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Student Paper

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The eighteenth century philosophy regarding discrimination based on gender and race do not align with the philosophy of the modern era. Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, written in 1791, is full of racist and misogynist remarks which are woven carefully into the music and plot of the opera. Racism is evident through the character of Monostatos and the claims that his status as a Moor make him less valuable as a human being. Additionally, the character Sarastro exemplifies a rational and powerful male while the Queen of the Night, while powerful in her own right, is the villain: an unruly, emotional woman. These aspects must be addressed and will influence how we produce Die Zauberflöte in the current day. Instead of erasing this important historical work, future productions of this opera and other similar works should be made through a more humanitarian and educational lens.