In the Garden of Grand View, maids are preparing a banquet for a young man, Baoyu, and two young ladies, Baochai and Daiyu. The trio arrives and enjoy the blooming flowers and wine. Baoyu seems to snubBaochai, but is rather genial to Daiyu. An ill wind blows away his jade talisman, and Baoyu becomes ill. His grandmother promptly removes the fragile boy to his chamber, where he utters Daiyu’s name as he goes in and out of his consciousness. The elders of his family decide to counter the evil by marrying Baoyu toBaochai. Overhearing their plans, Daiyu spits blood in distress. Baochai is enthused about the marriage, on the other hand, and she visits Baoyu, only to be dismissed. To console Baoyu, Fengjie falsely tells him thatDaiyu will be his bride. On the wedding day, shocked and disappointed by the switch, Baoyu returns to his rooms in a fury. A stricken Daiyu sets fire to her manuscripts and handkerchiefs in her boudoir.
Still sick in bed, Baoyu hallucinates that his lover has returned. Realizing Daiyu’s death, the thoroughly devastated young man abandons home in desperation. After joining the clergy, the monk revisits Daiyu’s boudoir for the last time, reminiscing about the earthly passions that formerly consumed him. His family gathers only to find his shadow.