There are more dramatic love stories than Romeo and Juliet. These are real life tragic love stories. They stand as a warning against obsessive love.
Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious
On October 12, 1978, the NYPD answered a 911 call from the Chelsea Hotel. Guests had reported screaming from a room, of a woman being attacked by her boyfriend. Before delving into the tragedy that shook the entire English punk scene, let us go back two years, to the fateful first encounter of this couple. Against the warnings of friends, John Ritchie fell madly in love. For many people close to this couple, this budding relationship spelled trouble.
Facing the rejection and criticism of friends, the couple reached the conclusion that they were simply jealous of their happiness. They were convinced their passionate love couldn’t be understood by anyone but them; however, their friends knew what it meant for two drug addicts to be together. One of them was bound to an early grave.
It was an abusive and codependent relationship, where both physically and verbally assaulted each other. They would yell at each other when the drugs wore off, and when they were unable to get them, they sat still, watching TV. When The Sex Pistols disbanded, only Nancy Spungen was there to console him, and in the mix you would find more drugs, sex, and bad decisions.
No one really knows what happened that fateful October night, but rumors spread quickly. Some say Nancy stabbed herself with John’s knife, while others concluded he killed her while under a drug induced rage. He was charged with second degree murder, but was released on bail. A couple of months later, John, better known as Sid Vicious, died from a heroin overdose. Despite the co-dependence and problems, they loved each other as much as they were capable. They were two souls who wanted to be together, but the treacherous power of drugs split them apart.
Throughout history, many men and women have clashed together and created great love stories.Their relationships remain in the collective consciousness of mankind and stand as a warning of the perils of obsessive love.
Cleopatra and Mark Anthony
The Egyptian queen Cleopatra met Mark Antony during Rome’s transition from Republic to Empire. Despite Antony already being married, he began an affair with Cleopatra, which resulted in a successful political alliance. Their relationship is depicted as one of the most passionate stories of all time. When Mark Antony divorced his Roman wife, his political rival, Octavian, declared war on Cleopatra. To avoid capture, the lovers resolved to commit suicide. Shakespeare’s final scene of Romeo and Juliet was based on the deaths of this Roman general and his Egyptian queen.
Heloise and Abelard
History says Abelard was twenty years older than his student, Heloise. He fell in love with her, and she loved in return. When Heloise’s uncle discovered their relationship, she was already pregnant. They were forced into marriage, but Abelard was to be castrated. Humiliated by his new condition, Abelard asked Heloise to take religious orders and in turn he became a monk. Despite the many obstacles they faced, they never stopped loving each other. They wrote love letters promising eternal fealty and devotion.
Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal
Shah Jahan fell in love with Mumtaz Mahal in 1607 and married in 1612. In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal gave birth to their 14th child; however, due to some complications, she died. Shah Jahan promised to build her the most beautiful mausoleum to place her remains. The mausoleum is best known as the Taj Mahal, and it took 22 years to be completed.
Infante Peter and Inês de Castro
This love affair started a civil war in Portugal. Inês was a lady in waiting to Constance of Castile and Infante Peter was heir to the Portuguese throne. He fell in love with her, despite the fact he was already married to Constance. After his wife's death, Peter asked his father to accept Inês as his new wife, but the King refused.
King Alfonso IV ordered Inês’s execution, and she was decapitated in front of her children. Peter was unable to stop this tragedy from unfolding and in return he swore revenge. He found the killers and publicly executed them. Rumor has it that when Peter ascended the throne, he had Inês’s body exhumed. Her body was placed on the throne and he forced the entire court to swear allegiance to their new queen.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
The famous English queen was deeply in love with her husband, Prince Albert, and after his passing, she wore black until her death, 40 years later. When she died in 1901, her remains were placed next to his at the Royal Mausoleum. There, the following words are engraved, “Farewell best beloved, here at last I shall rest with thee, with thee in Christ I shall rise again.”
Andrew Jackson and Rachel Donelson
Prior to her marriage with US President, Andrew Jackson, in 1791, Rachel Donelson had been married to a man named Lewis Robards. The divorce papers were never signed, which stigmatized Rachel to the extent that she was seen as a lewd and indecent woman. The public scandal played havoc on Rachel’s health. The humiliation led her to an early grave, and some say Andrew Jackson was so heartbroken he refused to let go of her body, believing she would come back to life at any moment.
Love is without a doubt a complicated business. Just as it is wonderful, it can be dangerous as well. For better or for worse, love steals a piece of us when it leaves. Tragic loves have power to rip larger chunks of our hearts. No one can predict the outcome of a relationship, but we can’t be afraid to love.