ACT I. SCENE I. In a forest. Widowed Prince Golaud finds Mélisande, and successfully brings her back to the castle. SCENE II. In the castle. Queen Geneviéve reads to the blind old King Arkél a letter Pelléas has received from his brother Golaud. SCENE III. Before the castle. Mélisande becomes Golaud’s wife. As Geneviéve goes and checks on Yniold (Golaud’s little son by his first marriage), Mélisande and Pelléas are left conversing.
ACT II. SCENE I. A fountain in the garden. Mélisande loses the wedding ring in the water. SCENE II. In a castle room. Golaud is upset by the missing ring. SCENE III. At the grotto entrance. Mélisande lied about where she lost the ring, so she and Pelléas head into the grotto near the seaside together.
ACT III. SCENE I. Mélisande, looking from her tower window, sings as she combs her hair. Pelléas approaches her and praises her beauty. Golaud breaks in upon the scene and chides for their childishness. SCENE II. In the vault under the castle, Golaud leads Pelléas into the underground room where the breeze of death blows. SCENE III. As they emerge, Golaud warns Pelléas to keep away from Mélisande. SCENE IV. Before the castle. Golaud is with Yniold. Suspicious, Golaud gets his son to peek into Mélisande’s room.
ACT IV. SCENE I. Inside the castle. Pelléas asks Mélisande that he wants to see her again because he is due to depart tomorrow. SCENE II. Jealous and enraged, Golaud drags Mélisande across the room by her hair. SCENE III. By the garden fountain. Yniold is playing with a golden ball. Shepherds voices are chasing herds of sheep. SCENE IV. The fountain at night. Pelléas and Mélisande declare their love for each other. And then Golaud storms in and kills Pelléas with his sword.
ACT V. Inside the castle. Mélisande lies stretched out in bed. The physician informs that her death is near. Golaud begs her pardon, but insistently questions about her relations with his brother. Arkél stops him, and shows her the new baby. Mélisande quietly dies. The king observes that “it is now the child’s turn”.