One of Richard Wagner’s greatest and most controversial characters is that of Kundry from his final opera, Parsifal. He gives her great psychological depth and, therefore, complex narrative and symbolic power through her own actions as well as through the way other characters talk about her.
Particular attention will be paid to the names she is called and what those names would mean to Wagner’s audience. These characterizations have led to anti-Semitic and/or sexist interpretations of her characterization. Only through a holistic view of her character can it be seen that she is, in fact, a deep and multifaceted redeeming female figure.
Corey Lohman, ’13
Sponsor: James Martin