The 10 most romantic declarations of love in film and literature

Kate Green takes a look at the ten most romantic movie moments and literary declarations of love.

From Shakespearean sonnets to ‘You and me, babe, how about it?’ (as Dire Straits crooned), there are endless ways to declare your love, but the sentiment always remains the same. There are thousands of narratives on love, because, quite simply, we love love; ‘I don’t want to hold your hand’ would never have been a hit. ­—In the natural world, swans, penguins and wolves mate for life; we humans try our best and we certainly enjoy the journey. Here are 10 of our favourite romantic moments in literature, poetry and film.­

1. ‘I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her’ (Notting Hill, 1999). Who wouldn’t welcome a romantic overture accompanied by the gift of a priceless Chagall painting?­

2. W. B. Yeats would have laid ‘the heavens’ embroidered cloths’ at his love’s feet. ‘But I, being poor, have only my dreams;/I have spread my dreams under your feet;/Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.’­

3. ‘You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope,’ wrote Capt Wentworth in Persuasion, as he heard his beloved lament Man’s fickle nature. ‘I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.’ ­

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4. If only all first kisses were as passionate as that of Romeo and Juliet: ‘Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged!/Give me my sin again.’­

5. Beneath the clipped tones, Brief Encounter (1945) is a whole hour and 26 minutes of intense longing.­

6. When, beneath a horse-chestnut tree on Midsummer’s Eve, Rochester starts talking about a string from under his left ribs connecting to Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë had readers’ hearts in their mouths.­

7. In cult classic film The Notebook (2004), set in 1940s South Carolina, Noah takes the engaged Allie, whom he loves, out in a boat on a lake covered in Emden geese (they mate for life, too), before the heavens open and they get drenched, have a row and end up in bed.­

8. ‘Nobody puts Baby in a corner.’ Every woman wants a man to stand up for her the way Johnny does for Baby in Dirty Dancing (1987).­

9. Lucy and George’s kiss among the violets in E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View has been called particularly swoonworthy.­

10. Many a tear has been shed over the final airport scene in Casablanca (1942), its theme of personal sacrifice most poignant in the thick of war: ‘We’ll always have Paris… Here’s looking at you, kid.’­