Giselle Ballet Essay

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First announced as a two-act performance on June 28th, 1841, Giselle is a famous ballet about a young peasant girl who falls in love with a noble man, but dies upon hearing that he is betrothed to another woman. During this early period of history, women were looked down on by men and viewed as being extremely emotional. Despite this background, some people still conclude that the depiction of women is not precise enough in this ballet. To me, however, it is very clear; I believe that Giselle characterized women as being weak.
In the opening scenes Giselle is seen joyously dancing and being pursued by her lover Albrecht. She dances with him for an extended period of time which seems to make her a little faint; at 0:13:45 in the ballet she
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This scene has even been named “the mad scene” due to her shocking response and delirious pointing. In my opinion, if she were a strong woman, she would have realized that he wronged her and would have not gotten so upset or thrown herself into a chaos that ended up costing her life. She also wouldn’t have had such low self-esteem to say in scene 8, “I should die if he does not love me anymore” (42) as if there is nothing more worth living for than a man. The idea of madness at the time was always connected with women. Women were thought to experience overpowering emotions due to hormones and this idea was vividly illustrated by Giselle in “the mad scene”. Once again, since Giselle was the main female character, this also showed women as being feeble and less than.
Finally, I noticed that it seemed like most of the women in the ballet could not let go of something which I believe also portrayed women as weak. In Act 2, at 1:27:55 in the ballet, Giselle places herself in front of Albrecht to save him from the evil revenge of the Wilis. She continues to dance in his place and protect him even though he very obviously did her wrong; he led her on in the first act. Giselle can’t even let go of a man who practically cheated on her. On the other side, the Wilis will not let go of their past experiences with men and their need to get revenge on men in general. Some may argue that the Wilis seem strong in the sense that they have the power to possess any man and make him
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