Many people around the world celebrated Valentine’s Day with their loved one not so long ago. Every single one of us who is in a relationship has a story to tell about how we got together. Some of us met online, others met in a bar, while some of us were introduced by friends. We also have stories to tell of the path our relationship has taken; maybe some of us have had to fight against the odds to stay together, or perhaps we’ve lost touch with our lover only to meet again several years later. Or maybe we had to watch our lover marry someone else first before they realised that we were always their true love.
There are many famous unbelievable love stories, too. These stories teach us the power of love and endurance, and what it means to care so deeply for someone that you’ll do anything to make sure the two of you are together, no matter how much the odds are stacked against you. If you’re feeling in a romantic mood, let’s take a look at 5 famous unbelievable love stories that may just melt your heart.
Romeo And Juliet
Romeo and Juliet has to be the most famous love story of them all. The couple has come to symbolise tragic love, and how two lovers can so easily be torn apart by external events around them that are out of their hands – in their case, their own families who despise one another.
We’re sure you all know how this one goes, so there can be no spoilers here: But when Juliet takes her own life because she believes her husband is dead, it’s a sure sign of true love. This is a love story that will make you weep, but it will also make you want to weep in the arms of your one and only.
Cleopatra And Marc Anthony
Cleopatra was certainly a woman who got around: She counted the great emperor Julio Caesar as one of her loves. Another of her lovers was the brave and heroic Marc Anthony, and their relationship was mythologised by the dramatist William Shakespeare.
The story goes that Cleopatra and Marc Anthony fall in love at first sight, which puts the nation of Egypt in a position of power. But their love affair doesn’t exactly go down a storm with the nearby Romans, who were suspicious of the Egyptians and their growing power. The Romans consequently threaten to destroy Egypt, while Cleo and Anthony get married anyway.
And while fighting the Romans, Marc Anthony receives news of Cleo’s death and falls on his sad. Tragically, Cleo hadn’t even died. But when she finds out that her husband has died, she kills herself.
Tristan And Isolde
The name Tristan and Isolde are almost as famous as Romeo and Juliet, but far fewer people could actually retell this particularly heart-wrenching story that was made famous by the German composer Wagner. It’s a story of unrequited love in a world where other people get to choose who we should marry, and what consequences this inevitably brings.
Set in during the medieval times when King Arthur was on the throne, Isolde of Ireland was betrothed to King Mark of England. But King Mark makes a massive error of judgement when he sends his handsome nephew Tristan on a voyage across the Irish Sea to bring back his future wife.
As you can imagine, Tristan and Isolde grow close on the stormy journey to England and fall deeply and irrevocably in love. Isolde, however, realises that she has to respect due diligence and marries King Mark – while keeping her affair with Tristan going on the side.
Dejected, Tristan moves to France where he marries a French gal named Iseult. Unable to consummate his marriage because he’s still thinking of his Irish belle, he falls ill and sends for Isolde in the vain belief that only she can cure him. If she agrees to come, the ship returning from England would bear a white sail. If she does not, it will bear a black one.
Iseult lies to her lover and tells him the sails were black. Tristan, unable to take much more, dies of grief. Once the news reaches Isolde she, too, dies of a broken heart.
Jane Eyre And Rochester
Many of us had to read Jane Eyre during school. As well as grieving over Romeo and Juliet, we also had to cope with Jane Eyre’s relationship with Rochester, too. Sometimes, it was just too much!
In Charlotte Bronte’s exquisite novel, Jane stars as an abused orphaned who is forced to work for the rugged, rich and rather angry Edward Rochester. But as the novel wears on, Jane discovers that this upper-class man actually has a bit of a heart underneath his sense of entitlement.
The pair agree to marry, but things go heartbreakingly wrong on their wedding day when Jane discovers that Rochester is already married. Jane can do nothing but run away from her troubles, but her conscience eventually gets the better of her and she returns.
Only, Rochester has burnt his mansion down, murdered his wife, and blinded himself.
Still, Jane takes him into her hands and heart and they live out their days together in bliss and love.
Tolstoy’s epic novel of love in high society was a perennial favourite with readers of high-brow classic literature for years and years, but the love story at its heart is even more famous now thanks to numerous feature film adaptations, including the most recent blockbuster starring Kiera Knightley. It also became a best-seller once more in 2004 when Oprah put it on her book list.
The tale is set within the highest echelons of 19th century Russian society and centres around Anna Karenina who, while visiting her brother to save his marriage in Moscow, meets and falls in love with the esteemed, charming and handsome Count Vronsky.
The only flaw in the design is that Anna is already married to a steady, ordinary husband. Overcome by desire, she has to fight a battle with her heart. Eventually, she leaves her husband and plans to make a new life with Vronsky.
Sadly, her husband denies her a divorce, leaving Anna to find meaning in her marriage and in her new relationship with the Count. When everything takes its toll, Anna drastically takes her own life.
Her words sum up love for a lot of people: “I’ve always loved you, and when you love someone, you love the whole person, just as he or she is, and not as you would like them to be.”