SparkNotes Blog

How to Flirt, According to Characters from Classic Literature

Flirting is super fun and easy—and by that, we mean that it’s impossible and fraught with peril.  You come on too strong, and suddenly your cousin is refusing to marry you. Too subtle, and your crush goes off with some hunky Hufflepuff. Striking the perfect balance between clingy and cocky is crucial to getting your crush’s attention—and the following literary characters know just how to do it. Kind of. Like 50% of them do. Eh, maybe closer to 35%.

Moby-Dick

Be elusive. Play so hard to get that they’re slowly driven insane. And when they finally find you, which they will, flip their boat and kill their friends. Works every time. Wait, what was the goal here again?

Gandalf the Grey

Recruit them for an epic, near-impossible quest revolving around good, evil, and jewelry.

Katherina Minola

I like to be violently standoffish until the guy derides me into submission—an end result that society ought to find troubling and offensive, but instead they’re like, “Way to go, dude!” God I hate the patriarchy.

Mr. Darcy

I go with the “insult her a bunch then ask her to marry you” strategy. It usually doesn’t go over well the first time around, but the second time, it works like a charm.

The Shark from Jaws (the novel, not the movie)

What the whale said.

Jay Gatsby

First, get your hands on a million dollars. Second, transform yourself into an  entirely different person. Third, move in across from your  crush and throw a ton of insane parties. Fourth, repeat the past. Don’t stop repeating, no matter what. Everything is going to work out great, and/or you’re going to die and only 3 people will come to your funeral.

Juliet Capulet

Always go for someone who happens to be the sworn enemy of your entire family. Then marry them 24 hours after your first date. What could possibly go wrong?

Harry Potter

I think this tells you pretty much all you need to know.

Lavender Brown

Be obvious. Be intense. Be clingy. Will this result in long-term relationship? Hard to say. But no.