Tragic love is when two people are in love with each other, but for various reasons, it does not go well.
Either they are forced to be apart or one of them becomes gravely ill or even dies. There are many examples of tragic love in movies and literature.
We will present a list of some of those, and an explanation of how tragic love occurred in each one. Then we will move on to aspects of tragic love in everyday life.
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
This is perhaps the most classic example of tragic love. This pair was madly in love.
Alas, their feuding families made it nearly impossible for them to even see each other let alone marry.
Despite many attempts to thwart their families, in the end, Romeo and Juliet both perished and were found in each other’s arms after they passed away.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
In this story, a man named Heathcliff was in love with a woman named Cathy.
They came from vastly different societal and economic backgrounds and were not permitted to be married.
Although these two loved each other, that love never saw the light of day. How tragic!
This kind of issue may still be prevalent in today’s world; however, a couple will often go on to marry even if society does not approve.
The tragic love of Mark Antony and Cleopatra
The true-life story of these two dates way back in time. Cleopatra was the queen of Egypt and Marc Antony was a general under the rule of Julius Caesar.
They loved each other so much that, after he dies, Cleopatra chooses to end her own life.
Thus, their love flourished in the Heavens above, even though it could not exist during their lives.
The 1997 movie Titanic from James Cameron
Although this romance was fictional, it still serves as an example of tragic love. In it, a high-society girl, Rose, meets a man named Jack from the working class.
He offers her an exciting alternative to the fiancé she is not really in love with. The two make plans to run away together after the cruise.
However, we all know what happened to the Titanic; so their plans were never fulfilled.
In this story, same-sex couple Jack and Ennis are in love with each other but are forced to keep it a secret.
The society in rural Wyoming is not conducive to a same-sex romance and is instrumental in keeping the two men apart.
This is surely an example of tragic love that many couples face even today.
Tragic love is a real issue
Although many of the examples we know of are fictional, tragic love is very real for many people.
It can happen when people come from different economic backgrounds, especially when the parents are the domineering kind.
When people from such families are in love with each other, it is not uncommon for the parents to forbid it.
Regardless, their love for one another never dies, and it is quite tragic that they cannot be together nor openly share their love.
This is less common in today’s society
Why? Because in today’s world, not every person blindly listens to their parents.
If a person falls in love with a person that their parents disapprove of, they may rebel against their parents and marry anyway.
This type of tragic love can flourish, despite their parents’ wishes. No more suffering!
Different scenarios for tragic love
There is another scenario associated with tragic love. Allow us to explain and see for yourself how such love can exist.
Sometimes, the families of the two individuals are not against their relationship, but life is. Maybe one is ill or the other has to move to another country.
The circumstances are such that the two people are not able to be together in spite of the support of their families. This is every bit as tragic.
Same idea, alternate situation
There are also times when two people love each other, but for various reasons are not compatible. Maybe one has an explosive temper or a terrible addiction.
Or perhaps they have different values in life that cause a deep rift in their relationship.
In situations like this, they cannot remain together even though they are in love.
The families have not forbidden it either, the couple is simply toxic to each other. This is also tragic love at its height!
Why can a lot of people relate to a tragic love story?
Even if their own relationship is not a tragic love story, most people know someone that has experienced this.
Their unhappiness and bitterness were apparent throughout their lives. It could have been a relative, a friend, or someone they work with.
Another fictional example
Have you ever seen the television series called Once Upon a Time? This series was riddled with tragic love stories right from the outset.
Did you notice how sad and angry these characters were?
Did these stories make you think back to people you knew or maybe even such a time in your own life?
It is always very tragic when lovers cannot be together for one reason or another.
Tragic love can be a one-sided thing too
What do we mean by this? Sometimes when people enter into a relationship, only one of them is actually in love. The other person really is not.
Maybe the person who is not in love leads the other person on for a while, then breaks it off.
This kind of tragic love happens all the time. The victim is left very broken-hearted for the rest of their life.
Meanwhile, the other goes on to have a great love life with someone else. We think you will agree that this is extremely tragic.
The love triangle is a tragic one too
This is also something that happens too often. Two people meet by chance and fall madly in love with each other.
The problem is that one of them is already married to someone else. That should be the end of it, right?
It is not always that simple. There are times when the married person does not want to hurt their spouse but still loves this new person.
There is only pain ahead for these two. Yes, this is absolutely a form of tragic love.
Unusual tragic love stories
Although not really common, this can happen. Sometimes in a family, second or third cousins might fall in love with each other.
It is perhaps not as heinous as first cousins or closer relations, but it is still family and still forbidden.
There is no way two people can overcome this unless they run away together to some far-off place.
An example of this kind of thing is the late rock icon, Jerry Lee Lewis. In their case, they did marry and have a happy relationship despite society.
Most people are not so fortunate, and this is tragic.
A sign of the times
As we discussed earlier, cases of tragic love are not as prevalent as they used to be. Society as a whole is more tolerant of relationships that were once forbidden.
This is good, especially for people who might currently be experiencing a tragic love.
There is a way to be together now. Take heart, you will be able to be with the one you love forever!