Celtic Mythology

Heroes of Wales

What is the story of Tristan and Iseult?

The first Celtic version of the story of these star-crossed lovers is in a Welsh manuscript of the sixteenth century. There is also a later Cornish version and many continental versions. Tristan, a nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, is a warrior, poet, musician, and storyteller. He is assigned the task of traveling to Ireland to bring Mark’s bride-to-be, Iseult (Isolde), to Cornwall. On the way to Cornwall, the couple swallow a magic potion that causes them to fall in love with each other. Their love affair is discovered, causing their banishment and tragic death.


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