The novel La Dame aux Camelias written by Alexandre Dumas fils and the opera La Traviata composed by Giuseppe Verdi depict the so-called pleasurable life and tragic end of an elite courtesan, who faces true love and death. The reason of death is tuberculosis, a disease which was the most popular and romantic one, accepted to be suitable especially for sinful women as a redemption of their sins in the 19th century literature and opera. The society’s prejudices about Marguerite and Violetta’s sins are erased by the great sacrifice that the heroines do: Leaving the beloved man for their sake of dignity and honor. In this paper, the novel and the opera are compared through the plot analysis and the end of the stories of the heroines. The composer provides the characters in the opera and the audience to suffer less compared to the novel, via choosing a slightly peaceful farewell for Violetta. The author could express the psychological dimensions of being a fallen woman and the sacrifice made more profoundly, since he could use the power of words more freely than the composer. However, the composer could mesmerize the audience via the potential of musical and theatrical elements, thus ensured the work to be one of the legends of the opera world. In any circumstances, both the art works lead the audience and the reader to ask questions about the true nature of dignity, purity and love. They expose the courtesans’ need for compassion, sympathy and tenderness to a higher class society who are prone to think that courtesans are low by class. The success behind this story is making the society face its prejudices through the dramatical death of a fallen woman.
La Dame aux Camelias, La Traviata, Alexandre Dumas Fils, Giuseppe Verdi, Opera, Literature