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November 26, 2008 THE PREVAILENT THEMES AND STORIES DURING THE TIME OF TERROR The French revolution is the birth of a new era – an era that leads humanity to the birth of modernity. To have full understanding of this transition, one had to go deeper to the background of it. From his accession in 1774, Louis XVI had a worsening financial situation, compounded by the money and troops sent to assist the Americans in war against Britain. France failed to gain the expected benefits (Hunt 9). Therefore France went bankrupt and several riots started. This is a long debate of an economic and social upheaval culminated with the crowning of bourgeoisie and from a Marxist reading this is ”the bourgeois revolution” that put an end to feudalism and patriarchal society(Hunt 10). Its rightness is basically another debatable issue. The revolutionists had to encourage their followers-the bourgeoisie- for this is about the complete change in history. The change is not only in the history of France but in the history of the world. In 1788 newspapers increased “from four to 184” though the readership is rare. The news passed from literate to the illiterate people, (Hunt 25). Paper is one way to encourage this act but another way is music. There is an active reason behind this kind of music. This is not a concern of public taste. This is the conceptualization of the rioters. The stories or themes that the rioters use to encourage people whether they were their followers or not both within France and in Europe will be the primary concern in this paper. In the first decade of the century, the music of Louis XVI period is disparaged. Because the posturing of the characters in French “ancient regime operas” did not fit the time, for they were not heroic (Ellis 39). The earliest French works symbolized “the rejection of undiluted French values in musical composition” like in Rousseau`s Le Devin Du Village / (Ellis 39). Another masterpiece of the same period is Beethoven’s Fidelio -his sole opera. It is necessary to make a short statement of the work as an instance to a type of plot frequently encountered in opera of the period called “rescue opera” that a virtuous person wrongly imprisoned or facing some other danger is rescued from harm: The story takes place in Seville, Spain, during the eighteenth century. Two years before the curtain rises, Florestan, an official in the service of Don Fernando, Spain’s Minister of State, mysteriously disappeared. Florestan was a man of lofty humanistic principles and ideals, but also a man with liberal political opinions. As such, he incurred the enmity of Don Pizarro, a reactionary. Pizarro silenced Florestan by secretly consigning him to a prison in which he is the governor. All believe that Florestan is dead, but his devoted wife, Leonore, doubts the
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