Chapter

Good Daughter, Good Wife

Kristi Brown-Montesano

in Understanding the Women of Mozart's Operas

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780520248021
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932968 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520248021.003.0005
Good Daughter, Good Wife

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Human love in its many forms is one of the primary themes of Die Zauberflöte. All of the characters invoke love, but it is Pamina who is most motivated by and vulnerable to its claims. Committing herself to Prince Tamino with ingenuous fervor, the daughter of the Queen of the Night goes mad because of conflicting loves. Pamina loves easily and generously, but the opera's social mandate requires that she make a terrible choice: relinquish her ties with her mother or else lose Tamino and paternal favor. In tacitly forsaking the Queen of the Night, Pamina fully satisfies the requirements of a Brotherhood-friendly femininity, renouncing entirely her maternal origins.

Keywords: human love; Die Zauberflöte; Pamina; Queen of Night; Prince Tamino; opera; social mandate

Chapter.  11800 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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