Sexual passion is not controllable – it rules us. It is no respecter of consequences, which is shy it is so often tragic and the stuff of which great poetry is made.
Thrones fall down like ninepins before it: we will pay any price, however high.
In Tennyson’s magnificent retelling of the Arthurian legend, Idylls of the King, we see how the whole machinery of Courtly Love, specifically designed to contain passion, is in fact destroyed by it.
Sir Launcelot sacrifices honour and friendship, Queen Guinevere loses her husband and her freedom.
Arthur’s tragedy is not only the loss of his kingdom (and ultimately his life), but the fact that he still loves Guinevere.
For us, of course, myths always embody truth.
Saying his last farewell to Guinevere at the convent, the Queen’s head bowed so that her long golden hair conceals her face, he whispers under his breath:
“Let no man dream but that I love thee still.”
Charlotte Hill and William Wallace
Erotica: An Illustrated Anthology of Sexual Art and Literature, page 59