Dramatic love stories
In Classic Literature

“The half-life of love is forever.”
-Junot Diaz

Stories about romantic love have been around for thousands of years. People love talking about the state of love, how the areas of life surrounding love can be improved, and using characters to demonstrate different aspects of the condition. Yet, it’s not enough to lump all love stories together in terms of classic literature.

It’s important to take a closer look at the portrayal of love and the purposes that it fulfilled in literature, dating back many years. A historical perspective shows the struggle that authors have had with the idea of dramatic love.

Motive of love in literature from Ancient Greece to Modern Days

The motive of love in literature has not been the same since the days when it was first introduced. However, we can see dramatic love stories in the epics that came out of Ancient Greece. For example, The Odyssey andThe Iliad both contain stories of men that felt romantic love for women and did incredible things to get back to them during times of war.

In those epics love was enough for men to start a war over. While this idea of romantic love has waxed and waned, modern romances are filled with men and women that love one another, build strong romances, and go to incredible lengths to protect the people that they love.

In fact, some of the most powerful and famous stories in modern literature feature love as a root cause for the events that start a story or help bring it to a close. While there are often other striations in the story, it’s impossible to ignore the far-reaching impacts of romantic love in the modern world. To expound on this topic, a survey of some of the most famous works from the last few centuries can be used to show how love is used as a motivation, a tool to discuss society and to unite the readers.

Classic examples of dramatic love stories in literature

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is perhaps the most famous work of romantic fiction in the Western world. The play has been presented on stage for centuries, and now it is taught every year across the world. The concept of love in this story isn’t difficult to understand. Young people in love do foolish things all the time. Yet, it’s also possible to look at this story from the perspective that young love, even if it is short-lived and tragic, can surpass the lives of the lovers.

Since we’re still talking about these star-crossed lovers centuries later, it’s clear that William Shakespeare succeeding in making a point about romantic love. People that want to be together will do so no matter what obstacles are placed in front of them. If they can’t be together in life, then they’ll remain each other’s partner in death. The play is tragic and seemingly criticizes the selfish upper class in Verona, and it makes a great case for allowing people to choose their romantic matches.


Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice was one of the best works by Jane Austen. Rather than simply create a love story between two people, this story was a critique of the social elite and their preconceptions of each other. The young Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr. Darcy, and the two both suffer from the titular sins. Mr. Darcy is seen as being prideful, owing to his inability to socially interact with people while Ms. Bennet is prejudiced against people based on their first appearances to her. Over time, the two overcome their misunderstandings about each other and fall in love. It’s a very clean-cut story, but it shows that people can grow closer if they’re willing to strip away the veneer of society and focus on each other.


Anna Karenina

There is a lot that can be said about romance, and Anna Karenina attempts to say it all. The individuals in this story are so unhappy about their lots in life that they seek love wherever they can find it. The titular character is a married woman who has an affair with a man that wants to be together with her forever. However, society and their families keep them from going and living out their dreams. The story is bleak, riddled with difficulties for all the many characters, and very long, ending with tragedy. Not only does this show that love can compel people to do horrible and desperate things, but love might be the only thing that holds some people together.


The Red and the Black

The Red and the Black is another story about love and class, but this time it takes place in Restoration France. Julien Sorel is a young man that tries to get ahead in life, and he’s not above getting women to love him to do it. After he seduces some ladies, he falls in love with a well-off young woman. She gets pregnant and her father dislikes the notion of the two being married because he’s a peasant. Yet, they are prepared to marry until one of Sorel’s former lovers brings the whole thing crashing down. Sorel is devastated, poor, and sentenced to die at the end of the story, with nobody learning anything. The lessons in this story are tough to pull out, but it’s clear that love can be used as a weapon, and people don’t care who they use it on.

The Scarlet Letter

Hester Prynne had an affair with a man after her husband was apparently lost at sea. She conceived a child, and that led to the townspeople condemning her for the act. She has to wear an A on her dress whenever she leaves her home, and she served a prison term. The story gets even more interesting when her husband returns to the town alive and seeks revenge on the town minister who is hiding his guilt and apparently dying from it.

This story has a lot to say about love such as personal sacrifice for loved ones and the willingness to suffer to keep them safe. Hester suffers for her child and her lover, and the minister also suffers for his role, eventually dying after admitting his actions. It’s another dreary, yet powerful story.


Little Lady of the Big House

This story is all about taking control of your destiny and love life. In this case, Dick Forrest’s wife, Paula, is a very headstrong lady. She loves her husband, is progressive, and also loves another man named Evan Graham, a friend of her husband. The story comes to a head when she can’t have both men, and apparently shoots herself, leaving her husband devastated. The story shows that love is complex, and the inability to seek happiness can lead people to do startling, tragic things.

Building strong relationships in real life…

Now that we’ve looked at what some of the old literature has to say on the subject, it’s time to consider how to build a strong relationship in real life. Users of Click and Flirt point out that oftentimes it is better to start off with casual flirt and gradually move to something more meaningful.

The first way to build a strong relationship is to find a partner that is a good fit for you. Sometimes, that can be harder than it seems. You need to try finding someone in a way that mirrors your personal interests or try using a dating site where you can seek people out on your own. That way, you are actively looking for a match and not counting on fate.

Once you’re dating someone, make sure that you’re compatible. Also, make sure to frequently communicate, discuss your relationship regularly, and always remember that when it comes to arguments, it’s you and your partner against the problem, not you versus them. These are just some of the ways that you can build a powerful relationship.

Romantic literature has been able to teach people a lot about love. Using social interactions as a lens, love becomes something that is powerful. Finding the kind of love demonstrated in these works of art can be difficult in real life. However, using the right methods, anyone can meet their Mr. Darcy or Juliet; it’s a matter of knowing yourself and being willing to put up with a risk to make it happen. All in all, romantic literature has captured love at its best and worst, and it’s good to learn the lessons contained within before they’re needed.


Augusto Palmeri 

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