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Tristan and Isolde – an age-old marvel of True Love

Western Literature has been under the influence of many stories of legend lovers since time immemorial. It has influence the development of literary history in a substantial manner. The Romance of Tristan and Isolde is a tragic-love-tale of two lovers who shared eternal love with each other which was eventually outlawed forever.

Tristan and Isolde

As a symbol of all the intrinsic worth of Chivalry, Tristan (means sorrow), was a brave and honored Knight. He was the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, and was a great harp player. On the other hand Isolde of Ireland was the daughter of Angwish, King of Ireland. She was affianced to King Mark of Cornwall. Tristan helped King Mark in his relationship with Isolde. Tristan brought Isolde from Cornwall for his uncle King Mark. As per traditional Myth and Folklores the love story of Tristan and Isolde started on a sailing boat.

Where does the story begin?

King Mark sent his Nephew Tristan on a war in Ireland where he killed Morholt and King Ban in the duel before King Anguin the father of Isolde. He left his sword in the body of Morholt and got himself wounded in the war. He was cured by Isolde who was trained in medicinal cure therapy by her mother. She cured Tristan and later got to know that he was the warrior who killed Morholt by seeing the broken sword with Tristan.

1Tristan brought Isolde to Cornwall to marry his uncle King Mark. On the way back to Cornwall Tristan and Isolde, by mistake drank the potion of love given by Isolde’s mother to Brangäne, who was the companion of Isolde. Tristan and Isolde developed their affection towards each other.

Later on Tristan married another Isolde, known as Isolde of the White Hands and settled in Brittany. In time Tristan was again wounded in a battle, and called for Isolde to heal him again.
Tristan died out of grief thinking that Isolde has refused to help him. Seeing the Tristan dead, Isolde fell in deep sorrow and she too died out of despair. Two broken hearts could not live together, but their eternal love kept inspiring people since then.

So what is so special about this story?

This story laid emphasis on a love that cannot be denied even when it leads to tragedy. Since medieval times this great love tale has attracted artists and poets. This story also has a hidden message that the true love may have to face opposition from the society and betrayal from people, who do not have true love and hate the true lovers.

And what is the message for people in love today?

Lovers must be ready for any kind of sacrifices. True love might end happy or tragic but at the end it will be an everlasting and timeless love. Many stories and manuscripts have narrated the tragic love story of Tristan and Isolde in varied ways.

Why does our respect and faith for love keeps getting renewed through this story?

The world will be a better place to live, if we can shed off the hatred. The love filled hearts can never harm anyone. Elder generation must support younger’s in their love, so that no Tristan and Isolde will have to die again.

Demian Richter

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