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Tristan und  Isolde is an opera composed by Richard Wagner between the years 1857-1859. The opera was based on the Authurian love story of the same name. Wagner's works were of great influence over writte
RichardWagner

Richar Wagner

rs like Baudelaire, Proust, as well as Eliot.

Summary of the OperaEdit

Tristan is a knight of Cornwall who went on a mission to bring Isolde, a maiden in Ireland, to be his uncle, King Marke's wife. Isolde hated being forced to leave her home,; she wished the ship with would wreck. The sailor's song (line 31-34) is a foreshadowing of how the fate of Tristan and Isolde would end.

Tristan, while on his way to Ireland to collect taxes, has slayed Isolde's fiance. He was injured and treated by Isolde, whom at that time unbeknowst was unaware that the person whom she has had nurse is was her fiance's murderer. It was only later on the ship that Isolde was told of this tragedy. Bitter and angry, shee inteded to poison them both. The two drank to reconcillation. The drink was though to be poison but instead it was switched to a love potion.

Waterhouse tristan and isolde sharing the potion

Tristan and Isolde drinking the love potion

When King Marke found out about the affair, Tristan who at that time so utterly in love with Isolde, has had not a word to say. He askes asked Isolde to die with him so they could be together and she agreed. Melot, a knight, who so happeneds to be the one who notified the king of the affair immediately drawn out his sword and wounded Tristan.

Tristan was fled to his castle where his wound was treated. However, only Isolde's magical arts can could heal him. But to no avail, Tristan could not await for his lover to come to save him. By the time Isolde arrived, Tristan passed away in her arms. King Marke came along, and said he will pardon the lovers. But grief was overwhelming, Isolde threw herself in the water and drowned herself, hoping that death will would unite them once more.

Connection to The Waste LandEdit

It is obvious that Eliot is emphasizing that death is that ultimate salvation. Trisan und Isolde begins with death and ends with death. Their encounter was due to fate but their love was due to magic. It seems like love afterall is an aillusion and as long as we live an allusion it shall always be. The only time when love is real is when we are willing to die for each other. Death is eternity, an unspereable bond all mean must have.

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