Study Guide

Hero and Leander Star-Crossed Lovers

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Star-Crossed Lovers

Romeo and Juliet

Made most famous by Mr. William Shakespeare, the tale of these two star-crossed lovers is widely believed to have been inspired in some part by the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe. But how about Hero and Leander? After all, both couples

  • are young and desperately love.
  • are kept apart by their families (In Hero and Leander's case, it's just Hero's family).
  • die tragically in an attempt to be together.

Pretty telling connections, if you ask us.

King Arthur/Lancelot/Guinevere

King Arthur: you've probably heard of him. He was an awesome king who basically invented chivalry and recruited a bunch of noble knights to bring justice to England. Trouble came, though, when his best knight, Lancelot, and his gorgeous wife, Guinevere, fell in love. In many versions of the story, the affair that resulted ended up destroying Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, and Camelot itself. Sound familiar?

P.S. For more on this tale, check out Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory.

King Mark/Tristan/Iseult

If you liked the King Arthur tale, you should definitely check out the myth of Tristan and Iseult, which plenty of people think of as its predecessor. In this one, King Mark's trusted nephew and awesome knight, Tristan, is sent to Ireland to bring Iseult back as a bride for Mark. Unfortunately for Mark, Iseult and Tristan accidentally drink a love potion on the way back to England and fall in love. Their secret passion ends up causing all kinds of problems—and in many versions, it ends up with all three leading players dead. Womp womp.

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