In romanticism, we see a lot of weak heroines. They are innocent, full of love, usually sick and fragile. Why is that? Do composers use the sick element to easily connect the audience with heroines? Is it female characters destiny to die in operas?...
In Adolf Adam's Giselle, Giselle is a childish character. She should be like that for her not to question the Albrecht 's situation and quickly fall in love with him. It wouldn't be "romantic" if the heroines of the bales and operas think with their brain and avoid any conflict relationship. However, for a romantic character following the brain can be very romantic, as well, as we see in Violetta's decision of leaving Alfredo. And in Giselle, the peak moment of her romantic gesture, is not dying from love, but when she tries to protect her lover from willis. The opposite, unexpected move creates romanticism, as weak, childish person Giselle could have get angry, but our heroine didn’t have a choice but to forgive. Her strongest moment may be the weakest point for the audience, make them think that they couldn't have done it, but this childish person now does it. Does the audience want Albrecht to be saved, I have my doubts. As if the pas de deux is made for willies and as well as for audience to be convinced they belong together.
Compare to Lucia, audience may want Edgardo to be saved from death, since he was misinformed and didn't try to mislead Lucia like Albrecht did. So the last aria of Edgardo can be the peak moment. The word of "romanticism" as we use it now, can mean believing something that you shouldn't believe. The revenges that never took place in the real life, happens in ghostly appearances. Maybe leaving Giselle that may be more sad and unexpected but they gave Giselle one more chance in after life. Is it more realistic to think only this innocent girl could take revenge as a ghost? In Vertigo by Hitchcock, if Judy was to followed by ghosts, would it be as convincible as Madeleine chased by ghosts? No, it wouldn't have. Judy was a normal person, that's why when she dies, it is the end of the movie. Another point can be asking the following; is it only true for heroines? No, in male characters the double standard continues. We see Albrecht misled the Giselle, we were never sure of Albrecht’s love. But we never connect with the Hilarion, it comes to me that Hilarion could have love Giselle more. But he isn't have romantic gestures for audience to connect, he only want Giselle to know the truth, but we expect him to say nothing and be the bigger person, only then he could have an aria/ solo dance moment to influence us. Could Giselle fight for Hilarion as well?
So, as audience, do we need that soft, innocent character to be linked with? Is it more likely to be a non-worldly creature if you are an extraordinary person? We do need romantic heroines to overcome the feeling of getting angry with situation and people involved. Seeing the separation twice on the stage, makes the public opinion feel that everyone suffered enough.