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Literary parallels ?

Cheese Slices

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#1
Pretty straightforward : What couples/pairings in literature share similarities with Buffyverse couples ?

I've seen a thread for parallels with other TV shows, but I don't know about 3/4 of them, so I figured I'd go for literature instead.
 
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Sineya
#2
Love this thread! I'll have to give this more thought, so for now I'll only mention the couple I'm most familiar with:

--Spike-Buffy share similarities to Dante and Beatrice; perhaps also Heathcliffe and Catherine Earnshaw.
--Oz and Willow very slightly remind me of Tess and Angel Clare (but hardly enough to be considered a literary parallel pairing.)
Hmm. I'll give this more thought before I add more.
 
Cheese Slices
Cheese Slices
I was about to go with the Cathy/Heathcliff parallel, heh

WillowFromBuffy

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#3
Spike-Buffy share similarities to Dante and Beatrice
That is a very good comparison. I don't really like it, though, because it reduces Buffy to this abstract ideal.

Angel and Buffy also works very well, because Angel literally went through Hell and through the Shanshu he may be see his soul cleansed.
 

RachM

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#5
Spike/Buffy remind me of Catherine/Chris Dollanganger from Flowers In The Attic by VC Andrews (minus the incest angle). But a guy in love with a girl he shouldn't be, becoming more and more obsessed with her as time goes on, she returns his feelings to a certain degree but fights them because she knows they're wrong and they shouldn't be together, all culminating in a sexual assault which the female blames herself for and forgives the male for ... yeah, that all sounds horribly familiar.

Staying with VC Andrews for a moment, there are definite parallels to be drawn between Buffy/Angel and Heaven/Troy from Dark Angel. A tragic, Bryonic loner who shies away from people but falls for a woman who brings life into his life and becomes his soulmate, but who he is forced to leave because of unforeseen circumstances but whom he never stops loving or wanting and who never stops loving or wanting him ... again, this sounds very familiar.
 
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Sineya
#6
Ok you're gonna have to explain this one to me because I can't see it at all!
LOL, I probably wouldn't do a very good job of explaining it to you (and don't want to spoil WH if it's a favourite of yours!) I think I thought of Heathcliff and Cathy because of their similar wild natures and the fact that their love was so passionate and savage. In a very broad sense. And her rejecting Heathcliff for Edgar Linton whom in a very rough sense I liken to Riley, and the fact that Heath returns self made/self changed. But again - it's definitely not similar plot wise and it's certainly not an exact parallel. Someone else opened my eyes to the Bangel applicability to the tale and it fits pretty well! (Tribel, actually) Especially since Angel's sister's name was actually apparently named Kathy! (I hadn't read Angel S1 so didn't know that)
But my memory of WH is dim since I haven't read it since I was a kid. :)
 

Cheese Slices

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#7
LOL, I probably wouldn't do a very good job of explaining it to you (and don't want to spoil WH if it's a favourite of yours!) I think I thought of Heathcliff and Cathy because of their similar wild natures and the fact that their love was so passionate and savage. In a very broad sense. And her rejecting Heathcliff for Edgar Linton whom in a very rough sense I liken to Riley, and the fact that Heath returns self made/self changed. But again - it's definitely not similar plot wise and it's certainly not an exact parallel. Someone else opened my eyes to the Bangel applicability to the tale and it fits pretty well! (Tribel, actually) Especially since Angel's sister's name was actually apparently named Kathy! (I hadn't read Angel S1 so didn't know that)
But my memory of WH is dim since I haven't read it since I was a kid. :)
I think this parallel works quite well so long as you consider the context surrouding the characters rather than their inner traits. Spike and Buffy's respective social positions and expectations are similar to Cathy and Heathcliff's, and the nature of their connection and the world they've created only for the both of them definitely bear some resemblance.
 

EarthLogic

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Black Thorn
#8
LOL, I probably wouldn't do a very good job of explaining it to you (and don't want to spoil WH if it's a favourite of yours!) I think I thought of Heathcliff and Cathy because of their similar wild natures and the fact that their love was so passionate and savage. In a very broad sense. And her rejecting him for Edgar Linton whom in a very rough sense I liken to Riley, and the fact that Heath returns self made/self changed. But again - it's definitely not similar plot wise and it's certainly not an exact parallel. Someone else opened my eyes to the Bangel applicability to the tale and it fits pretty well! (Tribel, actually) Especially since Angel's sister's name was actually apparently named Kathy! (I hadn't read Angel S1 so didn't know that)
But my memory of WH is dim since I haven't read it since I was a kid. :)
Nah I don't see how you could spoil it - I wouldn't say it's a favourite but I do like it.
I'd disagree on the 'wild natures' comparison - not because the wildness isn't there in both, but because I feel like the nature of it is so different that you can't compare them in great detail. I'm basing this off memory though so I'd have to reread the book to really examine it. Also, while Heathcliff and Cathy's love, was savage and untamed, it was mutual, whereas I think the savage element of Buffy and Spike's relationship was defined by an unrequited love on Spike's part. Funny you mention the Edgar-Riley parallel because that's exactly what I thought when I first read WH (I had seen BtVS first). I was like 'OMG he's a Riley' - LOL!

The B/A parallel is a little closer, because of the sense of forbidden/thwarted love but I wouldn't say it fits well either because like you say, the stories are so different. If anything, I'd say the only meaningful comparison might be made between Heathcliff and Angelus. I've always seen WH as more a story about hate than a love-story and in that sense there are a lot of parallels: Heathcliff returns to Wuthering Heights a much darker, harsher, yet wealthier man who is hellbent on vengeance, similar to the way Angelus returns home after being sired in much nicer clothes with the intent to kill his family (by contrast Spike in S7 ends up being for the better by getting his soul). His social background also aligns more with Angel(us') than with Spike's - he's often referred to as a gypsy and having been found in Liverpool, which was a major port for Irish immigrants at the time, it's highly likely that he's an Irish gypsy. That would put him closer to Angel's historical social/class outcast status as an Irish Catholic.

And obviously there's the actual remarks Nelly makes likening Heathcliff to a demon or vampire ;)
 
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SunnydaleGlitz
SunnydaleGlitz
Ahh, that's brilliant! Great breakdown, it all make sense :D

Mrs Gordo

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Black Thorn
#9
I really enjoy this Angelus Heathcliff parallel. Especially because I really don't like Heathcliff. I wouldn't carry that over into Cathy/Buffy with respect to Heathcliff/Angelus but to the extent that the parallel stops with Heathcliff I find interesting.

People may throw stones at me for this one but I have always found some parallels between Buffy/Angel and Tristan and Isolde. Especially to the extent that despite their love they chose not to be together (Isolde marrying the king) and the interaction to which their love affair would have devastating effects on the peace/war situation in the British kingdoms that are fighting (parallel that with Buffy/Angel being together could mean end of the world - twice). There are different versions of this story (my favorite is Wagner's opera!) and I think some iterations work better than others. (In one Isolde even almost kills Tristan with a sword). The movie they made on this story was not good. This has always worked better for me as a template for B/A than Romeo and Juliet.
 

Professor Walsh

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#10
Yes, I thought of Tristan and Isolde as well. For me, Romeo and Juliet is too tied to their youth to pe a parallel with Buffy and Angel. I can see the parallel between the two lovers representing separate houses and Buffy and Angel representing two worlds that cannot merge, though. I mean, what if a Sineyan were to date a Black Thorn?!?
 

Cheese Slices

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#11
I don't know, youth/emotional immaturity is definitely a part of the BA's dynamic, so the Romeo & Juliet parallel isn't so far off. I seem to recall JW drawing the parallel himself, and being a Shakespeare fan, you can see how some of the pairings of the show were inspired by Shakespeare couples : B/A and Romeo and Juliet, S/B and Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado about Nothing.
 

Professor Walsh

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#12
I don't know, youth/emotional immaturity is definitely a part of the BA's dynamic, so the Romeo & Juliet parallel isn't so far off.
Romeo and Juliet were fairly equal, though. With the age difference, I'd say we could demand more emotional maturity from Angel than from Buffy. (Wether he actually demonstrated said maturity or not may be a question people have different opinions on.)
 

Cheese Slices

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#13
Romeo and Juliet were fairly equal, though. With the age difference, I'd say we could demand more emotional maturity from Angel than from Buffy. (Wether he actually demonstrated said maturity or not may be a question people have different opinions on.)
oh, I agree. The how seems to kinda go back and forth regarding Angel's emotional maturity. At times he's written as a teenager experiencing his first love, at other times he's this almost paternal figure to her.
 

EarthLogic

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Black Thorn
#14
I don't know, youth/emotional immaturity is definitely a part of the BA's dynamic, so the Romeo & Juliet parallel isn't so far off. I seem to recall JW drawing the parallel himself, and being a Shakespeare fan, you can see how some of the pairings of the show were inspired by Shakespeare couples : B/A and Romeo and Juliet, S/B and Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado about Nothing.
I wouldn't say pairings were inspired by Shakespeare couples, more so that aspects of each are comparable to them. Of course anytime you do a forbidden love pairing the R&J comparison is going to come up because it's the iconic example of that archetype. I'll concede that Joss probably did have R&J in mind when writing seasons 2 & 3 in terms of the overall shape of the tragic love story (they fall in love, it's forbidden, tragedy ensues) because frankly it's hard not to, but I highly doubt that S/B were modelled on Beatrice and Benedick, mainly because the relationship wasn't planned with a definte arc or endgame in mind. It was written and as the seasons progressed based on what they wanted to do with storylines and how the characters were developing. So I think Joss made that comparison in retrospect by looking at the overall relationship progression from the standpoint of the end of the series. I don't think his comment was meant to imply that the narrative was being based on or inspired by Much Ado.
 

Cheese Slices

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#15
I wouldn't say pairings were inspired by Shakespeare couples, more so that aspects of each are comparable to them. Of course anytime you do a forbidden love pairing the R&J comparison is going to come up because it's the iconic example of that archetype. I'll concede that Joss probably did have R&J in mind when writing seasons 2 & 3 in terms of the overall shape of the tragic love story (they fall in love, it's forbidden, tragedy ensues) because frankly it's hard not to, but I highly doubt that S/B were modelled on Beatrice and Benedick, mainly because the relationship wasn't planned with a definte arc or endgame in mind. It was written and as the seasons progressed based on what they wanted to do with storylines and how the characters were developing. So I think Joss made that comparison in retrospect by looking at the overall relationship progression from the standpoint of the end of the series. I don't think his comment was meant to imply that the narrative was being based on or inspired by Much Ado.
I'm an idiot and didn't realize what the use of "inspired by" was implying. What I meant was that Joss openly pointed the parallels. My bad.