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What is the theme of "Love Among the Ruins" and why?

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lakeishawarner | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 23, 2008 at 5:57 AM via web

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What is the theme of "Love Among the Ruins" and why?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 23, 2008 at 11:23 AM (Answer #1)

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In this poem, a young wanderer has come across an ancient civilization that long ago disappeared.  All that is left of that civilization are the ruins of the buildings that once marked its greatness.  The wanderer walks among these ruins, which are being overgrown by the vegetation.  He talks of a girl who waits for him "in the turret" of an old castle, a girl capitivates him and has captures his love.  The more he focuses on the girl, the less he sees of the past civilization.  He becomes wrapped up in the girl only - she will "extinguish sight and speech."  The theme is that no amount of glory or material wealth achieved by any civilization can outshine the glory that comes from sharing love with another.  The last line sums it up:  "Love is best."

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