Symbolism in Mozart’s The Magic Flute

By June 13, 2014Art, Uncategorized

Mozart’s The Magic Flute, is a fairy tale opera that is a sweeping tale of love that is also rich in symbolism.

Mozart was part of the freemasons, a fraternal organization.The freemasons have a lot of misconceptions revolving around their organization because of its perceived ties to the occult and secretive nature. People often fear what they don’t understand, and therefore seek to tear it apart.

This is something that Mozart tackles head on in his opera The Magic Flute. A dig at the aristocracy, his character The Queen of the Night has been perceived as a critique on the anti masonry movement. It has also been suggested that she could be based off of Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christian, the ruler of Hasburg. A staunch Roman Catholic, Maria was part of the anti-masonry movement. Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christian

The Queen of the Night is a symbol for restricting knowledge. When The Queen of the Night happens upon Tamino, she sends him to rescue her daughter Pamina from an “evil sorcerer” Sarastro, who turns out to not be all that bad. Sarastro makes Tamino earn Pamina’s love through a series of trials. Though Sarastro keeps Pamina away from her mother, he is open minded about Tamino. The Queen of the Night is close minded, threatened by Sarastro’s brotherhood which Tamino wants to join.Rallying against Sarastro’s brotherhood, which The Queen of the Night probably knew nothing about, works against Enlightenment theory, which was based on reason and science. The Queen of the Night tells Pamina to kill Sarastro in an effort to stop his brotherhood from growing.

Queen points SceptreSome of the challenges Sarastro faced, though the opera is meant to be an inside joke, no doubt were ones that Mozart himself faced. By the opera’s end we learn that some people, like The Queen of The Night, may never learn about the brotherhood and what good things it has to offer. Tamino though skeptical at first, stays open minded and learns what Sarastro’s brotherhood is really about. What we learn here is some people are capable of changing their minds when presented with the truth.

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