In Dangerous Liaisons, Madame de Tourvel is actively pursued by Vicomte de Valmont. Madame de Tourvel is married, chaste and devoutly religious. Vicomte de Valmont is a well-known philanderer.
Madame de Tourvel finally succumbs to Valmont's advances and they both reluctantly fall in love with one another. Tourvel proclaims to Valmont her love and affection towards him, which Valmont responds extremely cold-heartedly and turns her away. After Valmont brashly breaks ties with her, she asks him if he wants to kill her:
VALMONT: I'm so bored, you see. It's beyond my control.
TOURVEL: What do you mean?
VALMONT: Well, after all, it has been four months. So, what I said: It's beyond my control.
TOURVEL: Do you mean you don't love me anymore?
VALMONT: My love had great difficulty outlasting your virtue. It's beyond my control.
TOURVEL: Why are you doing this?
VALMONT: There's a woman. Not Emilie, another woman. A woman I adore. And I am afraid she is insisting that I give you up. It's beyond my control.
TOURVEL: Liar! Liar!
VALMONT: You are quite right, I am a liar. And it's like your fidelity, a fact of life. No more nor less irritating. Certainly beyond my control.
TOURVEL: Don't keep saying that!
VALMONT: It's beyond my control.
TOURVEL: Do you want to kill me?
VALMONT: Listen. Listen to me. You have given me great pleasure. But I simply cannot bring myself to regret leaving you. It is the way of the world. Quite beyond my control.
The next time that we see Tourvel, she is in some sort of a hospital and is gravely ill. Throughout the film, Tourvel always looked extremely healthy and never had any illnesses that I recall.
Due to the brazenness of Valmont's termination of their relationship, are we supposed to believe that Madame de Tourvel died of shame or died of a broken heart? Tourvel did ask Valmont if he wanted to kill her by how cruel he was being. Is there ever any explanation given on what actually caused Madame de Tourvel's death?