Masaryk university of brno faculty of education

What the author says about Amadeus

Download 144.37 Kb.
Size144.37 Kb.
1   ...   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   ...   31
2.2. What the author says about Amadeus

Martin Hilský, who translated Amadeus for the Czech stages comments on the character of Salieri as a person with his own emptiness, which he, due to his above-average intelligence, diagnoses accurately and that makes him a wicked mischief not hesitating to use his position and power to destroy Mozart. He further adds that the worst punishment for Salieri is the realization that Mozart is immortal. The most worrisome paradox of the Shaffer’s play, however, lies in the fact that his Salieri is also immortal. He is here among us. A piece of him lives on in every human slights, in every malice, every foul trick and envy in every human incompetence, pettiness and crookedness (Shaffer 8).

Shaffer himself recalls that during his work on the character of Salieri for Amadeus the mysterious silhouette that appears in the play, in his eyes became every day more tangible. Masked, its back against the house of the eighteenth century, in a narrow street at night, an obsessed creature now ready, on the contrary, to possess and dominate. The creature born from the legend of the grey messenger, finally in Shaffer’s mind not only boded proximity of death but something even worse. It was envy that stood as a guard in front of the genius’ house: a gloomy icon and pathetic at the same time, a symbol of destructive jealousy, rivalry in the arts. (Shaffer 13)

In the Preface to Amadeus Peter Shaffer writes about how the main character of Antonio Salieri was being rewritten and completed for several times before being brought to its finish form. For instance, the figure of the Phantom lurking under the windows of Mozart’s apartment was originally written for one of Salieri's servants named Greybig (Longman xxvii). Gradually, the author merged this figure with the process of mental changes and rising madness of Salieri’s personality and logically combined the two characters into one. As a result, Salieri's obsession to destroy Mozart is even more emphasized because the death and jealousy assume their physical appearance.

Similarly, the character of Mozart was twice redone and adapted specifically for the purpose of a stage arrangement. In particular, Peter Shaffer eliminated Mozart's boorish vulgarity of speech, in comparison to the original version and highlighted the ambivalent relationship to his father. In his Introduction to the play the author also underlines that the physicality, rawness and directness of the Mozart character can be best experienced by the spectators watching the theatre performance (Longman xii): “Amadeus is, after all, to be brought to physical life in a space which has to be animated afresh each time of playing, by the vibration of the actors and by those of the spectators” (Longman xi). Intentionally, it depends on the audience and their perception of the character that gives the play a definite meaning. Each person holds the right to interpret Mozart’s behaviour at one’s own will, which features the drama with certain diversity.

  1. Share with your friends:
1   ...   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   ...   31

The database is protected by copyright © 2020
send message

    Main page