Madame Butterfly Comparison

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The opera Madame Butterfly written by Giacomo Puccini is a story about a young maiden from Japan who is in an arranged marriage to Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton a soldier in the U.S. Navy. Lieutenant Pinkerton sees the marriage as a business deal, purchasing a house and servants, as well as receiving the fair maiden Madame Butterfly as a wife. Yet, Madame Butterfly believes that Lieutenant Pinkerton is marrying her for love. Not long after their marriage, Lieutenant Pinkerton tells Madame Butterfly that he is leaving. He reassures her that he will return when the robins nest again. Madame Butterfly maintains faith in her husband and waits patiently for three long years. One day Sharpless, a friend of Pinkerton’s, arrives with a letter …show more content…
Although in the beginning of the opera Madame Butterfly is a young and naive girl who easily believes that Lieutenant Pinkerton is in love with her, we later find Madame Butterfly to grow into a strong, independent woman, who is able to run a household and provide for her son. Likewise, Madame Butterfly is not really a passive, weak character. On the contrary, Madame Butterfly is portrayed as strong and active. She shows this especially in the final scene where she decides to violently kill herself with a dagger, rather than live with …show more content…
Although, one thing in the performance did surprised me. I was surprised that Madame Butterfly was such a strong female character. The reason why I found this to be surprising is because in most Romantic operas the heroine is usually weak, fragile, and passive, the complete opposite of Madame Butterfly. It was hard to understand the true passion and strength of Madame Butterfly just by reading about her. But after watching a talented performer portray her character, I was able to understand the the role of Madame Butterfly far better. Truly, it made the opera more enjoyable overall to see a strong female heroine. Overall, seeing the performance live in the opera allowed me to appricate the power of the singers’ voices and to hear the beautiful melody of the orchestra in live performance. In addition, getting to see the whole opera allowed me to piece together the story and truly understand the meaning behind the opera, as opposed to just watching excerpts and reading the synopsis. I truly enjoyed this opera, and hope to see another one again

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