Agony & Ecstasy

For Cinema, Arts, & Theology class we are exploring the life and work of various artists in reality and on film. In The Agony And The Ecstasy Charlton Heston plays a somewhat petulant Michelangelo, squaring off against Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison). Their relationship is actually quite touching. For some reason I found myself more empathetic towards the Pope. I know, I know, tortured artists must be anti-social, defiant, self-absorbed, etc. Interesting themes of calling vs. burden, ego vs. humility, and, well, love. Why do we subject ourselves to an emotion that exposes us to such lows and highs, such agony and ecstasy?