Tristan und Isolde
Tristan, the nephew of King Marke of Cornwall, killed the Irish hero,
Morold. In the process, Tristan was wounded. In disguise, he went to
Ireland to find Isolde, Morold’s fiancée, who then cured him. They fell
in love but Tristan returned to Cornwall. He comes back to Ireland to
fetch Isolde, not for himself, but as bride for his uncle. Isolde rages
at his treachery. Tristan agrees to expiate the wrong by drinking poison
with her, but her attendant, Brangäne, substitutes a love potion. The
two, already in love, acknowledge their passion while waiting for the
death that does not come. They then frequently meet to fulfill their
incessant longing. Marke apprehends them. Tristan, not defending
himself, is wounded. Later, Tristan longs for the death that will bring
him and Isolde peace. When she comes to cure him, he dies. She,
transfigured, joins him on high.
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Tristan und Isolde,
2001 © Gary Smith