Top 10 of 20 Famous Love Stories
in History and Literature
Do you believe in true love? Do you believe in love at first sight? Do you believe in love lasts forever? I’m not sure if love at first sight is true, meaning it may not be the person one falls in love with, but the moment or ideal.
But true love is true real and lasts forever because God is love (1 Jn 4:8) and He lasts forever. If you doubt maybe these love stories will renew or reinforce your faith in love.
The following are the most famous love stories in history and literature. Some of them are stories, but then again, is the story just an idea or imagination, or is it a fact with a different and place?
1. Romeo and Juliet
This is probably the most famous love story of all time. This couple has become a synonym for love itself. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy by William Shakespeare.
Their love story is very tragic. The tale of two teenagers from two feuding families who fall in love at first sight and then marry, become true lovers and then risk it all for their love.
To take your own life for your husband or wife is definitely a sign of true love. Their “untimely deaths” ultimately unite their feuding households.
2. Cleopatra and Mark Antony
The true love story of Antony and Cleopatra is one of the most memorable, intriguing and moving of all times. The story of these two historical characters had later been dramatized by William Shakespeare and is still staged all over the world.
The relationship of Antony and Cleopatra is a true test of love. They fell in love at first sight. The relationship between these two powerful people put the country of Egypt in a powerful position.
But their love affair outraged the Romans who were wary of the growing powers of the Egyptians.
Despite all the threats, Anthony and Cleopatra got married. It is said that while fighting a battle against Romans, Antony got false news of Cleopatra’s death. Shattered, he fell on his sword.
When Cleopatra learned about Antony ‘s death, she was shocked. And she took her own life. Great love demands great sacrifices.
3. Lancelot and Guinevere
The tragic love story of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere is probably one of the best-known stories of Arthurian Legend.
Lancelot fall in love with Queen Guinevere, King Arthur’s wife. Their love grew slowly, as Guinevere kept Lancelot away from her. Eventually, however, her love and passion overpowered her and the pair became lovers.
One night, Sir Agravain and Sir Modred, King Arthur’s nephew, led a band of 12 knights to Guinevere’s chamber where they burst in upon the lovers. Discovered, Sir Lancelot made a fighting escape, but poor Guinevere was not so lucky.
She was seized and condemned to burn to death for her adultery. Fear not. Sir Lancelot returned several days later to rescue his beloved Guinevere from the fire.
This whole sad affair divided the Knights of the Round Table and weakened Arthur’s kingdom. Poor Lancelot ended his days as a lowly hermit and Guinevere became a nun at Amesbury where she died.
4. Tristan and Isolde
The tragic love story of Tristan and Isolde has been told and retold through various stories and manuscripts.
It takes place during medieval times during the reign of King Arthur. Isolde of Ireland was the daughter of the King of Ireland. She was betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall. King Mark sent his nephew, Tristan, to Ireland to escort Isolde back to Cornwall.
During the voyage, Isolde and Tristan fell forever in love. Isolde did marry Mark of Cornwall, but could not help but love Tristan. The love affair continued after the marriage.
When King Mark finally learned of the affair, he forgave Isolde, but Tristan was banned from Cornwall. Tristan went to Brittany. There he met Iseult of Brittany. He was attracted to her because of the similarity of her name to his true love.
He married her, but did not consummate the marriage because of his love for the “true” Isolde.
After falling ill, he sent for Isolde in hopes that she would be able to cure him. If she agreed to come, the returning ship’s sails would be white, or the sails would be black if she did not agree.
Iseult, seeing the white sails, lied to Tristan and told him that the sails were black. He died of grief before Isolde could reach him. Isolde died soon after of a broken heart.
5. Paris and Helena
Recounted in Homer’s Iliad, the story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan War is a Greek heroic legend, combining fact and fiction.
Helen of Troy is considered one the most beautiful women in all literature. She was married to Menelaus, king of Sparta. Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, fell in love with Helen and abducted her, taking her back to Troy.
The Greeks assembled a great army, led by Menelaus’s brother, Agamemnon, to retrieve Helen. Troy was destroyed. Helen returned safely to Sparta, where she lived happily with Menelaus for the rest of her life.
6. Orpheus and Eurydice
Orpheus fell deeply in love with and married Eurydice, a beautiful nymph. They were very much in love and very happy together.
Aristaeus, a Greek god of the land and agriculture, became quite fond of Eurydice, and actively pursued her. While fleeing from Aristaeus, Eurydice ran into a nest of snakes which bit her fatally on her legs. Distraught, Orpheus played such sad songs and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and gods wept.
On their advice, Orpheus traveled to the underworld and by his music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone (he was the only person ever to do so), who agreed to allow Eurydice to return with him to earth on one condition: he should walk in front of her and not look back until they both had reached the upper world.
In his anxiety he forgot that both needed to be in the upper world, and he turned to look at her, and she vanished for the second time, but now forever.
7. Napoleon and Josephine
A marriage of convenience, at age 26 Napoleon took a fancy to Josephine. An older, prominent, and most importantly wealthy woman.
As time drew on, Napoleon fell deeply in love with Josephine, and she with him, but that didn’t deter the adultery on both sides – their mutual respect for one another kept them together, and their burning passion between them didn’t falter, and was genuine.
They eventually split, as Napoleon deeply required something Josephine could not give him, an heir. Sadly they parted ways, both bearing the love and passion in their hearts, for all eternity.
8. Odysseus and Penelope
Few couples understand sacrifice quite like this Greek pair. After being torn apart, they waited twenty long years to be reunited. War takes Odysseus away shortly after his marriage to Penelope. Although she has little hope of his return, she resists the 108 suitors who are anxious to replace her husband.
Odysseus is equally devoted, refusing a beautiful sorceress’s offer of everlasting love and eternal youth, so that he might return home to his wife and son.
When complication occur in a relationship, take a cue from Homer, and remember that true love is worth waiting for.
9. Paolo and Francesca
It is a true story: Francesca is married with Gianciotto Malatesta an awful person, but she has Gianciotto’s brother, Paolo, as lover.
The love between them grows when they read together a book (according to Dante) about Lancelot and Guinevere. When the two lovers are discovered they are killed by Gianciotto.
10. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler
“Gone with the wind” can be identified as one of the immortal pieces of literary works in this world.
Margaret Mitchell’s famous work has chronicled the love and hate relationship between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Proving that timing is everything, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler never seem to be quite in synch.
Throughout the epic story, this tempestuous twosome experience passion but not permanence, and their stormy marriage reflects the surrounding Civil War battles.
The flirtatious, promiscuous, and perpetually pursued Scarlett can’t make up her mind between her many suitors. When she finally decides to settle on being happy with Rhett, her fickle nature has already driven him away.
Hope springs eternal in our devious heroine, however, and the novel ends with Scarlett proclaiming, “Tomorrow is another day.”
Love has existed since the beginning of time, actually love was here before even the world because God is love (1 Jn 4:8). It is through His love that we were even created and it is also His love that is saving us from spending eternity in hell.
Yet, the devil has managed to use love in an evil way, e.g., lust, sex, money, etc.
Speaking of money, in the beginning and for centuries there was no money, people bartered until certain material matters were used for payment, such as animals and crops. Until finally they started using metal coins So tomorrow we’ll look at…