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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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Photo Credit

Tristan und Isolde, 2001 © Gary Smith