But what happens to the characters then? What about Kate and Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew? Do they settle into domestic bliss? Or does Kate regain her feisty self and see Petruchio for the misogynist he is? Maybe they begin to hurl abuse at each other, apply for restraining orders, and launch into a bitter divorce.
And how about Rhett and Scarlett in Gone With the Wind? Could Rhett discover that after all, he really does "give a damn", and come back to sweep Scarlett off her feet? Could they set up a love nest on Tara and raise a houseful of children? Maybe Rhett would become a slippers and pipe in front of the fireplace man and Scarlett transform herself into whatever the late 1800s version is of a soccer Mom.
Then there's Romeo and Juliet, the template for young love. If the family feud hadn't resulted in their untimely deaths, could they have become just another humdrum suburban couple as the years passed, Romeo becoming a serial philanderer and Juliet finding solace in the arms of a local artisan?
Or would they be true to their love and become one of those couples who walk together hand in hand into the future, coming to think and even look alike, ready to take their 60th anniversary vows on a Mediterranean cruise?
It's fun to speculate, but not for too long. A true romantic knows that, when the last page is turned, the couple is truly headed for that HEA. We wouldn't have it any other way.