types of love in literature


Scott Fitzgerald very rightly said, “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” When we think of love, what do we understand? Does it exist only between partners? Or in the family? Or between friends? The best place to search for the answers is in the treasure trove of literature. Literature expresses love at it’s best. There are many types of love in literature. And it presents all these types in a very excitable and heartbreakingly beautiful way.


#1 Eros:

Eros is the Greek god of love. It represents romantic or passionate love. This one is most popular from all the types of love in literature. Especially in the classics and pre-classics, and likewise alluring. The more famous are Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and Anna Karenina. Lesser known, but equally amazing are, A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Bird and Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang.

#2 Philia:

Philia stems from Philos. It is the love of goodwill and friendship. Furthermore, this understanding of love transforms the possessive love into an impulse for philosophy. Friendship is regarded highly in literature. There are many stories of true friendship such as A Tale of Two Cities, The Kite Runner, and The Harry Potter Series that warm the cockles of your heart.

#3 Storge:

Storge is the Greek word for natural affection. It is the familial love. Little Women, Robinson Crusoe, Inheritance and The Weight of a Piano are most noteworthy examples of this.

types of love in literature

Types of love in literature | Image: File Image

#4 Agape:

Agape is the universal love. It is the comprehensive feeling for the entire cosmos. This type of love in literature is more spiritually inclined. This genre includes powerful literary works such as Outwitting the Devil, The Disappearance of the Universe When Breath Becomes Air.

#5 Ludos:

Ludos origins from the word ludo, meaning ‘I play’. This is the skittish kind of love. This type of love, in literature, is portrayed many times as betrayal. A few examples are Macbeth, Paper Princess, and The Sense of an Ending.

#6 Pragma:

Pragma stems from ‘pragmatic’, duty and reason are the foundations. Consequently, it is seen in the form of arranged marriage. A beautiful classic-The Bride, and from more recent times, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and The Princess Diaries make you see the world from a totally different perspective.

#7 Philautia:

Philia, meaning ‘between equals’ is the root for Philautia. Philautia means self-love, love within oneself, the process of loving ourselves. The most classic example in literature is The Four Agreements. The Gift of Imperfection and Untethered Soul are more of recent examples.

Nicholas Sparks, the famous author, had once said: “Love is like the wind, you can’t see it, but you can feel it.”

So, let’s curl up in a cozy corner of our house with our favourite books and feel the wind.


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