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...

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?

Asked on by M.P. Ossa

37 Answers

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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

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

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

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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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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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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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trophyhunter1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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

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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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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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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

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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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