Romantic and Arranged Marriages in Arthurian Legend and Other Such Nonsense

Essay by DarkMaiden666 September 2004

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The outline is included and the essay is sort of short.

Marriage is "the legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife"(Encarta Encyclopedia 1998) usually entered into in order to have children. "Although marriage customs vary greatly from one culture to another, the importance of the institution is universally acknowledged."

An arranged marriage is coupling initiated by the parents of the bride and groom. This form of marriage "…[has] been accepted almost every where [in the world] throughout history." Arranged marriages today are found mainly in the Eastern part of the world but a few examples can still be found in the Western hemisphere.

"Arranged marriages, which [have] been accepted almost everywhere throughout history, eventually ceased to predominate in Western Societies…" making romantic marriages the most common institution. Even so, in the United States "…certain betrothal customs persist." The most popular of which "is the giving of an engagement ring as a token of the promise to wed."

Arranged and romantic marriages are very different, to say the least, but there are a few similarities that are easily looked over, mostly because they're so blaringly obvious. One of which is that both forms of the institution of marriage were formed for the sake of continuing the human race. Marriage, as a whole, is the only institution under which a couple is to participate in a sexual relationship, and therefore, the only appropriate way to produce children. Another similarity between the two types of marriage is the ceremony that takes place to mark the beginning of the marriage relationship (hence the modern wedding ceremony).

Even with their similarities, they have a great many differences. For example, in an arranged marriage, love is almost never a consideration when the parents are planning to marry off a child (and...