’s Tragedy Essay, Research Paper

“Tristan’s Tragedy”

As told to (author’s name)

By Tristan

“What an unusual Christian name, ‘(author’s name)’! And you say you know but two

languages? You must jest to render the title of ’scholar’ upon yourself. During my training, I have

learned seven, all the while being taught horsemanship and swordsmanship. Alas, all of my accolades

serve me not here. True nobility never makes excuses for shortcomings; however, in this despair I

can know no greater loss.

After being wounded in battle with the giant Morolt (who was subsequently slain by my steel)

I journeyed to Ireland in search of Queen Isolt and her medicinal power. Disguised as a wandering

minstrel, I succeeded in endearing myself to her court by performing deeds impossible for the

average. I also taught her daughter, my beautiful Isolt, the art of the lyre. I returned to Cornwall,

and upon hearing my account of Isolt’s charm, my king Mark resolved to make her his own.

After convincing her family to allow her to wed the king, we set back on a ship for Cornwall.

I remember the night on which we fell in love. Perhaps it was the wine, or perhaps I was merely

intoxicated by her. Nonetheless, she amazingly felt the same drawing to me, and we were unable to

contain our affections. We continued seeing one another in secret after the wedding; after all, without

love her marriage was invalid. After a while, though, our conniving king took aware of our dealings

and banished me to the barren Arundel.

It was there I met a woman of average beauty, but with the only name worthy of my

attentions: Isolt des Mains-Blancs. (That’s “of the white hands” if your other language fails you.) I

could not betray my love however, so our marriage was never consummated. Rightly so, because

in due time I received a letter from my true Isolt, giving account of her flight from the king. She

requested a meeting with me, saying her ship would bear a white sail. I kept the new Isolt on guard

for weeks. Finally, I was informed that my Isolt was spotted on a ship, yet one bedecked with a black

sail. In shock of my love’s betrayal of truth, I fell dead, and I became as you now regard me.

Let not this cruel fate befall you, (author’s name). Let not your weak education impede your

ambitions. Let not a love enter your heart, for you will be only distracted from duties at hand. And

finally, let not blind trust influence your decisions, as you will find yourself in the whirlwind where

I abode…”


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