Giselle, a young peasant girl, lives in a small village. Her life is content and she is happy for she loves and believes to be loved. Giselle is unaware that the man she loves is deceiving her, a nobleman Albrecht who is passing himself as a commoner.
Meanwhile, a huntsman Hilarion has also declared his love for Giselle and promises to find out the truth about Albrecht. He therefore sneaks into Albrecht`s house in the village and finds a hunting sword which confirms Albrecht`s noble origin.
The romance of Giselle and Albrecht is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a lordly hunting party, among whom is Albrecht`s bride to be, Bathild. Hilarion takes this as a chance opportunity to expose Albrecht`s fraud, by telling Giselle that Albrecht was merely playing with her and never had any intentions of marrying a poor village maid.
Giselle, absolutely by this, is unable to withstand the perfidy of her beloved young man. Giselle`s dreams of happiness are dashed, her faith in justice and truth destroyed. Her tender, fragile spirit cannot endure this blow. She loses her mind and dies broken-hearted.
In the forest at midnight, the Willis appear. They wear wedding dresses decorated with flowers and begin their passionate dance. The Willis surround Hilarion, who has come to visit Giselle`s grave. They perform their ghostly rites and the woodman perishes.
Albrecht, stricken with grief and repentance is unable to forget the girl he ruined. Filled with guilt, he wanders to the grave, unaware that he is surrounded by the Willis. Very soon Albrecht will suffer the same fate as the huntsman. But Giselle and her selfless, undying pure love, protects Albrecht and saves him from the Willis wrath.
The Willis and Giselle`s ghost disappear with the first ray of the morning sun. But Giselle will remain forever alive in Albrecht`s memory as the eternal regret of lost love – a which is stronger than death.