Study Guide

Deirdre - Love is Pain

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Love is Pain

These tragic heroines—the girls that all the dudes want—revel in their status as doomed lovers. They love reading sad romantic stories and constantly make sure their eyes are a bit reddened. You can find them sighing over chivalric poetry or working on their autobiographies, to be published in an anthology, Woe is Me!.

Helen of Troy

This Greek demi-goddess was the original woman that every man wanted . Queen of Sparta and married to Menelaus, Helen ran off with Paris, prince of Troy, and caused a ten-year war, then came crying back to Menelaus when he killed Paris. She might've been teary, but she got her man and her kingdom back.

Zhu Yingtai

In Chinese folklore, this heroine disguised herself as a man to study and travel; when her companion, Shinbo, found out she was female, he fell for her, but she was already engaged (to some dude her family liked). Later, Shinbo died and, on her way to her wedding, Yingtai passed his grave; the wind wouldn't let the boat pass his burial site. She kept crying until the earth ate her whole and she got to be with Shinbo for eternity.


The Scandinavian hero Hagbard made peace with some of his enemies—then fell for those guys' sister, Signy. Signy was already engaged to a nasty guy who stirs up trouble and gets her bros killed—his die, too. Hagbard is betrayed, and Signy promises to bump herself off if and when that happens, so she sets fire to her home.

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