Romance novels and literary figures go hand-in-hand. While a good story, captivating narrative, and engaging characters all add to the enchantment of the story, one of the most romantic elements is the characters themselves. From the tales of star-crossed lovers to emotionally charged writers, there are plenty of timeless characters recognized as some of the most romantic figures in literature.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most romantic literary figures that have been featured in literature over the years, and why they stood out among their peers.


Romance, as it is displayed in literature, often comes down to the feelings of love, desires of the heart, and the beauty of passion. This is the definition of literary romanticism, which is often used to describe either a period of time from 1750-1830 or a genre of literature characterized by its emphasis on emotion, imagination, and individualism.

This timeless style of writing became popular through poets and writers including William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and John Keats, who discussed themes including imagination, philosophy, and nature. Since then, the term has broadened to refer to any story that focuses primarily on the romantic relationships between characters.

The Most Romantic Literary Figures

  1. Romeo Montague

Starting off our list is the young Romeo Montague of William Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy, Romeo & Juliet. Romeo is renowned as the ultimate romantic figure, his passionate and impulsive nature often leading him into dangerous situations— even death. His pure adoration for Juliet is undeniable, and it culminates in one of the greatest love stories of all time— one that has spanned across eras and is still celebrated today.

  1. Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is the heroine of Charlotte Bronte’s 1847 novel of the same name. Though she was born into poverty and endured a difficult upbringing, Jane still managed to maintain her optimism, fierce independence, and passion for life. As the novel progresses, she meets Edward Rochester and the two share an intense love for one another that withstands the test of time. During the early 19th century, Jane’s progressive persona and strong determination made her a standout and highly appealing romantic figure.

  1. Elizabeth Bennet

The charming and witty Elizabeth Bennet of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice is undoubtedly one of the most beloved romantic figures of all time. As the novel progresses, so does her love story with the brooding and brooding yet charmingly romantic Mr. Darcy. Despite their clashing personalities, their connection is ultimately undeniable and results in a blissful relationship.

  1. Mr. Darcy

Following in the long list of memorable romantic figures is another Austen classic— Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pride & Prejudice. Though his character appears to be arrogant and prideful at first, his true tender and loyal nature is gradually revealed throughout the novel. His genuine love for Elizabeth highlights his true qualities and earns him the title of one of the most romantic male protagonists of all time.

  1. Edward Cullen & Bella Swan

Stepping up to the modern era of romance, this couple from Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga steal the hearts of countless readers around the globe. When Edward and Bella first meet, his desire to protect her amidst his temperamental urges results in a captivating and intense love story. With their ability to break all odds and remain in love despite the overwhelming complications of their relationship, they make for one of the most beloved couples of today.

  1. Heathcliff

From Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff is a complicated man whose complex love story with his childhood friend Catherine has won him a place among the most romantic literary figures. After years of separation due to their families’ disagreements, Heathcliff reunites with Catherine and the two of them share an all-consuming love for one another. Though their relationship eventually takes a tragic turn, the passion and tenderness displayed through their journey together make Heatcliff one of the most unforgettable romantic figures.

Romance has been a major theme in literature for centuries, producing generations of memorable and enduring characters. From Romeo and Juliet to Edward and Bella, these writers and their works have captivated readers around the world with tales of love, loss, and longing. As we continue to explore the stories of these much-loved figures, their beloved characters will always remain timeless, romantic figures in our cultural imagination.

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