1 Corinthians 13:4 (New International Version)
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
How then, is love (personified by Cupid) followed by “doubt,” “suspician,” and “fear” in Spenser’s Faerie Queen? Truly, this cherub’s entourage is destruction and despair—but what does that say about love? Or rather, Spenser’s opinion of love. By way of stark contrast, Book III of the Faerie Queen shows the pain caused by the other side of chastity: giving in to lustful whims, or what a high-schooler might call “love” >.< Does not the Bible also say:
Jeremiah 17:9 (King James Version)
9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
That which is guided by the “heart” per se I would interpret as lustful desires—which is exactly the kind of spur-of-the-moment “love” Cupid brings about in Faerie Queen. Sometime I can’t help but scoff inwardly when I hear that clichéd “follow you heart” and think of Jeremiah 17:9. My heart. My head (or my conscience too I guess) keeps my heart in check, thank God—heaven knows what my heart has told me is OK but I knew really was… well I guess “desperately wicked” is a little harsh. Cupid augments those temptations into an uncontrollable, heart-led frenzy, free of reason. And as we see in Spenser’s poem, cities cry in anguish and a sorcerer tortures she whom he desires in very castle where Cupid is idolized.
Oh, so evil.
To the point, his version of “love” is out of control and exaggerated. In it’s own way it could very well be “desperately wicked,” given the right amount of willpower. He’s just too much of a good thing, often referred to as the god of Eros, or erotic love. You know, the physical side everyone likes so much but then realizes they’ve wasted a year of their life with a jackass…
Maybe my beef is the FOOLISHNESS I’ve seen my friends go through all for what they called “love” only to “fall out of love” 6 months later. Yeah.
DC Talk (celebrated Christian band) says it best I think in their song “Love Is A Verb.” Maybe you don’t so much fall out of love as stop loving, or more likely “really really liking” someone -_- . Cupid’s “love” is lustful desire- a feeling followed by an action –whereas true love comes with the interactions with and for the lover. Like doing what’s best for him or her no matter how much it hurts you or may stop him or her from “loving” you. Love can only come with such a deep caring and understanding that surpasses all selfish, physical desire and transcends to a protection of everything that person is and could be, holding sacred that which is “love” worthy. This is the power of Chastity. Spenser sees how, when separated from the virulent, physical trappings of lust, true love is apparent and a pure relationship, one that nurtures body AND soul, can flourish. A love that only happens a few times in a lifetime, for that deep, that true, that FULL of a feeling can only be endured by a human soul only so much! It’s not flagrant, fleeting, or ever foul: It is patient. And it is kind. It does not envy or boast- it is not proud. It is not rude, self seeking, or easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs.
True love conquers all.