Tristan and Isolde

King Mark of Cornwall had a nephew named Tristan.  All of the king’s knights were jealous of  Tristan because he was heir to the throne.  One day, Tristan was sent to Ireland to defeat the evil Morholt.  Morholt was slain, but Tristan was wounded by his poisoned sword.  The young princess of Ireland, Isolde, was a healer and was able to save Tristan’s life.  Back in Cornwall, all the knights were trying to convince the king to marry so that he could gain a different heir.  While sitting in a tower one day, two sparrows brought a piece of  princess Isolde’s hair.  King Mark told Tristan to retrieve her to be his wife.  When Tristan arrived in Ireland, he found a dragon attacking the palace.  THe king of Ireland would give Isode’s hand to whomever slayed the dragon.  When Tristan killed the dragon, he was permitted to take Isolde back to King Mark to be his bride.  The Queen of Ireland gave Isolde’s maid a love potion to give to King Mark and Isolde.  When the maid gave it to Tristan instead of Mark, he and Isolde fell deeply in love.  When King Mark found out that his new wife was in love with Tristan, he had Tristan banished.  Isolde gave him a ring, she told him to send her the ring with a messenger if he needed help. Tristan traveled to France and killed another dragon, winning the hand of the French Princess.  He was badly wounded and the only person who could heal him was Isolde.  He sent the messenger to her with the ring.  The messenger told Tristan that if Isolde agreed to return with him the sails of the ship would be white. If she did not agree to come back with him to save Tristan the sails would be black. Overhearing this plan, Tristan’s French wife became jealous.  She lied to Tristan, telling him that the ships sails were black.  Tristan died of despair before the ship reached land. Isolde died of sadness when she found him dead. King Mark of Cornwall forgave Tristan and had him and Isolde buried together. The story of Tristan and Isolde represents forgiveness and kindness. Although someone may hurt you in ways you are angered by, you should forgive them out of kindness. Tristan and Isolde was written during the Middle Ages and is of Celtic origin.

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