The Virtues In Sinning: Analysis Of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus

1389 words - 6 pages

Why am I here? What does this all mean? What is my destiny? Where is God? These are questions we ask during our lifetime, questions of discernment that unlock not only the truth about ourselves, but our perception of God. Even as time passes, these questions remain and we are drawn to answer them not by words but the way we live our lives. Still one should not doubt that God also plays a prevalent role in who we are to become and and recognize that even if we choose to deny God's existence he will play a role within our ruin. Similar to 1830’s play Amadeus, we are introduced to Court Composer, Antonio Salieri, a once virtuous man now fallen from grace due to his continuous sin. After his disappointing encounter with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salieri comes to realize the true nature of his work and how, despite his virtuous life, he will never be as talented as his counterpart. Within Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus Salieri wages a war against God through His “believed” disciple, Mozart; after Salieri’s discontent he is quickly engulfed by the deadly sins of greed, lust & gluttony, and pride using them to prove that it is possible for Man’s actions on earth are greater than God’s virtues.
Initially, Salieri’s transition into the annihilation of his faith came through his acknowledgement of the musical virtues Mozart had been given over him (by God); through this Salieri begins to transform from a virtuous man to a man rising from jealousy to a being actively pursuing his greed. In the beginning of his life, Salieri had adored and devoted his life to God through his given talents and passion of music, and through this he lived a chaste life of a catholic man, able to appreciate and give thanks for the abilities he had been given. However, it was these same passions and abilities which drew him towards all music and thus then the infamous Mozart whose music he had adored until their true meeting. “It seemed to me that I had heard a voice of God- and that it issued from a creature whose own voice I had also heard- and it was the voice of an obscene child!”(28.) It is through the revelation of God’s “creature” that Salieri’s fogged vision was cleared to reveal his “nakedness”, his talents unveiled as empty tunes in comparison to the great works of Mozart. His first glance of the talented man is the sign of the breaking of Salieri’s covenant with God, the fading of good thoughts and the dilapidation of his virtuous life, leading him to question why he had not been chosen to represent the voice of God. “Until this day I have pursued virtue with rigor. I have worked and worked the talent You allowed me. Solely that in the end, in the practice of the art, which alone makes the world comprehensible to me, I might hear Your Voice! And now I do hear it- and it says only one name: Mozart! (59.) As the story develops, Salieri’s belief of God’s favoritism for Mozart becomes an increased hindrance to his life, turning his initial jealousy to pure envy now...

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