Humanities II Take-home Essay 02/25/12 The Magic Flute One of the most mysterious, mystifying plays of all time, The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a fairy tale love story at first site, but in reality has much deeper themes and meanings - Magic Flute introduction. The Magic Flute is largely known for it’s remarkable music and hidden symbols. The number three is widely incorporated as a symbol of masculinity and wholeness of the self. According to The Two Faces of Creativity, chapter 10 of Coming to Our Senses by Morris Berman, Mozart belongs to the type II category of creativity.
This category is described by creativity having been repressed, but not completely. In Mozart’s early years, his father ruled his musical ability and completely took over his life. However, as time went on Mozart started to take control of his life and talent and that is when the real creativity showed. Mozart’s father is represented in The Magic Flute by the character of Sarastro. He is loved by all and on page 334 of Coming to Our Senses described as “the priest of love”. The Heroic Cycle is a journey a person takes to find their inner Self and become enlightened.
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In order to begin the Heroic Cycle a person must have a call to adventure and must be willing to risk everything they have to enter the transcendent realms and become whole. In The Magic Flute Tamino and Pamina and Papageno and Papagena are two sets of twins who are essentially two parts of one person. In order to become that one whole person the two boys must go through rough tests and trials to become men, fulfill their purpose, and reach their other halves. The initiations are “a quest of the human soul for both inner harmony and enlightenment by characters who are joint participants in one being, one psyche or one soul.
” (Page 8, A Masonic Vision) These trials of initiation are a time for Tamino and Papageno to really get to know themselves and who they really are. In The Passion of Isis and Osiris, Jean Houston describes life as a series of initiations. Every step of the way you face new challenges and problems in which the accomplishments of them bring you a little bit closer to your self and the world around you than you were before. Tamino and Papageno each embark on their trials with a different mindset. At the beginning of the play Tamino was a helpless boy, pushed around by the Three Ladies. He needed help becoming more masculine.
His journey now is to grow up and become a more masculine, man. Tamino’s journey represents the intellectual. No matter how hard it gets Tamino knows that he has to man up and get through it in order to be with Pamina. Papageno on the other hand, shows the emotional journey and fighting with one self. Papageno doesn’t know why he must endure these hard, hurtful tests because he hasn’t connected enough with himself to understand it. At one point he is so distressed that he contemplates suicide. The initiation process is an internal and psychological exploration of the self and the soul in order to have personal growth and enlightenment.
Tamino and Pamina represent each other’s masculinity and femininity. They need each other in order to have a perfect balance of the two. Pamina is Tamino’s muse, leading him on and being the reason for him to keep going. For the final and most difficult trial of initiation Tamino and Pamina must walk through the underworld, fighting off the souls of dead beings that weren’t strong enough to complete the journey. They pass through this final stage with the wholeness of being together, and with the help of the magic flute.
“Now play your magic flute, for it will protect us on our way. ” The magic flute represents harmony and calm tranquil enchantment. It brings archetypes together in conjunction with one another. Often during the play when the magic flute is played, animals from the wild – who in any other circumstance would be fighting and ripping each other to shreds – come together peacefully being drawn in by the music being played as if in a trance. In order to find the Tamino and Pamina in us we must be calm and take the journey of finding the soul.
In The Passion of Isis and Osiris it says on page 192 “The magus is able to play upon the universe as though it were a flute. ” We must use the world around us to help us in our journey and connect us to people, nature, and ourselves. Papageno and Papagena represent the child in us. When Papageno first sees Papagena as an old ugly woman, he doesn’t think about what he sees on the outside and has a great time laughing and singing with her. All people need to find the Papageno in them, not judging others by what they look like, but rather looking deeper and
getting to know a person’s personality instead. In order to achieve inner harmony and enlightenment we must uncover the Tamino and Pamina in us. We must take the journey to find our selves and overcome all the tasks and challenges of initiation every step of the way. We must become whole and connect with our souls. Every person needs an equal balance of masculinity and femininity in him or her. During the processes of becoming whole, rebirth occurs. The old self dies and a new whole being is born. That new person has achieved harmony and enlightenment.