Love Through The Ages


Plato's Symposium

385 B.C - 370 B.C

Plato wrote in Plato's Symposium (a philosophical text) and provided the notion that love is characterised by a series of elevations - where animalistic desire is diaplced by a more intellectual concept of love regarding eros, philia and agape.

12th Century

1101 - 1200

Establishment of the Types of Love:
“Eros” or Erotic Love. The first kind of love is Eros, which is named after the Greek god of love and fertility. ...
“Philia” or Affectionate Love. ...
“Storge” or Familiar Love. ...
“Ludus” or Playful Love. ...
“Mania” or Obsessive Love. ...
“Pragma” or Enduring Love. ...
“Philautia” or Self Love. ...
“Agape” or Selfless Love.

14th Century - The Middle Ages

1300 - 1400

Geoffrey Chaucer was one of most celebrated writers throughout 14th Century where love is the most important theme in his work. Chaucer’s tales such as The Canterbury Tales are concerned with love and reflect views about the attitudes towards love relationships. From the courtly, chivalric love of The Knight’s Tale – Chaucer explores the different forms love takes, using tales to satirize the foolish expectation of humanity but also celebrating the beauty of romance and romantic ideals.

Geoffrey Chaucer died on October 25, 1400 in London, England. He died of unknown causes and was 60 years old at the time. Chaucer was buried in Westminster Abbey. His gravestone became the center of what was to be called Poet’s Corner, a spot where such famous British writers as Robert Browning and Charles Dickens were later honored and interred.


16th Century - Tudor English & Elizabethan Era

1500 - 1603

The origins of Courtly Love were believed to be in Aquitaine in France in the 12th century and spread to other European countries. The art of courtly love was practised in English courts from the 1300's to the 1500's. During this period of time marriages were arranged and had little to do with love.

Courtly Love:
Petrarchan Sonnet:

17th Century - Jacobean Era

1601 - 1700

Shakespeare’s sonnets happen to be some of the most famous love poetry of all times – reflecting a range of different views of love.

The dramatist and poet Ben Jonson portrayed his concept of love through the satirical writing about love. The ideology of corruption and love haunted literature however, the idea of men idealizing women and the great love of parent and child dominated writing at the time.

Love & Marriage Conventions:

18th Century

1701 - 1800

Establishment of the Romanticism movement towards the end of the Era-

19th Century - Victorian Era

1800 - 1900

20th Century- Modern Era

1900 - 2000

There was an increase in social mobility and technological developments – allowing society to be more open to a diverse interpretation of literature.

21st Century- Post Modern Era

2000 - Present