2012 Abstracts Stage 3

Is the Grass Always Greener on the Other Side? A Look into Marriage and Infidelity, in Reference to Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut

Rebecca Bacon, 2012, Stage 3

I aim to explore the concept of how we act morally in marriage and what motivates us to do so. I chose to use this film as my object, as in the film, the character of the ‘wife’, Alice, is honest about her psychological desires for other men and claims she believed herself incapable of controlling this desire and that it was only though accidental luck that it did not happen. However, the ‘husband’, Bill, claims that he simply does not fulfil the desires he has for other women out of consideration for Alice and out of respect for the commitments made in their marriage.

In my project, I want to investigate whether the concept of marriage holds any value and if a faithful, monogamous relationship is possible in our modern society today. With the factor of temptations surrounding us, are we able to resist and rationally control our inclinations of overwhelming desires and manipulate our will in order to follow the duties inherent in marriage. The philosophers I will use are: Immanuel Kant and his duty based ethics, Soren Kierkegaard and his views on marriage and St Thomas Aquinas relating to lust as a sin.

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