We Are Living in a Patriarchal World and I Am an Archetypal Girl: A Jungian Analysis of Hector Berlioz's Les Troyens



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Cultural archetypes embody ideas, characters, and stories, which societies use to define women and assign their gender roles accordingly. The same occurs in operas. When a composer also writes the libretto, their decision about archetypal representation of their characters and musical support can reveal aspects about their own personality and opinions. Utilizing the archetypal theory of Carl Jung as a critical framework, this thesis argues that the characters in Hector Berlioz's opera, Les Troyens (1858), portray gendered archetypes, that musical topics support these archetypes, and that they ultimately reinforce Aeneas's destiny in a patriarchal, imperial society due to Berlioz acting as composer and librettist. An examination of his autobiography, Memories, provides the reasoning behind his interpretation of these characters. Three aspects of Berlioz's biographical experiences influenced Les Troyens: his relationships with women, his need to shape the narrative of his artistic career, and his interest in Napoleon III's imperialist politics.



Hector Berlioz, Berlioz, Les Troyens, Opera, French Grand Opera, Nineteenth Century, Virgil, Aeneid, Dido, Cassandra, Gender, Carl Jung, Jung, Shakespeare, Napoleon III, Imperialism, Archetypes, Female Opera Characters, Musical Topics, Ombra, Tempesta, Pastoral