity that Don Giovanni possesses. Because many people possess an absence of the previous attributes, they idolize Don Giovanni even though he does bad things to good people. Don Giovanni is hated and admired all at the same time. People respect him because he does not possess any morals or restrictions on life. He decides what he wants out of life and does anything to achieve it. It seems nothing can stop him from obtaining power and dominion over others. His happiness lies in the disempowerment of others. People long to embody Don Giovanni’s power and passion for life because they lack it. Leporello is an example of a man who protests Don Giovanni’s abuse of women but still longs to possess his charming and seducing ways. Leporello is a hypocrite in almost all circumstances. In a duet between Leporello and his master, Leporello tells Don Giovanni he is leaving him, but changes his mind when he is bribed into staying. As Leporello puts it, “Oh well…I’ll accept the routine just this once more; but don’t rely on it. Don’t think you can seduce a man like me with money, as you do women. but Don Giovanni did just that. Don Giovanni may be a powerful man, but the ways in which he gains his power are extremely weak, corrupt, and shallow. He lacks a conscience and does not feel emotions like guilt and remorse. It is easy for him to be emotionless because he is constantly moving from one woman to the next, unaware of the damage he might have done. Don Giovanni strives to be the ultimate desire of women’s hearts because it makes him feel almighty. Don Giovanni pays for his misuse of power. There is a belief that judgment day awaits all people and that everyone must face his/her creator at the end of their life. If one treats others well, then he/she will be rewarded for one’s compassion and kindness. If one treats others badly, then he/she will be punished for one’s destructive and hateful energy. The statue of the Commendatore, the man whom Don Giovanni killed, pays him a visit, in hopes of gaining revenge. The commendatore took it upon him to make sure that Don Giovanni would not escape punishment. Don Giovanni expresses his fear of the afterlife when he says, “My soul is torn in agony, my body is in torture! Ah! What torment, what madness! The terrors of hell… The realization that there is no escaping hell finally dawns on Don Giovanni. He is then sucked down into the bottomless pits of hell to burn eternally. It does not matter what religion one associates with, for it to be clear that a virtuous and loving life has its rewards and benefits. Many people think that if they avoid self-examination they will not have to face up to the wrong-doing they might have previously done in their lives. This notion, however, is false. The people who live immorally will pay in the end. In conclusion, one must harness power in a positive and peaceful way to become truly powerful. Power created out of hate and vengeance by a person is a sign of weakness. All people possess the ability to create one’s destiny and impact those around him/her; however, the ability to love is the ultimate form of power.