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Best Romantic Couple in Literature?My humble vote goes to..... Rhett Butler and...

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 12, 2011 at 11:23 PM via web

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Best Romantic Couple in Literature?

My humble vote goes to.....

Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara because:

  • They were stubborn.
  • They did love each other, but she was too spoiled.
  • They were a mistake from the get-go. Yet, how could you deny that they were so cute together?

What say you?

37 Answers | Add Yours

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 13, 2011 at 7:01 AM (Answer #2)

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My vote for favorite love match in literature will always go to Elizabeth and Darcy in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. They both are interesting and sympathetic characters in their own right, each having admirable, and sometimes noble, character traits. In any story, each would engage riveted attention. Each is perceptive and open to discovering that they have not as yet seen the world rightly--or themselves rightly. Each is humble enough to change their perspective and to mend their behavior. Each has the courage (sometimes eventually) to stand up and speak their minds against social strictures. And that letter that Darcy writes to Elizabeth--what could be better?!?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 13, 2011 at 8:15 AM (Answer #3)

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I'll give you two, depending on my mood...

Jim and Della from "The Gift of the Magi" are my happy ones.  The devotion they feel for each other and the way they take their mistakes in stride is what love should be about.

If you're in the mood for negativity, then it's John the Savage and Lenina Crowne from Brave New World.  When I first read that, I was a teen and was in the middle of culture shock from coming to the US and their totally mismatched ideas of "love" and their utter confusion about what to do with one another spoke to me.

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 13, 2011 at 10:18 AM (Answer #4)

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Before tragedy overwhelms them, Ethan Frome and Mattie Silver are a perfect match. He is protective of her; she brings joy to his empty life. They are both sensitive, emotional beings. Mattie's warmth ends Ethan's isolation and awakens his spirit after years of emotional deprivation. He is amazed that Mattie shares so many of his deepest feelings. Mattie says that he is the only one who was ever good to her. There is mutual tenderness between them, as well as passion. The depth of their love for each other makes the ending of the novel truly tragic.

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kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:46 PM (Answer #5)

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It is hard to go against Jim and Della, that is such a great story.  But my vote goes to a story that is likely less well known from The River Why by David James Duncan.

 

Gus and Eddy's pairing is absolutely hilarious and at the same time deeply moving and powerful.  I laugh and cry every time I read it.

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howesk | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted February 14, 2011 at 5:52 AM (Answer #6)

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I love "The Gift of the Magi" too! What a great love story.

For a more complex, recent love match, I think Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games provide an interesting view of what love means. Self-sacrifice and unconditional devotion... even though they didn't choose each other at first, they learned to love each other through circumstance. There's something romantic about that!

I also love Benedick and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing! Love certainly requires a sense of humor in all cases. :)

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 14, 2011 at 8:34 AM (Answer #7)

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I must be twisted, because I think the most romantic book I have ever read is A Tale of Two Cities.  It is sad and sentimental, because the man and woman never get together.  I guess I have always appreciated the sacrifice that Sydney Carton makes.  He loves a woman, but cannot be with her.  So he lets her have the man that she does love.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 14, 2011 at 10:11 AM (Answer #8)

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I don't think you are so twisted, litteacher8, as I think A Tale of Two Cities is also really romantic. However, I must admit my favourite character pairing is actually Ann Elliot with the patient Captain Wentworth in Persuasion by Jane Austen. I love the way that they get back together after all of their problems and return to their relationship both as maturer and more sensible individuals.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 14, 2011 at 2:09 PM (Answer #9)

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Catherine and Heathcliff--in a dark, brooding way, of course.  But, when Catherine tells Nellie, "I am Heathcliff," how can any words denote greater love?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM (Answer #10)

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I know it isn't so much a romance as it is just a picture of unconditional love, but for that, my vote goes to Jean Valjean's love for Cosette (and I guess ultimately Fantine).

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catd1115 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted February 14, 2011 at 3:11 PM (Answer #11)

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I must admit that I ususually admire the lovers in the background of many novels. While it is Elizabeth and Darcy that "Pride and Prejudice" going, I am in love with the simple straightforwardness of the love her sister Jane for Bingley and vice versa. While their trials are not as many as Elizabeth and Darcy, the simplicity and comfortableness of their love inspires me!

Same can be said of Miss Taylor and Mr Weston in "Emma". They certainly do not have the excitement of Emma and Knightley, but their relationship seems so pure and simple!

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Scott Locklear | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted February 14, 2011 at 4:35 PM (Answer #12)

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted February 14, 2011 at 7:18 PM (Answer #13)

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For the angst-ridden teenagers we teach, Romeo and Juliet would figure somewhere surely? My personal choice would be Heathcliff and Cathy, but those 'star-cross'd lovers' need at least a mention.

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 14, 2011 at 7:48 PM (Answer #14)

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I went through a phrase in high school where I read all the great Russian stuff and have always remembered the story of Dr. Zhivago and Lara.  No happy ending there, but the story is a great one.

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chachikoch | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted February 15, 2011 at 3:05 PM (Answer #15)

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I would have to say Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride & Prejudice. I think it so romantic that in the begining Elizabeth strongly dislikes him because of his pride. They both fit together so well! Nothing that anyone says can keep them apart in the end which is also very romantic.

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jashley80 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted February 15, 2011 at 6:32 PM (Answer #16)

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My vote for favorite love match in literature will always go to Elizabeth and Darcy in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. They both are interesting and sympathetic characters in their own right, each having admirable, and sometimes noble, character traits. In any story, each would engage riveted attention. Each is perceptive and open to discovering that they have not as yet seen the world rightly--or themselves rightly. Each is humble enough to change their perspective and to mend their behavior. Each has the courage (sometimes eventually) to stand up and speak their minds against social strictures. And that letter that Darcy writes to Elizabeth--what could be better?!?

I must agree here... I absolutely adore this pair!

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poetheraven1 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 15, 2011 at 11:04 PM (Answer #17)

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My choice is a Poem by Sir Alfred Noyes Entitled "The Highwayman".  Although I don't recall the poem ever mentioning their names, The Inn Keepers Daughter and the Highwayman were certainly in love. She gave her life to warn him, and his ghost continues to ride up to the old inn.   There was a move made of this poem back in the 1950's, never to be repeated again.  Its not out on tape, DVD or anything else, although I believe its been played once or twice on TCM.  I saw the film as a boy and it made a lasting impression on me.  I've read the poem a number of times, and only wish I could get the film.  I wonder how many people actually heard or saw this?

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 17, 2011 at 7:12 AM (Answer #18)

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The most romantic couple has to Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables books. When Anne finally admits that she loves Gilbert and wants to be with him, my heart just melts!

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 17, 2011 at 11:25 PM (Answer #19)

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I must admit that of all the stories I have read, in terms of classics, I have to vote for Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester. He is a jerk when he tries to marry Jane while still married, but perfection is kind of boring—totally unrealistic. And Jane is so strong in her convictions. I love her.

In popular literature, I used to think it was Claire and Jamie Fraser in The Outlander series. But I think I've changed my mind and have to go with Donati's Into the Wilderness series. I love the fact that she uses Chingachgook and Hawkeye Bonner...and I enjoy the main characters of Elizabeth and Nathaniel Bonner...also a little unrealistic, but not too far off the path...

Great question.

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eggebraaan | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted February 21, 2011 at 11:05 AM (Answer #20)

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I'm with mwestwood. Cathy and Heathcliff share a love that goes beyond the constricts of life and death. After Cathy's death Heathcliff devotes his life to ruining everything around him in hopes of Cathy's return to haunt him for his vial behavior, and in doing so he also eliminates any hope of happiness for himself. Cathy is Heathcliff and in turn is Heathcliff's soul. How many of us can curse God and mankind just to have the ghost of our loved one follow us around until death claims our own life?

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sabnam | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 2, 2011 at 9:43 PM (Answer #21)

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the most romantice couple in literature is Shahrukh Khan And Rani Mukargee

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michellepaints | eNoter

Posted March 6, 2011 at 1:32 PM (Answer #22)

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Is anyone familiar with "Precious Bane" by Mary Webb (c. 1929)?    Set in medieval England, Prue Sarn has decided she has no prospect of marriage becuase she was born with a harelip, and learns to read and write to keep herself company.  Kester Woodseaves, the traveling weaver, sees past her physical imperfection and falls in love with the intelligent, compassionate woman she is.  The ending is perfect.  My favourite book.

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teacherashlie | High School Teacher | eNoter

Posted March 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM (Answer #23)

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Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby are two of the most tragic - and therefore best - romantic couples ever.  Their love endures through time and other relationships, war and social climbing, across social lines, marriage lines, and the bay between their two boat docks.  Though their love is not mutally equally reciprocal - Jay loves Daisy (and the idea of her) far more than she does him - he is able to rekindle their love with memories of their past, to the point that she is willing to sacrifice her marriage and her social standing for him.  In the end, the choice is taken away from her (probably much to her relief), but their love endures and marks all those who know them.

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plantr | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 17, 2011 at 8:06 AM (Answer #24)

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Boy, this is a hard choice.

I'm going to go with Lestat and David from Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles, lol.

No, seriously. David was perhaps the only person our devilish self-proclaimed Brat Prince truly loved besides himself.

I'm a sucker for gay vampire stories, lol. 

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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 19, 2011 at 5:59 PM (Answer #25)

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It's Edward and Bella, of course. Although, Twilight isn't exactly literature. Therefore, I have to go with Romeo and Juliet. They were a lovely couple for the brief amount of time they were together. They went against their family and friends to be with eachoter. And, ultimately, they were united in death. It was bittersweet but very touching.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 19, 2011 at 6:16 PM (Answer #26)

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**The woman in "The Highwayman" is Bess, I think. Good choice.

I'm with several others and go for the unconditional love of Sidney Carton for Lucie Manette Darnay and Jean Valjean's love for Cosette. Neither is a traditional "couple," but I'm moved by them every time.

Without question, though, my vote goes to Cyrano deBergerac. He loves Roxane (an unworthy object of his affection until the very end, in my eyes) and Christian (another undeserving man for at least part of the play) with the purest, most unselfish love. His commitment to Christian even after he has been gone for more than a decade is stunning to me; he sacrifices his own happiness and love for loyalty and friendship. There's no one like Cyrano.

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melodyshim | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 19, 2011 at 6:50 PM (Answer #27)

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Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby are two of the most tragic - and therefore best - romantic couples ever.  Their love endures through time and other relationships, war and social climbing, across social lines, marriage lines, and the bay between their two boat docks.  Though their love is not mutally equally reciprocal - Jay loves Daisy (and the idea of her) far more than she does him - he is able to rekindle their love with memories of their past, to the point that she is willing to sacrifice her marriage and her social standing for him.  In the end, the choice is taken away from her (probably much to her relief), but their love endures and marks all those who know them.

Could we call the love "enduring"?

I personally thought Daisy did not consider Gatsby as a true love, perhaps just an affair she had before she got married. Yes, Jay is wililing to give up his life for Daisy, but Daisy flees back to her rich husband and shirks any relations with Jay after his death.

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melodyshim | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 19, 2011 at 6:53 PM (Answer #28)

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Best Romantic Couple in Literature?

My humble vote goes to.....

Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara because:

  • They were stubborn.
  • They did love each other, but she was too spoiled.
  • They were a mistake from the get-go. Yet, how could you deny that they were so cute together?

What say you?

Uhuh. Totally agreed upon. They went along real well - too bad Scarlet had to chase men that were so different from her and leave her perfect man behind. Maybe she was attracted by Ashely's aloofness in contrast to Rhett's constant wooing.

Oh well, I guess its the same for all humans to go after something that they don't have

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moladchand | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 24, 2011 at 1:01 AM (Answer #29)

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I think JIM and Della, because they have really a very sweet story.

 

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thegamecreator | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted March 26, 2011 at 3:20 AM (Answer #30)

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Best Romantic Couple in Literature?

My humble vote goes to.....

Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara because:

  • They were stubborn.
  • They did love each other, but she was too spoiled.
  • They were a mistake from the get-go. Yet, how could you deny that they were so cute together?

What say you?

it is quite simply Romeo and Juliet b William Shakespeare

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ak94 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 28, 2011 at 8:11 AM (Answer #31)

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EDWARD AND BELLAA !!!!!

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happy07 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM (Answer #32)

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twilight series Bella and Edward

also a classic Romeo and Juliet

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clarendon | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:28 PM (Answer #33)

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Dante and Beatrice: a pair that takes some thinking and even, perhaps, purity of heart to fully appreciate.

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abdulwahablawal66 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 7, 2011 at 7:41 AM (Answer #34)

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My vote goes for Romeo and Juliet because with eveything that happened they were still one and never left eachother.

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ckrau2002 | Middle School Teacher | eNoter

Posted April 7, 2011 at 8:48 AM (Answer #35)

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My vote goes to Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

The whole book is a look at different ways people love.  Jane and Bingley are quiet and shy.  Lydia is loud and gives no thought to giving her heart away.  Wickham uses his version of "love" to make profit.  Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy find every reason not to love each other at first.  Then he opens her eyes by sacrificing for her and those that she loves.  She finally sees all the things that she has been missing in her hasty first impression.  Their love storyreminds all to look beyond the surface and find what really matters in life.

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legibledeb | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 10, 2011 at 10:39 AM (Answer #36)

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Catherine and Heathcliff--in a dark, brooding way, of course.  But, when Catherine tells Nellie, "I am Heathcliff," how can any words denote greater love?

But don't you think Hareton and young Cathy's relationship is the embodiment of what Heathcliff and Catherine's love SHOULD have been? Catherine and Heathciff are both too selfish to be together in life, but Hareton and young Cathy atone for the crimes of the previous generation though their mutual, selfless love.

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neondime | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 11, 2011 at 5:28 AM (Answer #37)

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I love "The Gift of the Magi" too! What a great love story.

For a more complex, recent love match, I think Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games provide an interesting view of what love means. Self-sacrifice and unconditional devotion... even though they didn't choose each other at first, they learned to love each other through circumstance. There's something romantic about that!

I also love Benedick and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing! Love certainly requires a sense of humor in all cases. :)

OH MY GOLLY. You made me smile at Katniss and Peeta, but I intended to say Benedick and Beatrice! You beat me to it! And two for two, no less :)

The wit behind all those insults is fantastic. I love the tension between the two of them. Not only that, but the two people in the play who were never going to get married, ever, wound up being perfect for each other.

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted May 2, 2011 at 8:02 PM (Answer #38)

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I am SO glad that no one said Bella and Edward!  (Yuck!)  But I am incredibly shocked that NO ONE said Romeo and Juliet!  Okay then, I'm gonna say it:  Romeo and Juliet!!!  Star-crossed tragic lovers, ... romantic doesn't have to be happy, you know.  Of course, it didn't even occur to me (until now) that you just might be referring to Romanticism in which case my suggestion wouldn't even make sense.

Just to return for a minute to my reverie:  Okay, the bliss of that couple on their wedding night?  Could any of us hope for more?  The despair in Juliet when she awakes to find her Romeo lifeless!?!  I remember that even the very obvious Shakespeare-esque and technologically-challenged depiction in Shakespeare in Love made everyone swoon.

Yep, R&J, romance at its best.

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