A plot pattern that occurs frequently in Shakespeare
's plays. In modern works, it's often an homage
to Romeo and Juliet
. The pattern goes as follows:
- Alice and Bob are in love with each other.
- Something happens to Alice that makes Bob think she is dead, or otherwise unreachable.
- In despair, Bob commits suicide.
- Alice returns, and then realizing that Bob is dead, Alice commits suicide.
Often there can be variations but the end result is often the same. It is usually an example of love but it can also be an occasional example of despair over losing a valued rival
Not to be confused with a Suicide Pact
(mutually agreed beforehand) or Murder-Suicide
(one of them killed the other and then themselves).
Anime and Manga
- Checker does this after Charlene dies in the incredibly bad Joseph Lai psuedoanime Space Transformers.
- Used in an X-Men storyline that was a homage to Romeo and Juliet, making the rival families one of humans and one of mostly mutants to boot. He's shot. She kills herself. He proves to have been Not Quite Dead, finds that she is Quite Dead, and tries to kill himself... but the Healing Factor that saved him from the shooting won't let him die. He goes on to become the X-Man Icarus.
- And then later on he dies anyway, killed by the Sentinel robot Nimrod.
Folklore and Mythology
- Played with in Bram Stoker's Dracula. At the beginning of the film, set in medieval times, Dracula's noble love throws herself off a tower when she hears false news of his death in combat. When Dracula returns, the bishop tells him that she is damned to hell for her suicide. Enraged, he renounces God and becomes a vampire, technically committing suicide.
- In New Moon Alice tells Rosalie who tells Edward that Bella has jumped off a cliff. In return, Edward travels to Italy to be killed by the Volturi. Of course, Bella isn't really dead and she must herself go to Italy to stop Edward. Since apparently no one had access to a phone.
- In the Robotech novelizations Roy Fokker does this after the death of Captain Kramer when he decides life just isn't worth living anymore, pulls out his IV, and leaves the hospital to see Claudia effectively killing himself.
- Deliberately set up by Cleopatra on Rome. She and Antony make a suicide pact, then she leaves a fake suicide note and bloody knife to get Antony to kill himself in the belief that she's already dead, thinking that Octavian Caesar will spare her and let her remain in Egypt as queen if Antony is dead. Caesar insists on taking her back to Rome (he doesn't come out and say "as a prisoner," but that's really what he intends). Realizing that she's killed her lover for nothing and has no hope of avoiding capture and dishonor, she kills herself with the famous asp.
- From Shakespeare:
- Romeo and Juliet is perhaps the most famous example. Juliet takes a sleeping potion as part of a plan for her and Romeo to get out of Verona. Friar Lawrence's information to Romeo explaining the plan never arrives, and when Balthasar tells him of Juliet's apparent death, he buys poison from an apothecary, goes back to Verona and heads for the Capulet tomb to die alongside Juliet, kills Paris who thinks he's there to do the evil version of Due to the Dead, and then poisons himself. Juliet wakes up, finds Romeo dead, and then kills herself with Romeo's dagger.
- Parodied in Pyramus and Thisbe (the Show Within a Show in A Midsummer Night's Dream)
- Antony and Cleopatra
- Pyramus and Thisbe itself come from a much older source — Ovid's Metamorphoses.
- Cassius and Titinius in Julius Caesar.
- In the play The Servant of Two Masters, the eponymous servant is trying to hide the fact that he is serving another from his two masters, Florindo and the cross-dressing, in disguise Beatrice. When each (at different times) finds the others belongings mixed in with their own- thanks to a mix up from the sevant- the servant claims he put the items there and that they belong to him, given to him by his recently deceased ex-master. Little does he know, that Beatrice and Florindo are actually lovers trying to find each other (made more difficult by Beatrice's disguise), and so on hearing of their beloved's demise, both decide to end it all... luckily, this is a comedy and they do so by drowning themselves in the same fountain and find each other just in time... leading to even more confusion.
- Played with for laughs in one particular YouTube video by SMOSH, about Batman and Robin making their own YouTube how-to guide. It involves a 'euthaniser gun', a rabid dog, and Batsy picking a particularly bad time to pull a particularly Jerk Ass practical joke... Subverted, in that discovering his sidekick killed himself out of forbidden, untold love for him, Bats is completely unconcerned and breaks into a victory dance, because he'll have more hits now than Spiderman's Youtube video will. Cape in the crotch! Cape in the crotch!
- Truth in Television: Rudolf von Habsburg, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his lover Mary Vetsera killed each other after the emperor demanded they break off their affair. Or did they? This is the official version, but ten thousand theories of varying crackpot-levels have been proposed. Was he killed by the French for being pro-German? The Germans for being pro-French? Did Rudolf murder Vetsera and kill himself in grief? Did the Emperor know? Does the Pope know? It's complicated.