Smash or Pass: Famous Literary Men

Today we’re looking at ten of the most romanticized men in Western literature. Check out my verdicts and let me know in the comments if you agree (or suggest some characters I didn’t mention for a part two).

Spoilers ahead!

Romeo Montague: Pass

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

When we open the play, he’s pining after Rosaline (which, by the way, girl dodged a bullet there) and hours later, he’s head over heels for Juliet. Sure, he’s a fan of impulsive, romantic gestures, but he’s maybe a bit too impulsive. In the course of three days he falls in love, gets married, murders Tybalt, is exiled, and then kills himself. He doesn’t need a hookup as much as he needs therapy.

This theme is going to come up a lot.

Heathcliff: Pass

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Yes, yes, it’s very romantic that he loves Catherine Earnshaw but that doesn’t excuse what a dickbag he is in the second half of the book. If you think you can change him, trust me–you can’t. Heathcliff is absolutely the kind of guy who would stalk you at your job after you dumped him. Hard pass.

Fitzwilliam Darcy: Smash

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Admittedly, he completely bombs his first proposal to Elizabeth by basically saying, “Your family is embarrassing AF but I deign to lower myself to you–want to get married?” After a surprised Pikachu face when she says no, he actually has some introspection and grows as a human and becomes someone worthy of our heroine’s love.

My rating on this one might be slightly influenced by Colin Firth in the white shirt and I make no apologies.

Jay Gatsby: Smash (with Caution)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

He knows how to throw a party and he’d probably be fun, but he’s way too hung up on his ex for anything substantial. Alternately, if he falls for you, he’d be impossible to truly get rid of. On the plus side, he’s willing to go down for vehicular homicide committed by the one he loves, so take that as you will.

Edward Rochester: Pass

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


Edward Cullen: Pass

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Over one hundred years old and no experience. I’m not here to shame anybody’s sex life, but for me this would be a no. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m too old for him since he’s a centenarian who is still trolling for high school girls, making him even ickier than Dane Cook.

Noah Calhoun: Smash

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Look, I make no excuses for his early behavior when he basically bullies Allie into going on a date with him. But I’m won over by the dedication it takes to read their love story to Allie every day in the hopes she’ll remember him for five minutes. Plus, the guy rebuilt that house–he’s got to be in pretty good shape in his prime.

Theodore “Laurie” Laurence: Pass

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Look, it sucks when your crush doesn’t return your feelings, and you’re entitled to feel disappointed. But marrying her sister isn’t the way to fix the situation. Amy can be annoying, but she isn’t stupid and knows she’s the consolation prize when Laurie would rather be with Jo. If things go badly with Laurie, be prepared for him to pursue your best friend to prove that he’s “Fine! Totally fine! I’m completely over it, why do you ask?”

Jamie Fraser: Smash

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Do I even need to elaborate on this one?

Gilbert Blythe: Smash

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

The ultimate boy next door, Gilbert is charming, kind, intelligent, and ambitious, as well as respectful and supportive of Anne. Plus, he grows and matures as a person and doesn’t make his issues everyone else’s problem (pay attention, Heathcliff).

Wrong Heathcliff

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