Love And Friendship Differences And Similarities

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Table of contents

  1. Exploring the Essence of Love and Friendship
  2. The Interplay of Love and Friendship in Relationships
  3. Historical Perspectives on Love and Friendship
  4. The Dynamics of Romantic and Platonic Love
  5. Challenges in Distinguishing Love from Friendship
  6. Shakespeare's Interpretation of Love and Friendship in 'The Merchant of Venice'
  7. Conclusion: The Coexistence and Significance of Love and Friendship
  8. References

Exploring the Essence of Love and Friendship

We all have been faced with the highs and lows of love and friendship one time or another in our lives. Love and friendship can bring you a life full of contentment or a life full of sadness, there are many aspects to love and friendship. Love and friendship can be like a beautiful garden of flowers you really don’t have the words to describe the beauty. As you get closer, you will discover it comes with hidden thorns and thistles called covetousness, enviousness, resentment, and the green-eyed monster all of these decreases your love and friendship. We can argue love and friendship is what makes us compassionate, and love and friendship brings us together and creates happy memories. “When Love speaks, the voice of all the gods, Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony” (Shakespeare, Love Labor’s Lost). Love and friendship covers a multitude of faults it is the glue that keeps family and friends together, even though the love of many wax cold. ”Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 116). Love is a strong emotion. It is a wide array of feelings directed towards another person or object. It can pertain to personal attraction in the case of people in a romantic relationship and attachment in the case of family and friends. It is the foundation of interpersonal relationships that are built between family, friends, and partners.

The Interplay of Love and Friendship in Relationships

Love Speaks in the name of Friendship: Friendship is a feeling of love and affection of one person for another. This feeling of love must be reciprocated. Otherwise friendship cannot be possible. Friendship does not exist where tastes, feelings and sentiments are not similar. The famous essayist Bacon has warned against the friendship between a very rich person and a very poor person. Economic disparity damages friendship. Thus friendship is a feeling of affection between two likeminded persons of uniform status. It is said that a friendship in need is a friend in deed. There may be man friends at the time of prosperity. But most of them desert at the time of adversity. We can examine the sincerity of a friend during our time of hardship and trouble. Only a sincere and faithful friend remains with us at the time of our trouble. All others leave us. It is very painful when our friends turn traitors. Money is an enemy of friendship. Everybody has an attraction for money. When lending or borrowing of money is done between two friends, there is great risk. Friendship may be affected. So it is wise for true friends to avoid monetary transaction. Vanity is another element which breaks friendship. Everybody has self-respect. When a person tries to criticise his friend, their friendship is affected. So friendship must be treated very delicately. Friendship is a special kind of love, more than true and more than endless. So if you have your friends, take care of them, and treat them like a treasure. A famous philosopher Euripides once said, “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness”. The presence of friends makes our life worthwhile but it is really difficult to write a good friend who will be with us in all the circumstances of life. Friendship is one of the most important and valuable things in our life. It measures a good person. A relationship is love and appreciation being shared between two people while at the same time they are indulging themselves in each other’s lives. A relationship is a connection between two individuals whether it is mother and child, male and female, or friend and friend. A relationship can be defined as something sacred, something meant to be shared between two people over a period of time. In the essay “On Friendship” written by Francine Du Plessix Gray she gives her perspective on the relationship between men and women. “Friendship is by its very nature freer of deceit than any other relationship we can know because it is least affected by striving for power, physical pleasure, or material profit most liberated from any oath of duty or of constancy” this is a quote from Francine Du Plessix Gray. She believed that there wasn’t any such thing as true love that with love you get a false sense of what’s real. Varying opinions and conflicting perspectives can quickly lead to disagreements and animosity between people.

Historical Perspectives on Love and Friendship

Close-Knit Loving Bond: Relationships and friendships have evolved significantly over the centuries. Quality of life was influenced by accepted practices related to theories of love and friendship. Exploring Medieval Europe and modern day approaches to relationships provide a clear illustration of how relationships have positively evolved over time. Theories of love and friendship have emerged from the early medieval period over 2000 years ago with notable theories from Plato and Aristotle. Plato was an ancient Greek Philosopher and pivotal figure in the history of western thought. Plato developed the idealist concepts of love theory and defined Eros. Two major psychological theorists on love and relationships today are Zick Rubin and Robert Sternberg. Zick Rubin, a modern day psychologist theorizes that love is made up of three different categories.A close-knit loving bond between two people can begin with a friendship. Whether it is a friendship between two males, two females, or one male and one female, these friendships will develop into love. In no way is it a romantic love, but this type of love connects and bonds friends. Friends may move away or friendships may wane, but the love between the two people burns on forever. Romantic love is a love that not every person will experience. It is a type of love that is not there at the beginning, but grows within the individual. When one finally finds the love they have been looking for, one cannot imagine life with anybody else.

The Dynamics of Romantic and Platonic Love

Love the Conqueror of All: Love, friendship, sympathy and likeness – these feelings are the brightest moments of our life. They become the source of joy and positive energy but can become the reason of big problems and disillusionment at the same time. It’s important to know the notions of these feelings and their characteristics to avoid possible mistakes. Very often lack of knowledge in this field can lead to misunderstandings and finally to poor or even tragic consequences. Sometimes people mix love and friendship or love and passion or sexual attraction. All these feelings are important and reflect different aspect of our life but not all of them are enough to create a family. For non-professional it’s hard to give appraisal of such notions as love and friendship.

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Challenges in Distinguishing Love from Friendship

Professionals also don’t share common opinion on this subject. Bruce King in his book Human Sexuality Today compares love and friendship finding differences and similarities. Both feelings – love and friendship closely correlate and interact, as they possess a lot of common characteristics. First of all love and friendship is relationship, which requires time, effort and many other characteristics, which form mutual relationship. Both, love and friendship assume emotional involvement, care, respect and devotion. Both feelings undergo transformations with the flow of time and go through different stages. You can have several friends but situations of being in loving relationships with several people are very rare and are regarded rather like deviation, than something normal. This is one of the differences between love and friendship. Another incontestable difference between love and friendship is sexual attraction. Friendship usually doesn’t assume any sexual attraction at all and most forms of love (in the context of relationship between people who are in love) include sexual attraction. Love can be reciprocal or not, and in this field it’s expressed more like an attitude. It’s hard to imagine reciprocal friendship. It either exists or not. Friendship is rather a relationship, which emerges on the joint of several spheres i.e. emotional, mental, and physical, etc. Like we could make sure, it’s hard to explain the notion of love or friendship.

Shakespeare's Interpretation of Love and Friendship in 'The Merchant of Venice'

Friendship of a lovable Merchant of Venice: One of the most important motifs, as I see it, in The Merchant of Venice is the constant struggle between love and friendship. In each love relationship, Shakespeare introduces a friendship to intrigue the viewer into observing how the two relationships are dealt with by the characters involved. The main effect of this motif was to show how love and friendship do not have to compete with each other and that each is needed in order to fulfill a person. As it turned out, Antonio ended up risking his very life for Bassanio and this love.

Bassanio says he's sharing with Antonio because they're friends, but he makes explicit that he owes Antonio the most in 'money and love.' (It turns out that Antonio has been very generous with Bassanio, who has a hard time keeping his finances in order.) This is our first hint that friendship might mean a different thing for Bassanio than it does for Antonio. Bassanio might just be working on Antonio's affection in order to keep his purse strings open.

Conclusion: The Coexistence and Significance of Love and Friendship

Bassanio's love life is the first thing Antonio brings up with Bassanio when they're alone together in the play. Maybe he's just one of those guys who likes to gossip, or maybe Bassanio has been on his mind. Bassanio's new courtship seems likely to be the source of Antonio's sadness, as it's at the forefront of his mind. Antonio clearly cares deeply about Bassanio as a friend, and he's facing the fact that he might lose him to this woman. On the whole, the way Antonio and Portia each understood and helped Bassanio helps the viewer to recognize that love and friendship can coexist. However, the love and friendship must be true and understanding, and one must not feel threatened by the other. Portia displayed true love and understanding of Bassanio's friendship with Antonio and therefore helped this friendship become deeper. Antonio displayed true friendship in understanding Bassanio's love for Portia and likewise helped this love to grow and blossom. By portraying these two relationships in one character, Shakespeare emphasized their mutual need for each other in order to fulfill a person. Without Antonio's friendship, Bassanio's love for Portia would never have been fulfilled. Also without Portia's love, Bassanio's friendship with Antonio would have ended tragically. Bassanio needed both his friendship and love to be whole and satisfied. Shakespeare very successfully shows how true love and friendship not only do not oppose each other but even work together to help the other to mature and develop. In connection with mercy and generosity, The Merchant of Venice also explores love and friendship between its characters. The central romantic relationship of the play is that between Bassanio and Portia. The Merchant of Venice approaches the theme of love in numerous ways; familial, friendship, and of course romantic. Shakespeare also purposely shows a lack of love through the novel, and consistently pairs it with betrayal. Shakespeare shows how enforceable contract not only undergirds the city of Venice, which makes a multicultural society possible, but its corrosive effects on non-contractual relationships like friendship, love, and marriage. This is evident in the decisions, actions, and relationships of Antonio, Bassanio, Portia, and Jessica. Although Shakespeare concludes the play on a happy note, the conclusion one can reach is that, despite its advantages, regimes based on commerce and contract fail to create the conditions for friendship, love, and marriage to flourish. Love is an emotion or feeling in a relationship between two people. Love is directed to a family member, a friend, a significant other, a country, or an ideology. It involves a deeper level of attachment, which can be felt towards everyone without needing to establish any kind of relationship.


  1. John D.Hurrell, Love and Friendship in the merchant of venice, Texas Studies in literature and language, Published by University of Texas Press, Vol.3, No.3 (Autumn 1961),pp. 328-341.
  2. Lee Trepanier, Perspectives on political science, Contract, friendship, and love in the merchant of Venice, Published on: 29 Sep 2014.
  3. Jane Austin, Love conquers all, love and friendship, Published on: 1970.
  4. Dolly Alderton, Everything I know About Love, Published on: 15 January 2018.
  5. Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship, Published on 2011.
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