View Full Version : Need a well-known love story

08-18-2008, 02:11 AM
My protagonist and the will-be-antagonist are currently teenagers - around 16 - and the protagonist is about to hint to the antagonist that she has feelings for him, by way of talking about a story they are both studying at school where the characters fall in love.

Can anyone think of a well-known story, that might be something that teenagers would study (so, probably a classic, or Shakespeare, or possibly a myth) that might serve the purpose, and also isn't something overused like Romeo and Juliet? It would be especially useful if the characters were of a similar age, and with a similar history of being best friends from childhood. It would be completely awesome if the story also had some sort of political angle to it, or dealt with an oppressed society or people, because then it could come up again later on in my novel.


08-18-2008, 02:20 AM
Jane Eyre
Helen of Troy
Schaherazade (this, I'm sure, is misspelled)

08-18-2008, 02:28 AM
You could make so that the teens are putting on a play of some sort; for example, Rebel Without a Cause or Camelot.

08-18-2008, 02:30 AM
Abelard and Heloise. Their love was forbidden. She ends up in a convent an he gets his testicles chopped off. Great stuff really. Kids would love it--sex and violence, just like on TV.

08-18-2008, 03:00 AM
Romeo and Juliet

Tony and Maria (West Side Story)

Paris Hilton and .... (okay, I'm kidding :)

Mr Flibble
08-18-2008, 03:14 AM
Wuthering Heights
Dr Zhivago
Gone with the Wind
Orpheus and Eurydice
Hero and Leander

If you want them to have known each other for a while - When Harry met Sally? :D

08-18-2008, 04:07 AM
I was gonna say... Love Story. Was that a book?

08-18-2008, 04:09 AM
The Scarlet Letter (although I'm not sure teens would find it so much romantic as tedious)

Wuthering Heights

The Great Gatsby

Taming of the Shrew

Great Expectations

Catcher in the Rye

Depending on the scene where she drops hints, you could choose a story that's less well-known than the obvious Romeo and Juliet, so the students don't necessarily know the plot to start. Then, it might even be a little funny if the story ends badly, they don't quite get the subtext and the characters don't really love each other, etc. More interesting if one of them knows the story but the other doesn't.

Tsu Dho Nimh
08-18-2008, 04:28 AM
Brad and Jennifer?
Britney and whatshisname?
Tom and Penelope?

Any of the Jane Austen stories have a strong crush in them?

08-18-2008, 04:30 AM
Tristan and Isolde

08-18-2008, 04:52 AM
I second Cranky.

08-18-2008, 12:15 PM
Romeo and Juliet (because everybody is going to know that one!)

Jane Eyre (also already suggested by somebody) - very well-known - and/or Wuthering Heights (still not as clear-cut as Romeo!!)

Emma/Little Women ...

I'd say you're safe with any of the classics, really

08-18-2008, 01:16 PM
Poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine had a wild and scandalous gay love affair in the 1800s, culminating in Verlaine trying to shoot Rimbaud. Plenty of conflict and oppression there for your teenagers to mull over.

08-18-2008, 01:33 PM
Pyramis and Thisbe (going back 3000 years)--forbidden to see each other as their parents made a high wall between their homes. They could pass notes and whispers but not much more. Over the months they fall in love. They decide to run away one night. Thisbee gets to the woods first and encounters a lion fresh from his kill. In fright, Thisbee drops her veil and runs away. The lion tears the veil, leaving blood on it. The beast leaves and Pyramus makes it in time to see the bloodied ripped veil. Thinking Thisbee is dead he kills himself. Thisbee comes out of hiding looking for Pyramis, sees him dead and kills herself.

Romeo & Juliet, West Side Story, etc have their roots in this.

08-18-2008, 04:04 PM
I was gonna say... Love Story. Was that a book?

(sigh) Yes, it was and is a book by Erich Segal, published 1970. The book became the best selling fiction work for that year and was also a movie. If I'm not mistaken, Segal originally intended the story as a screenplay but was asked to write it as a novel as well.

Although it's been called a "romance novel", it really isn't. It is what the title indicates - a love story. (with a sad ending as well).

There was also a sequel, less popular, called "Oliver's Story" that came out later.

Phil DeBlanque
08-18-2008, 05:21 PM
The history of Shah Jaham and Mumtaz Mahal.

It's easy to link it to your characters. They could be together, studying the history of India... or european geography. From there, it's easy to mention the Taj Mahal and the love history behind it.

Plus, after finishing the Taj Mahal, Shah Jaram suffered a coup d'etát, being overrulled by his own son.Cue to a character to say that the kid was only worried about the money the father spent in the monument, and not understood true love...

If you want to take this further, there's even a (brazilian) song along those terms:
Essa é a mais linda história de amor
Que me contaram e agora, eu vou contar
A história do amor do Príncipe Shah Jaham
Pela Princesa Mum' Mahal

08-18-2008, 05:23 PM
The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson. He dumped the throne of England for a divorced American socialite.

08-28-2008, 04:29 PM
Anthony and Cleopatra

08-28-2008, 08:19 PM
Wuthering Heights- Cathy and Heathcliffe do meet as children. And he is definitely oppressed by society.