The aim of this study is to determine to what extent the way in which gender roles are portrayed in Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte reflect the conventions of the time. A case study forms the basis for the research, where narrative data analysis is used to compare the non-indexical material found in the documents. A close reading of the libretto forms the first part of the analysis, after which four documents used as source material for the libretto are analysed, namely De Troyes’ Yvain, Terrasson’s Sethos, Von Born’s Über die Mysterien, and Wieland’s Dschinnistan. To compare the libretto to other contemporary German literature of its time, an analysis of Goethe’s Torquato Tasso and Schiller’s Don Karlos and Maria Stuart is undertaken. All of these analyses are done within the theoretical frameworks of feminism and gender studies. The research also incorporates elements of Cultural Materialism.
It is found that Mozart’s opera takes a middle road amidst the contradictory viewpoints of the time (1791) by pitting weak male characters (Tamino and Papageno) against strong female characters (Pamina, the Königin and the Damen) in a misogynistic setting that gains the upper hand through Sarastro.
Dissertation (MMus)--University of Pretoria, 2018.