From mythology to modernity, what prompts individuals to break off relationships has captured the imagination of the masses. And though the spirit of Valentine’s Day encourages romances both young and old, let’s examine the famous breakups that are littered throughout human history.
Medea and Jason
Poor Medea. She killed a king, helped Jason find the Golden Fleece and she still couldn’t get him to commit. In Euripides’ play “Medea,” Jason dumped Medea for a princess. To get her revenge, Medea sent the princess a robe that made her burst into flames. For some reason, that didn’t win Jason back, so Medea killed the two sons she had with him and escaped on a chariot pulled by dragons.
Julius Caesar and Cossutia
Call her the almost-Empress. At 16, Caesar was named head of his household when his father died. A year later, he was nominated to become the high priest of Jupiter. However, since he had to be both a patrician (a member of the upper class) and marry one, he broke off his engagement to Cossutia and married Cornelia.
Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon
Even though Henry Tudor is well-known for having six wives over the course of his life, it all began with Catherine. Because she could not bear him a son and because Henry wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, he split with Rome, declared himself head of the Church of England and divorced Catherine. The queen herself remained steadfast in her belief that she was Henry’s true wife and was considered queen of England by most of its populace.
The Beatles’ “Bromance”
Artistic differences. Yoko Ono. Lennon/McCartney hatred. Whatever caused The Beatles breakup, it is almost as legendary as The Beatles themselves. The announcement of the breakup, in hindsight, makes sense. Too much success has often pulled groups apart in search of solo fame, but at the time it was heartbreaking.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles
Media glitz followed Diana as she rose to fame. The cameras pretty much surrounded her marriage to Prince Charles, from the moment they said “I do,” to the rumors of cheating between both parties. The paparazzi stayed in step with Diana through the messy separation that dragged her Princes William and Harry to her death in a car accident in 1997.
Woody Allen and Mia Farrow
After a 12-year relationship, you think you’d be comfortable enough to really be open with your mate. But Woody Allen took it a step too far when he began dating ex-wife Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who is more than 30 years his junior. Though he was never legally her adoptive father, the courts determined that custody of the remaining children should go to Farrow. Allen then proceeded to marry Soon-Yi, much to the general disgust of the public.