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The Phantom of the Opera

Powerful Essays
The Phantom of the Opera is known as the most successful musical in history, but its age most clearly shows through some of the themes it displays. Most noticeable to me, is the fact that The Phantom of the Opera conforms to and supports traditional gender roles. This becomes evident after analyzing the characters and their interactions during the 25th anniversary production in London. As a whole, The Phantom of the Opera suggests that the ideal man is authoritative, powerful, decisive, and jealous, while the ideal woman is feminine, indecisive, and naïve.
Christine, being the heroine and the love interest of both leading men, is portrayed as an ideal woman because she upholds the expected feminine gender roles in our culture: delicate, naïve, indecisive, and helpless. Her delicacy is displayed when she faints in the Phantom’s lair, and the Phantom has to carry her. It is clear that this adds to her overall appeal to the Phantom because he feels needed and important—something that rarely happens to him. Because Christine becomes more appealing to the Phantom when she is weak and helpless, that supports the gender normative roles of females. In addition, Christine blindly believed that this voice was the angel of music that her father sent to her, and that added to her innocence. Christine accepted that idea so easily, making her seem naïve, which helps to support the stereotype of women. In general, Christine is more appealing when she needs a man help, those character traits exemplify the gender ideals for females, and the Phantom’s interactions with her confirm that.
In addition to the way that the Phantom thinks of Christine, Raoul’s interactions with Christine also prove that The Phantom of the Opera supports archaic gender ...

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...hat she is an ideal woman. Similar to Christine, Raoul fits the gender norms, as he is powerful and jealous. The audience is told that Raoul is an exemplary man because even with his forceful personality, Christine still chooses him. The Phantom, on the other hand, is depicted as queer with characteristics of a gender normative man, but the way he is treated still conforms to the norm because he is isolated and feared as a result of his differences. The Phantom of the Opera, overall, helps to support gender normative traits and suppress unconventional character traits.

Works Cited
Miller, D. A. Place for Us: Essay on the Broadway Musical. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1998. Print.
The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall. By Andrew Lloyd Webber. Prod. Cameron Mackintosh. Perf. Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess, Hadley Fraser. Really Useful Films, 2011. DVD.
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