Power Her Face Analysis

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Powering her face, the duchess has been painstakingly enhanced and edited, hiding her inner insecurity and loneliness carefully. In “Power Her Face”, the libretto and costumes show the audiences that the duchess is just a victim of gender inequality in this patriarchal society at her time. Excess indulging and squandering, plus her several failed marriages made the duchess become the public scandal. According to Cowart’s “Women, Sex and Folly: Opera Under the Old Regiment”, conservative publics critics tend to consider female as “fragile sex” living on the edge of sexual infidelity even deviance. As opera was considered a bad place, which encouraged passions of wrong kinds and senses and discouraged a humble devout spirit in the early 20 century, …show more content…
It is the end of the duchess’ pride, but not the end of gender equity. Cowart mentioned in the article that contemporary critics blamed women’s love of opera on their lubricious nature without considering the education effects. Publics and the unofficial patronage system told girls to be graceful but useless beauties. Dancers did not need to dance well; Singers did not need to sing well. All people cared were beauty, but they criticized the female characteristics they chased at the same time. “ These texts abound with expressions of physical horror at the uncleanliness of women, and denounce the use of cosmetics and wigs as metaphoric disguises hiving women’s inconstancy and duplicity.” (Opera Under the Old Regime) The conservative writers in seventeenth- century France agreed that the moral of women were degenerating and disagreed with any arguments disputing male power. In “Power Her Face”, the madness and manager were talking about should the duke to divorce his wife, and the question has already put in a patriarchal context. It is not about how the duke should divorce her husband, or should both of them divorce one other. In the opera, the duchess randomly had sex with home service or hotel worker and paid them to satisfy her sexual desires, acting just like a man in brothel. Obviously, no one at that time even today will accept a lady to prostitute. Even the room service man despised the duchess. Moral values and moral standard were talked in the critics of the duchess, but the question is who is entitled to make the ethical standards? Male? Female? Or Both? The well-being moral standard itself represents gender inequity in some degrees. Both in the opera and in the article, publics enshrined male superiority, claiming that female sexuality could only subordinate to male rationality, and

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