Onscreen romance: Beta vs Delta

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Romance in Quadras

Romance falls inherently into the field of Ethics, therefore there is an interesting pattern of representation of Romance on screen that can be traced for each Quadra. This different ways of approaching the topic of Romance in Quadras is consequently attached to the aspect that the Ethics is blocked with and then further segregated by the ‘-vertion’ of aspects.

For the Quadras with Intuition blocked with Ethics (Beta and Delta), romance is an abstract concept, an idea which leads to forming an ideal and results in both Quadras channelling their concepts of True Love through the film medium.

For the Quadras that have Sensorics blocked with Ethics (Alpha and Gamma) – romance is an activity, a part of the immediate reality. Since their stories are plot-driven, these quadras are more interested in describing the context in which characters are, rather than focusing on their personalities.

In this article, we are going to focus on Beta and Delta.

Beta romance

For Beta Fe is blocked with Ne, creating a passionate view of love combined with the tunnel vision. The rest of the values – Se and Ti – often create storylines about fighting the dangers and overcoming the hardships. 

Therefore in Beta romance one can often be shown sacrificing his life or liberty for love, enduring pain or taking risks. In Justified, Boyd (an EIE) refuses to run away from a certain long-term imprisonment, because he knows he could only stay away from Eva if he is locked up and they’d get him if he comes back anyway.

One thing that doesn’t happen in Beta stories of True Love is that the character is never required to change for love. Changing equates surrendering one’s personality which is incompatible with the idea of loving the person (meaning loving that particular person and not someone else). In the Music Man’s (1962) scene on the bridge, Marion gives Harold Hill (SLE) a page from a book that would have exposed his con-game. Later he is hit with the realization that the girl knows he is a con-man and is truly in love with him, not with the illusion of respectability he was performing for the rest of the town.

The feelings the pair in a Beta love story have for each other are also static and unchangeable. The Beta ideal is that in any number of years the two would love each other as passionately as on the day they’ve met. Just as their personalities are not supposed to change – if both of them remain the same – why would and how could their emotions, the love they feel towards the person change?

Consequently, in Beta there can be no ‘moving on’ and the admiration – from afar if need be – is very a Beta type of romance.

Delta romance

Delta love stories involve finding a special person, that usually possesses desirable traits or moral attributes, such as kindness, curiosity and open-mindedness (for Delta ethical characters), as well as wit and conscientiousness (especially for Delta logical characters). In addition, a deep connection between the two lovers can often be triggered by their ability to appreciate the true value and potential of the other person.

If the story leans towards the intuitive-ethical side of the quadra (Fi+Ne), romance can be idealised representing lovers as “soulmates”. In this case, their romance is usually described as a lifelong relationship, with their encounter taking the shape of a fateful event.

For instance, in “The fault in our stars” (2014), Hazel (LSE) and Gus (IEE) meet under tragic circumstances and immediately become captivated by each other. Despite being in a vulnerable and insecure state, they support each other get stronger and fulfill their dreams. Their meeting can be seen as a turning point within their existences, leading not only to the attainment of happiness during their final days, but also to their development as individuals. Although they are prematurely separated by death, they can be regarded as the love of each other’s lives, as they both state in their final eulogies.

A common theme within Delta love stories is the evolution of the relationship over time, growing beyond the feeling of being in love into a more intimate and grounded companionship. As part of this progression, the two lovers would gradually understand and appreciate who the other person really is, learning to look beyond the idealised image to notice small details. When a strong emphasis is placed on the logical-sensoric block (Te + Si), the story might delve into mundane and practical factors that are part of the day to day interaction between the two lovers. In particular, this style might culminate in love stories depicting later stages of romance or portraying lovers at an old(er) age. This view is exemplified in Sean Maguire’s (IEE) famous monologue in “Good will hunting” (1997), where he describes to Will his view of a “mature” approach to love, including the enjoyment of the small sensoric flaws which make up a person.

Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy (1, 2 and 3) embodies the “dualisation” process of the romance between the two protagonists Jesse (IEE) and Céline (EII) across different stages of life. Through three separate movies which were filmed across two decades, the trilogy explores the impact of time on the connection and on the two lovers who change with their relationship. In fact, the first movie “Before Sunrise” (1997) shows an intuitive-ethical (Fi+Ne) take of the relationship by depicting a romanticised first encounter when the two young protagonists find each other by chance and fall in love.

On the other hand, the following two movies “Before Sunset” (2004) and “Before Midnight” (2013) show the relationship between the two protagonists through the more grounded problems of adulthood.



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