Social Life (Unit 2)

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Unit 2 Romantic Love


I. Read and enjoy English poetry.

Here is a song from 1968 film version of “Romeo and Juliet”. The music is written by Nino Rota and the words by Eugene Walter. Read the lyrics of the song “What is youth” as you listen to the recording. Then answer the questions:

a)      Which of the lines portray a young girl in love?

b)      Which of them say that it is human love that rules the world?

c)      Which of the lines describe love itself? Read these lines aloud.

d)      Where does the main appeal of the song lie? In its rhythm or rhyme? Or in the way the lyricist expresses his ideas and feelings?


Vocabulary notes:

impetuous -

to tarry -

parry -

to caper -

gall -

to pall -

moving quickly, energetically

to stay, to remain

movement of defense, an act of keeping away an attack or blow

to dance about in a joyful manner

bitter liquid secreted by the liver

to become boring



What is a Youth? (2,8 Mb)

(Music by Nino Rota)

What is a youth? Impetuous fire.

What is a maid? Ice and desire.

The world wags on...

А rose will bloom, It then will fade:

so does a youth, so does the fairest maid.

Comes a time when one sweet smile

has its season for a while.

Then love's in love with me...

Some they think only to marry,

others will tease and tarry.

Mine is the very best parry.

Cupid he rules us all.

Caper the cape, but sing me the song.

Death will come soon to hush us along.

Sweeter than honey and bitter as gall,

love is a task and it never will pall.

Sweeter than honey and bitter as gall,

Cupid he rules us all.

Нас юность пламенем зажжёт,

огонь в крови растопит лёд.

Так жизнь идёт...

Недолговечен розы цвет: блеснёт и - нет,

как юноши, как девушки расцвет.

День настал, приходит час,

свет улыбки манит нас.

Это пора любви...

Тем - о венчаньи грезить,

этим - дразнить и медлить.

Всем я могу ответить:

нас Купидон ведёт.

В играх со мной ты песню мне пой.

Смерть у дверей торопит: скорей.

Жгучая горечь и сладостный мёд,

сложность любви нам скучать не даёт.

Жгучая горечь и сладостный мёд,

нас Купидон ведёт.

The original English text by Eugene Walter

The Russian translation by Olga Nikolaeva


Кадр из фильма Romeo and Juliet (1968)

Romeo and Juliet (1968)


2. Questions:

1)      Compare you impressions after reading the song lyrics and after listening to the song.

2)      Are they the same or different?

3)      What is your impression of the music?

4)      Does the music make the song sound more or less tragic?

5)      Do you want to learn these beautiful words by heart and sing a song? If yes, do please!


II. Text I


Ann was a very romantic girl who often dreamed of love and marriage. She was especially attracted to a young man called Michael, who worked in the same office as she did, and he was very keen on her too. They became friendly and one day Michael asked her to go out with him. Their first date was a visit to the cinema, and they both enjoyed the evening so much that they decided to go out together regularly. Michael was a bit untidy and rather young, and Ann’s parents didn’t approve him at first, but Ann was a sensible, mature girl and they had confidence in her. For a year or so everything went well, but then somehow they slowly began to drift apart, until finally they decided to break off their relationship.


Vocabulary Practice


1. Answer the following questions:

a)      What sort of girl was Ann?

b)      Who did she become friendly with?

c)      Did Ann’s parents approve of Michael?

d)      Did Ann and Michael get married?


2. Choose the proper word:

marriage – wedlock – matrimony – wedding


a)      She spoke of her unhappy…

b)      I must be provided for by a wealthy…

c)      Nothing in his estimation was less becoming to a wise man than…

d)      … is the act of two persons mutually taking one another for husband and wife.

e)       It was their silver…

f)        Mary had not lived twenty years in … with John without becoming expert at reading his face.


3. The author of the short poem compares love to a butterfly. Say what else love can be compared to?


You took my love

Gently in your hands

Like a butterfly;

Then you plucked off

One of the wings.

And laughed as it flopped

Upon the ground.


4. What is the odd word out?

a)      to trouble – to worry – to be anxious – to make – to be concerned

b)      to stay – to remain – to keep – to leave

c)      live – dwell – lodge – stay – stop – put up

d)      expect – wait – hope – believe – think – suppose


Speech Exercises


1. Answer the questions:

a)      Can you justify the saying “Love – for pleasure, marriage – for convenience”?

b)      Do you think parents should be involved in matchmaking for their children?

c)      Do you believe in love at first sight?

d)      How and by what criteria do you choose a girl (a boy) for yourself?

e)      Could you live without love?

f)        Is it wise to introduce your boyfriend to your group mate, who is nicer than you?


2. Comment on the following quotation:

“Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise”.


3. Use the following proverbs in situations of your own:

a)      Beauty lies in lover’s eyes.

b)      Love conquers all. (P.M. Vergil)

c)      The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. (B. Pascal)

d)      Let no one who loves be called altogether unhappy. Even love unreturned has its rainbow. (J.M. Barrie)


4. Comment on the following text:

Text II

Love at first sight

At first time Michael saw Helen, he felt in love with her. It was love at first sight. The problem was how to win her love for him. First he tried to impress her. He asked her to fly to Cannes with him for the Film Festival. She refused. Then he asked her to come to Rome with him. But she said no. “Perhaps she likes the simple life”, he thought. So he asked her to spend a weekend with him in the country. She refused that too. “Food. I’ll try food”, he thought and asked her to eat with him at Mason’s, one of the best restaurants in London.

“No, thank you”, she said and lowered her lovely blue eyes. “She’s so beautiful”, he thought. “I will try one last question.” And he asked her to marry him.

“Yes”, she said. “I will. Mason’s Rome, Cannes, the country – what an exiting life we will have.”


5. Make up a story.




6. There is one more song from the film “Romeo and Juliet” (1968). Compare two songs (the subject matter, feelings and emotions expressed in them, ideas, themes developed in them). Which of them do you prefer as a poem? Which of them do you prefer as a song?


A Song (2,8 Mb)

(Music by Nino Rota)

A time for us, some day there'll be

when chains are torn by courage born

of a love that's free.

A time when dreams so long denied can flourish,

as we unveil the love we now must hide.

A time for us at last to see

a life worthwhile for you and me.

And with our love, through tears and thorns,

we will endure as we pass surely

through every storm.

A time for us, some day there'll be a new world,

a world of shining hope for you and me.

And with our love, through tears and thorns,

we will endure as we pass surely

through every storm.

A time for us, some day there'll be a new world,

a world of shining hope for you and me.

Плывет луна в вечерней мгле,

и вновь звучат слова любви

на ночной земле.

Они просты, они просты, но сколько

для нас и смысла в них и теплоты.

В них счастья свет и в них беда,

в жестоком «нет» и в нежном «да».

Звучат они и не смешно

Сто тысяч лет, сто тысяч раз

повторять одно.

Всегда одни, всегда одни, но сколько

для нас на свете сделали они.

Их без труда поймёт любой,

но в этот миг они важны

лишь для нас с тобой.

Для нас двоих, для нас двоих, но сколько

любовь на свете сможет жить без них?

The original English text by L. Kusik and E. Snyder

The Russian translation by L. Derbenyov


Кадр из фильма Romeo and Juliet (1968)


Romeo and Juliet (1968)


Text III

1. Romantic love – what is it?

What does sociological analysis of romantic love show?


The American family is supposed to be founded on the romantic love of the marital partners. Traces of a more pragmatic attitude persist in the American upper classes, where daughters are expected to marry "well" — that is, to a male who is eligible by reason of family background and earning potential. Most Americans, however, tend to look askance at anyone who marries for money or some other practical reason in which love plays no part.

Happily enough, romantic love defies a clinical definition. It is a different kind of love, though, from the love you have for your parents or your dog. It involves physical symptoms, such as pounding heart and sexual desire, and psychological symptoms, such as obsessive focus on one person and a disregard for any resulting social or economic risks. Our culture encourages us to look for this love — to find that "one and only," perhaps even through "love at first sight." The phenomenon of romantic love occurs when two people meet and find one another personally and physically attractive. They become mutually absorbed, start to behave in what may appear to be a flighty, even irrational manner, decide that they are right for one another, and may then enter a marriage whose success is expected to be guaranteed by their enduring passion. Behavior of this kind is portrayed and warmly endorsed throughout American popular culture, by books, magazines, comics, records, popular songs, movies, and TV.

Romantic love is a noble idea, and it can certainly help provide a basis for the spouses to "live happily ever after." But since marriage can equally well be founded on much more practical considerations, why is romantic love of such importance in the modern world? The reason seems to be that it has the following basic functions in maintaining the institution of the nuclear family:

1.   Transfer of loyalties. Romantic love helps the young partners to loosen their bonds with their family or orientation, a step that is essential if a new neolocal nuclear family is to be created. Their total absorption in one another facilitates a transfer of commitment from existing family and kin to a new family of procreation, something that would be unlikely to happen under the extended family system.

2.   Кадр из фильма "Romeo and Juliet" (1968)Emotional support. Romantic love provides the couple with emotional support in the difficulties that they face in establishing a new life of their own. This love would not be so necessary in an extended family, where the relatives are able to confront problems cooperatively. In an extended family, in fact, romantic love might even be disfunctional, for it could distract the couple from their wider obligations to other kin.

3.   Incentive to marriage. Romantic love serves as a bait to lure people into marriage. In the extended family system of traditional societies, it is automatically assumed that people will marry, but in the modern world, people have considerable choice over whether they will get married or not. A contract to form a lifelong commitment to another person is not necessarily a very tempting proposition, however: to some, the prospect may look more like a noose than like a bed of roses. Without feelings of romantic love, many people might have no incentive to marry.

To most of us, particularly to those who are in love, romantic love seems to be the most natural thing in the world, but sociological analysis shows that it is a purely cultural product, arising in certain societies for specific reasons. In a different time or in a different society, you might never fall in love, nor would you expect to.



1. Read the text and translate paragraph "Transfer of loyalties" in writing.

2. Text comprehension questions:


1. What is a pragmatic attitude to marriage of the American upper classes? 2. What is romantic love according to the author of the article? 3. In what way is romantic love different from any other kind of love? 4. How does romantic love effect the behaviour of those in love? 5. Why is romantic love of such importance in the modern world? 6. How has the attitude to necessity of marriage changed in the modern world as compared to traditional societies?

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