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  1. Yes, from the perspective of our shared culture, I quite agree! I think Hilarion got shafted mostly because for the times, Albrecht was believed to be a “better match” — if also impossible for a peasant — and nobility was still considered somehow more blessed or something by their deity?

    There’s also a sort of… I don’t know what to call it exactly… a devotion from peasant to master which was simply assumed as their right? For Hilarion to break that social compact therefore somehow made him the guilty party — regardless of how shabbily he and Giselle were treated by Albrecht.

    It is interesting to note Giselle either killed herself or simply died of a broken heart (depending on story version) — rather than killing the man who betrayed her. Equally telling, in the story of “Carmen,” which we’ll see later, when Don José is betrayed by Carmen, it is she he kills, rather than himself. It would seem, therefore, the norm for those times was that (respectively) men / nobles killed or betrayed with relative impunity — while women / peasants were expected to simply die for them.

    So yes, that’s a social norm I’m happy to see die. :)

  2. I admit, as a modern-day American, I’d like to have seen Hilarion somehow escape dancing to death, and let the deceitful Albrecht/Loys die. Hilarion’s death added insult to injury, and he didn’t deserve it; he did no wrong, and he didn’t hurt the girl. Albrecht on the other hand deserved more than his broken heart.

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