All Women Are Like That (1787 edition)

Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni is considered one of the best operas of all time. At one point, the peasant girl Zerlina is seduced by the licentious nobleman Don Giovanni, but they are interrupted before proceeding. Her (unconsummated) infidelity discovered, she goes to her fiance and begs him to forgive her. Specifically, she requests for him to beat hear. “I am here, meek as a little lamb, awaiting your blows.” The aria is called: “Batti, batti, o bel Masetto,” or “Beat me, beat me, handsome Masetto.”

My reaction is that women are desperate for male discipline. Rules. “Frame.” Basically, patriarchy. By themselves, they are formless and inconstant. She wants to be punished, because that is what the kind of man she wants should do, in this situation. Only a sniveling fool would take back a woman after that kind of transgression without punishment. Then, having been properly punished and thus reconciled, they can get on with some hot forgiveness sex.

Her fiance is here played as a sniveling fool, but that is perhaps a “modern” interpretation.

Later, we will take a look at another of Mozart’s great operas, Cosi Fan Tutte, translated in English as: “All Women Are Like That.”

Published by proprietor

Happily married, with children.

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