The handsome prince sweeps the beautiful maiden off her feet. They are so in love, so adoring of each other. The perfect courtship is quickly followed by the perfect wedding, thereupon the perfect couple creates the perfect life together. The wondrous dream of the "happily ever after" is one hidden deep in everyone. Although, the dreamy, vain quest for this perfect life mostly results in pretense, lying, and ceases in complete unhappiness. .
In George Meredith's poem from Modern Love, the speaker conveys a kind of love that is very grim. Both characters long to escape their dark marriage. It seems their life together has regretfully been empty and full of pretense. That is shown in the beginning of the poem, when she does not want him to know she is crying, "At his hand's light quiver to her head the strange low sobs.were called into her with sharp surprise." (Line 2-4). She seems to keep on with her happy show even when they are alone, though both of them know it is fictitious. They long for this tortuous relationship to end, and they see death as the only conclusion to their turmoil, "Each wishing for the sword that severs all." (Line 16). Although death is hardly the best solution to a problem, the woman in this poem sees it as an alternative and an escape to the lie she is living. Both of them, in desperation, accept the loss of their life and their world. Hiding their feelings and ignoring their problems only brought them unhappiness. It appears that the speaker is saying that modern love is really no love at all, but an act that one puts on so that their world can appear happy, while those who are "in love" are dying inside. Any love relationship has its downfalls and complications, but to be healthy, it must be honest. In George Meredith's poem, the speaker shows a marriage that is at the bottom of its downfall and those involved are miserable. Their relationship is deceitful. They were pursuing their fantasy of the perfect life together, and continued the show until their torture begged to be extinguished.