Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Lovers vs. The Cost of Love

This week we look at a type of hero that often comes in pairs. The lovers. The star-crossed lovers is a trope as old as time. Guinevere and Lancelot. Romeo and Juliet. These are the two main characters that adore each other even though everyone says they shouldn’t.

And usually one of them is played by Leonardo Dicaprio
The obstacle the lovers have to struggle against is a bit obvious. Their ‘differences’ form the main bar to their relationships, and these differences can take a lot of forms. For instance, an ever present fiance or arranged marriage for the sake of duty can bar one of the lovers (usually the heroine) like in Titanitc.
And isn't he a charmer?
Sometimes the lovers come from feuding families like in Romeo and Juliet, different races like in the musical adaptation West Side Story or different income brackets like Jasmine and Aladdin. Or even different species entirely like in Twilight and so many other paranormal romance novels.

Sometimes the whole of society itself is against our lovers, as is often the case in dystopian romances when the relationship is not sanction or, worse, is on opposite sides of a life or death competition.
The key however, is these are all outer differences. The lovers themselves connect on some fundamental way, and their internal similarities make them perfect for each other. Theoretically. I mean all that Romeo and Juliet had was very powerful lust. In fact in many of these love stories, the love tends toward the shallower. All that matters is that they’re really in love. Of course this trope can be pulled off right (which we’ll discuss more in the spotlight).

Its not hard to see why this trope is popular, especially in YA fiction. Many teenagers are getting into their first relationships, sometimes with intense parental disapproval. And lets face it, its tempting to fantasize and ‘us against the world’ scenario to justify your relationship. Even if said relationship only lasts for a few months.

Ah high school. How I don’t miss you.

Regardless, this is a powerful hero type because it involves two people instead of one and it is based very strongly in emotion. So if it’s played right, you can have your audience crying in their seats.


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