Amadeus: Patron Saint Of All Mediocrities Essay, Research Paper
Patron Saint of All Mediocrities10/21/98AP English Patron Saint of All Mediocrities 1) IntroductionA) Broad summary of themeB) Thesis Statement2) Salieri s help from GodA) Reasons for Salieri s initial faithB) God s Betrayal3) Mozart is God s toolA) Musical tortureB) Romantic torture4) Salieri declares war with God5) Plans to use Mozart to defeat God6) God defeats Mozart Patron Saint of All Mediocrities The movie Amadeus is a dramatic depiction of the competition between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his Italian rival Antonio Salieri. Salieri is a hard working and successful composer. However, he lacks the God-given talent needed to exceed Mozart. He believes that God is responsible for his frustrating mediocrity, and Mozart is merely an instrument of torture. Therefore, in order to defeat God, Salieri decides that he must defeat Mozart.Salieri s resentment and defiance of God originate from a broken agreement that he supposedly had with God. He prays for the opportunity to travel to Vienna and become a great musical composer and in return will commit his work to the glory of God. However, his father stands in the way. Then a miracle happens, and his father dies. To Salieri the miracle is God s way of assisting his musical career, thus sealing the agreement. He then travels to Vienna, gains popularity, and even becomes the court composer for the Emperor, Franz Joseph. Salieri is starting a magnificent musical career for the glory of God, when Mozart, the musical prodigy, arrives. Mozart immediately shows his superiority by dramatically improving the musical piece that Salieri wrote for Mozart s arrival. Mozart continues to outshine Salieri to the point where Salieri decides that no one pays any real attention to his work. He states that God implanted in me the longing and then made me mute. Mozart had taken the spotlight.In Salieri s eyes, Mozart wasn t torturing him; God was torturing him with Mozart. Mozart s music surpassed Salieri s music again and again, but to Salieri it wasn t music, it was the voice of God. He believes that God is writing this beautiful music through Mozart to torment him. Not only does Mozart exceed Salieri as a composer, he also attracts the heart of the woman that Salieri tries so hard to have. Salieri reflects his knowledge of this when he says, That was when I knew the creature had had her. Salieri refers to Mozart as a creature because to him he is not a man; he is God s instrument of torture. He says, It wasn t Mozart laughing. It was God. Even Mozart s laughing, in Salieri s mind, is God laughing at his pain.
That is when the madness began in me, said Salieri, and he declares after one of Mozart s performances, From now on we are at war, you and I. He hatefully burns the holy crucifix that once hung on his wall as a sacred reminder of his agreement with God. His battle plan is to kill Mozart and use his music, God s own music, to glorify himself. It will be a magnificent piece written for Mozart by his beloved friend, says Salieri. Disguised as Mozart s dead father, he hires him to write his own requiem, which Mozart believes is for the ghost of his dead father. Salieri thinks everything is going well, until the end.In the final battle, God beats Salieri to the punch and kills Mozart first. In addition to Mozart s alcoholism, drug addiction and debt, the requiem he is writing causes him a lot of pain. It s killing me, he says. Salieri pushes him to finish the piece and even helps him write it down, until it is almost complete. Then God slowly allows Mozart to die along with Salieri s hopes. The unfinished requiem will stay unfinished and Salieri will remain inferior. Salieri had always felt mediocre. Even as a child he played silly games while the younger Mozart played the piano for royalty. Salieri wanted to be the best at least at one thing, but God would not allow it. Salieri finally admits to his defeat and settles for second place proclaiming, I am the patron saint of all mediocrities.