The ballet begins in a village, where a young girl named, Giselle is living with her attentive mother, Berthe. The village gamekeeper, Hilarion is madly in love with Giselle, yet Prince Albrecht comes into the spotlight. He is bored with his everyday life, and wants to escape from his fiance, Bathilde. Upon seeing Giselle, he disguises himself as a peasant named Loys, and approaches her by buying the cottage next to Berthe's, and begins showering them with gifts.
As soon as Hilarion gets wind of this, he is infuriated. He sees that Giselle is madly in love with Albrecht, so he mistakes that they are getting married.
That night, Berthe has a dream that Giselle will become a Wili, a bride who dies the day before her wedding. Every night, the Wilis emerge and trap any men who lurk their premises. Meanwhile, Hilarion finds out that Loys is not who he says he is and reveals his identity and fiance, Bathilde. Giselle is heartbroken, and dies that very night.
At the tomb of Giselle, the Wilis appear to anoint Giselle as one of their own. But soon, Albrecht comes to visit her tomb, feeling guilt and remorse for her death. Hilarion is soon found doing the same. The Wili queen, Myrta, orders her Wilis to dance around them until they die of exhaustion. The Wilis try, but they are unable to break the invisible bond of true love between Albrecht and Giselle. In the end, Albrecht is saved, and Giselle returns with the Wilis for eternity.
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