Giselle, a weak-hearted young girl who is adored by the native villagers, lives with her watchful mother, Berthe. Giselle's grace and her sweetnatured, sensitive manner have endeared her to many a suitor, of which Hilarion, the village gamekeeper, is the most persistent. One day, Prince Albrecht passes through the village and immediately upon seeing fair Giselle, he falls madly in love with her. Enraptured by her frail beauty and innocence, Albrceht disguises himself as a peasant and attempts to capture the girl's heart. Giselle, not knowing that the handsome young man is a Prince, falls desperately in love with him. Hilarion, who has learned of Albrecht's true identity, pleads with Giselle not to waste her affections on the wrong man. In utter disbelief, Giselle nevertheless confronts Albrecht, who eventually confesses to already being engaged to a noblewoman named Bathilde. Overwhelmingly distraught and horrified, Giselle's heart is breaking and she dies at Prince Albrecht's feet. The once so cheerful girl who loved to dance, now finds herself in a world of spirits who have endured an equally painful and sad lot: the Wilis are spirits of betrothed maidens who have had to die before their wedding night. With unbridled revenge, they lure young men and dance them to their death. Hilarion, who is keeping vigil at Giselle's tomb, is chased by the Wilis and drowns in a pond. Albrecht, laden with feelings of guilt and remorse, is the Wilis' next victim, but Giselle, even though she is now one of the spirits, has kept, her kindness and virtue: she forgives him and saves his life. At dawn's early light, Giselle returns with the Wilis, recognizing that now she will be one of them for all eternity.