The gender politics of death: why does Satine have to die?

Kavanagh, Madeleine (2007) The gender politics of death: why does Satine have to die? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film Moulin Rouge! is a popular and postmodern musical set at the belle epoch which tells the story of poet Christian who falls in love with a courtesan Satine. Based on Orphean myth, and operas La Traviata and La Boheme; the film, like its influences, concludes with the death of it's heroine. I investigate why Satine dies. Whether it is exclusively because she poses a threat to patriarchal society, or whether Moulin Rouge!'s Bohemian ending introduces an alternative justification for the death of Luhrmann's nineteenth century courtesan. Through extensive textual analysis from Moulin Rouge! I assess the public persona of Satine "The Sparkling Diamond" and also her character as a private courtesan. I critique her character socially and historically from both a feminist and non-feminist perspective. I then assess the principal males within Moulin Rouge!- Christian, the Duke and Harold Zidler. I critically evaluate key scenes, focussing on the psychological formation of the men's roles within patriarchal society and their relationship with Satine. To conclude I explore the notion of punishment, analysing the role of Satine as a courtesan and the social ideology of prostitution. I assess the formation of Moulin Rouge! and also its Bohemian ideologies revealing Luhrmann to be a romantic and traditionalist storyteller despite being a progressive filmmaker.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:47
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:13

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