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Sunday,May 9,2021
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Remembering Chunhyang and Juliet

Autumn colors are everywhere on campus. The landscape is dotted with the browns, oranges, and yellows of autumn leaves. In this most beautiful season of the year, when you have a break for a couple of minutes, why don't you take a sentimental journey through the past old days, in which everything, in retrospect, seemed to be sweet and bitter.

Lost in reverie of the past memories, people usually get nostalgic particularly when they think of their past love affairs. Sting tells in verse what true love is: "If you love something, set it free. / If it comes back to you, it is yours. / If it does not, it was never meant to be," Love is found on a consuming passion between lovers. But true love comes from the relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and understanding. Here are two typical lovers who ran the risk of losing their lives for true love.

The stories of Chunhyang and Juliet have compelled universal admiration and compassion for a long time. Chunhyangjun, a classical Korean love story, portrays a romantic love affair between an aristocrat and a commoner. The two lovers, Mong-nyong and Chunhyang, must overcome their different social status before realizing their love. Their true love is tested by an extraordinarily cruel villain who has threatened Chunhyang's chastity. By rejecting his unwelcome advances, however, she proves her natural nobility to the public eye. Chunhyang's virtue is finally rewarded after harsh trials, and she is happily reunited with her true love.

Whereas Chunhyangjun ends with a happy ending, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is of star-crossed lovers. Although it is a romantic love story, Romeo and Juliet deals with two young lovers who kill themselves for their true love. They are forced to destroy themselves because of the arranged marriage caused by the bitter hostility of the two families. Like Chunhyang and Mong-nyong, Juliet and Romeo had to overcome the worst social conventions and practices of the time. But they are too pure and too innocent to comply with corrupted social rules.

Chunhyang upgrades her social status through harsh trials and Juliet dies all for true love. It is up to readers to decide which lover would be more admirable than the other. But one thing is crystal clear. They certainly give us lessons in this "brave new world" of the Internet era, where "romantic love" is now fading away and superficial love or casual sex is being rampant

Park Yoon-hee  better68@dongguk.edu

<저작권자 © 동국포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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