Volume 2014, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2218-7480
  • EISSN:


Denis de Rougement, in his classic opus Love in the Western World argues that the West was unique in its paradoxical modeling of the relationship between passionate love and marriage; “Since its origins in the twelfth century passionate love was constituted in hostility to marriage.” This articles explores this hypothesis by comparing the French legend of Tristan of Yseult and the Russian legend of Peter and Fevronia of Murom. The contrast between the two stories can be analyzed in terms of the tension between Eros and Agape, between a fatal/passionate love in which the individual defies society - narrowing it down to the point of one irreducible and a companionate love, which embeds the individual in an ever-widening network of community made up of friends, relations, descendants. The article concludes on Anna Karenina. There Tolstoy presents a new variation on the theme of passion love and marriage - a synthesis demonstrating the effects of Westernization on traditional Russian culture, and one much closer to our modern sensibility.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Love, marriage, West, Russia, modernity
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