The Power Dynamics in Die Walküre : Recognition of Female Power



Rok publikování 2017
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis Valkyrie is believed to be a mythical female creature that reaps souls of dead soldiers from a battlefield and transports them to heaven. There they serve food and drinks to those chosen warriors. This definition shows us two contrasting qualities that can be associated with the image of Valkyrie women. Although they are strong characters who have the power to decide who is selected to join them, they still need to conform to the conventions of patriarchy and once the soldiers are rescued, the Valkyries become their servants. Being one of the central characters in Wagner´s homonymous opera, the image of Valkyrie allows us to observe the power dynamics between male and female figures. Moreover, it helps to highlight the moments of recognition when male protagonists start viewing the opposite gender as a threat to their authority and they need to act to secure their dominant position. This presentation aims at discussing aesthetic techniques used in theatre when portraying the image of Valkyrie female power and the conflict between Brünhilde and Wotan. It analyzes several crucial situations where the established social order is challenged and it undergoes transformation. This presentation attempts to compare the mythological and modern depiction of The Valkyrie women with Wagner´s Brünhilde. Furthermore, this presentation also sets itself a goal of exploring other female characters in English literary tradition that would be based on similar mythology. It examines women from J.R.R. Tolkien´s trilogy Lord of the Rings. It focuses on Arwen and Eowyn and the relationships between them and their father figures. It compares Brünhilde´s act of disobedience with the power dynamics these elf women share and it describes similar moments of recognition in their stories. Through this comparison, we might achieve better understanding of Wagner´s imaginative opera.
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