views updated Jun 27 2018

Deirdre in Irish mythology, a tragic heroine (Deirdre of the Sorrows) of whom it was prophesied that her beauty would bring banishment and death to heroes. King Conchubar of Ulster wanted to marry her, but she fell in love with Naoise, son of Usnach, who with his brothers carried her off to Scotland. They were lured back by Conchubar and treacherously slain, and Deirdre took her own life.