Romeo and Juliet – Probably the most well known romantic classic is Shakespeare’s story of Romeo and Juliet. We all know that the young couple meets with a tragic end, but what if they had survived? Chances are the animosity between their two families would have been too much for the fated lovebirds to overcome.
Catherine and Heathcliff – Wuthering Heights was a dark and disturbing romance by Emily Bronte. Childhood soulmates Catherine and Heathcliff don’t fare much better than Romeo and Juliet, but we can’t help but wonder. If things had been different maybe they would have had a chance at happiness. Since both of these characters seemed rather mentally deranged, I rather doubt it.
Jane Eyre and Edwin Rochester – Written by Emily’s sister Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre does eventually have a happy ending, but can it last? The age difference is one obstacle and the other is the debilitating results of the house fire. How long before Jane starts rethinking her decision to marry the old cripple instead of the gallant missionary?
Quasimodo and Esmeralda – Even though Esmeralda had a heart of gold, things just would never have worked out between her and the Hunchback of Notre-Dame. The contrast between her beauty and his deformity were far too much of a liability. Eventually Quasimodo would have gotten in trouble trying to fend off potential suitors and ended up dead or in prison anyway.
Scarlett and Rhett – Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is another timeless classic set in the Civil War era. Even though Rhett does everything he can to gain the love and respect of Scarlett, by the time she realized her true feelings, he was ready to move on. It’s just as well because their two strong personalities would never have worked out.
Mr. and Mrs. de Winter – If you read the book Rebecca by Daphne du Maureir did you realize the main character didn’t have a first name? Her marriage to Maxim de Winter is continually haunted by the specter of his first wife Rebecca. Even though they remain married in the end how long could it last with her carrying the knowledge that her husband murdered his first wife?
Daisy and Gatsby – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald centers around Gatzby’s unrequited love for Daisy. Even if he had convinced Daisy to leave her husband, their relationship would have been doomed. Once Daisy found out Gatsby had spent all his money trying to get her attention, she would have been out of there.
Tristan and Isolde – Probably the oldest literary romance I know of is the story of Tristan and Isolde which has been told since medieval times. This classic love triangle probably influenced the tale of King Arthur, Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. Their love was powerful but would never have been enough to overcome Tristan’s loyalty to his surrogate father. Cyrano and Roxane – Of course Roxane pledges her love for Cyrano in the end when she knows he’s about to die, but what a cop out. In reality, she would never have been able to get past his physical appearance. It was plain as the nose on his face that their romance was never to be consummated.
Jamie and Claire – A lesser known, but equally unlikely couple is Jamie and Claire from the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldon. Although an age difference does not always prohibit a relationship from working out, two centuries is a bit extreme. If Jamie was ever able to live a normal life with Claire in the 20th century he’d be bored to tears without the constant struggle and turmoil of their 18th century escapades. The intense conflict that makes a good romance appealing is what would destroy a relationship in real life. Once the couple settles down to live a normal life, the boredom starts to set in. Unrequited passion and love triangles are great for romantic plots, but tough to overcome in reality. We’re all better off with our normal, sometimes boring partners and leave the fiery romances for works of fiction. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad