What is Romance in Literature? Definition, Examples of Literary Romance

Romance definition: Romance is a type of literature that involves plots centered on love and adventure.

What is Romance/Romanticism?

Romances are centered on tales of love and adventure. Through these stories characters may face challenges, quests, or battles in order to be with the one they love.

Examples of Romance

An example of a romance would be the novel Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. In this best seller, the plot focuses on the romance between a caretaker and the paralyzed man she is caring for in the novel.

Modern Examples of Romance

Another example of a romance is the movie The Notebook. In this film, a young high society woman falls in love with a man who is of lower social status. While she at first followed family expectations for picking a spouse, she left him for the man who always had her heart.

Examples of Romance in Literature

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is an example of a tragic romance. Two teenagers, Romeo and Juliet, fall in love but keep the marriage hidden due to their feuding families. Unfortunately, the plot becomes increasingly complicated. In the end, Juliet fakes her death to be with Romeo; however, he believes she is actually dead. Feeling as though he is unable to live without her he commits suicide, and when she wakes to find him dead, she stabs herself in the heart to be with him in the afterlife.

Another example of a romance is Sir Garwain and the Green Knight by an unknown author. This romance is an early example of the genre and revolves around a knight’s chivalry through a challenged quest.

The Function of Romance

The purpose of the romance is to entertain the audience with stories in which the protagonist displays courage and chivalry through an adventure. It has broadened to encompass stories in when tales of romantic love in which lovers encounter adventures and obstacles in order to be together which appeal to the emotions and sensitivity of the audience.

Summary: What Are Romances in Literature?

Define romance in literature: A romance is story with a plot that is centered on a tale of adventure or a quest in which the main character is called to show chivalry and love.

Final Example:

The famous early American novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is an example of a romance. In this story, the main character, Hester Prynne, is punished by her Puritan society for adultery.

Hester was sent to America and was awaiting her husband’s arrival, but he is late, and she feels he must be lost at sea. Feeling as though her husband has died she has an affair which results in a pregnancy that reveals to the community that she has committed adultery.

Her punishment for the crime is to wear a scarlet “A” on her clothing to signify her sin. Eventually, her husband comes to America, and Hester and her lover are faced with the challenge of devising a plan to be together with their daughter.