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The movie (it was originally a play) "Westside Story" illustrates the definition of the phrase "star-crossed lovers". The story is similar to "Romeo and Juliet", except the setting is a poor area of New York, where a Puerto Rican girl falls in love with an Anglo boy. Their relationship must inevitably end in tragedy in the face of family opposition and rival gang warfare.
Star-crossed means opposed by fate; ill-fated, I also found this very nice poem that I think may have been written as an assignment for Romeo and Juliet. This poem seems to lay out a perfect definition of star-crossed lover, together by chance, and sentence to failure by fate from the beginning. The first line seems to say it all "A love between two star crossed lovers, a love no one can ever discover." Discovery for this love is the kiss of death, for as surely as the sun will rise, it will never be accepted. Drastic measures push the ill-fated lovers to a tragic end. I hope this helps. Brenda
A love between two star crossed lovers, a love no one can ever discover.
It's secracy should remain tamed, for if it gets out our love would be shamed.
They'd tear us apart, away from each other. Tell us that we can no longer be lovers.
It would drive us insane. No options remain: I'll peirce my heart if you do the same.
Well die together in a churches chappel; He'd rather be dead than live without her.
Their parents will cry and wonder why they couldn't just let them live their lives.
The guilt will be painful, their minds will be changed.
The two star-crossed lovers lie where heaven stays.
Exploring Amazon.com shows various songs that use “Star-Crossed Lovers” as a theme. “Star Crossed Lovers” by Domingo, Fleming, Barenboim, and the Chicago SO is one, and here is its description: “Romeo and Juliet were the original star-crossed lovers; Shakespeare coined the phrase in his tragedy about their young love and tragic death. But the expression can be applied to doomed couples of all kinds: Faust and Marguerite, Othello and Desdemona, and of course Tony and Maria in West Side Story, which updates Romeo and Juliet to modern New York. This recording, taped at a gala concert in Chicago in 1998 and videotaped for a telecast on the PBS series Great Performances, presents music about doomed love composed by Leonard Bernstein, Charles Gounod, Franz Lehar, Duke Ellington, and others, including several Spanish songs that show Plácido Domingo in top form. After all the tragedy, there is a duet that signals one happy ending: the Merry Widow waltz. Domingo and Renée Fleming are two of today's greatest singers, and they live up to their reputations.” Googling “Star Crossed Lovers” yields a plethora of films with “doomed, tragic love” as their theme, not exactly because of the family feud that dooms Romeo and Juliet, but because of other large events out of the control of the lovers. “The English Patient is one example,” “Titanic” is another.
"Star cross'd lover" is a astrological reference, meaning that the planets were not in alignment when the two fell in love. Astrologists believe that the positions of the planets and stars portend good or bad fortune. (Btw, planets in Shakespeare's day, were often referred to as "stars").
As for songs, My Chemical Romance's "Our Lady of Sorrow" begins: "We could be perfect one last night / And die like star-crossed lovers when we fight."
Smashing Pumpkins, "Cupid de Locke" ends with:
And in the land of star crossed lovers
And barren hearted wanderers
Forever lost in forsaken missives and satans pull
We seek the unseekable and we speak the unspeakable
Our hopes dead gathering dust to dust
In faith, in compassion, and in love
The band "Black" has a song called "Hardly Star-Crossed Lovers" but that's the end of the reference.
One of my favorite "star-crossed lovers" stories is that of Tristram and Isolde. The first version of the story dates back to c.1185 and the tale was eventually blended into the Arthurian legend by Sir Thomas Mallory, probably because of its similarity to Lancelot and Guenevere, King Arthur's wife and champion, who fall in love and whose love plays a large part in the collapse of the kingdom. The tale was made into the 2006 film Tristan and Isolde as well.
Though many permutations of the story exist, the basic plot is as follows:
Tristram is sent by King Mark to escort his promised bride, Isolde the Fair, back to Cornwall. On the journey the two unwittingly drink a potion (possibly meant for Isolde and Mark) that binds them in eternal love. Of course the love between Isolde and Tristram, the kings champion, can never be, and eventually leads to the deaths of both. For a more in-depth synopsis of this story, see the links below.
Another pair of famous "star crossed lovers" would be Guinevere and Lancelot of Arthurian legend as exemplified in the film, Camelot or in Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King.
a perfect song for this is 'demolition lovers' by my chemical romance.
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