In another one of my classes that focuses on the Renaissance, we recently had a discussion about how unrequited love was considered to be the most pure form of love during the Renaissance. The love poetry of Petrarch and Dante are testaments to this fact. 500 years later and the reluctant romance is still central to our culture’s storytelling and entertainment. Dante and Beatrice have been replaced by Ross and Rachel. What is it about unrequited love that appeals to audiences so much? I think it’s because it’s a topic that most people can relate to and empathize with. It gives audiences something to root for which keeps them tuning in. Unrequited love, aside from providing great storylines, connects television to a literary history. Aside from Petrarch’s poetry, the quest for the one you love has been (and I imagine always will be) a popular novel storyline. No matter what the medium, it seems that unrequited love will thrive, and television has adapted it to its needs particularly well.
Tags: unrequited love