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Amadeus : Mediocrity Compared To Genius Essay


The story was known as Amadeus, which is referring to Mozart. Naming the story after him would certainly make one think that he is the central figure of the story. The story was called Amadeus and not Mozart of Wolfgang (which are names he is referred to in the book) because of the connotative meaning of the name "Amadeus", which means "Loved by God" in Latin. It fits the story well, as religion is a theme in the story as well. Salieri was convinced that Mozart was indeed loved by God and was Gods chosen one over him because of Mozarts brilliance in music, making Salieri think of himself as ordinary and mediocre. Salieri was highly affected by being mediocre compared to Mozart, even as he ages to an old man in a wheelchair. But, theres still a downfall for all geniuses.

In the story, Salieri is always the proper courtier. He worked really hard at both his music (which he hoped had pleased God) and also his political skills until he reached where he wanted to be. At sixteen years of age, Salieri made a bargain with God to make him become a famous composer. The exchange of the deal was to live life in virtue, help other composers and to honour God through his music forever. (Salieri: Signore, let me be a composer! Grant me sufficient fame to enjoy it. In return I will live with virtue. I will strive to better the lot of my fellows. And I will honour You with much music all the days of my life! As I said Amen, I saw His eyes flare.) The next day, a family friend had appeared and sponsored Salieris tuition in Vienna. Soon afterwards, Salieri had even met the Emperor who had seemed to like Salieris work. Everything had been going all good, and Salieri had misinterpreted this to show that God had accepted his bargain.

The only thing that Salieri desired is fame and recognition as a composer; its all he had wanted his whole life. When he finds out that Mozart is coming to the court to play, Salieri cant wait to meet the outstanding, righteous and proper man that he expects Mozart to be. However, when Salieri learns that Mozart is a crude and unrefined young man with all the talent and ability that Salieri had ever wanted and even strived for, it starts a bit of jealousy that soon grows into bitter resentment and hatred, for not only Mozart, but also starts to become bitterness and dislike towards God (Salieri: From this time, we are enemies... you and I.) for making him mediocre even though hes a hard working composer, and giving a worthless man natural talent of brilliance. Mozart's rise had made Salieri feel that God tricked him in their deal. Once he hears Mozarts music, he believes that it is the voice of God (Salieri: It seemed to me that I was hearing the very voice of God). Salieri's self-esteem begins to crumble a bit, and gives an outburst of jealousy with the desire to get rid of Mozart.

When Mozart was a child, his father took him all over and showed off his sons ability. Mozart was indeed a child prodigy that gets attention from everyone (Rosenberg: He was a child prodigy. That always spells trouble. His father is Leopold Mozart, a bad-tempered Salzburg musician who dragged the boy endlessly round Europe making him play the keyboard blindfolded, with one finger, and that sort of thing.) Mozart was even confident in that way, and knew of his ability (Mozart: Ill tell you what it is. Its the best opera yet written. Thats what it is. And only I could have done it. No one else living!). Salieri recognises Mozarts brilliance when he notices that the original scores that Constanze had given him were the first and only ones, and yet they look like decent copies as they showed no signs of corrections of any kind. Mozart had actually infuriated Salieri when he (unconsciously) replayed the march that he had made for Mozart even though he didnt have the sheets in front of him, and with only hearing the long song once. This is the work of a genius!

The problem though was that Mozart (as much of a genius as he is) was also a really immature and dirty minded (Mozart: Yes! Answer me this minute: yes or no! Say yes, then I can go home, climb into bed shit over the mattress and shout I did it!). Mozart was unaware of his words, and spoke before thinking of the formality or etiquette. He grew up with a father that had maintained a domineering, fatherly hold over his son even after his death. Mozarts life was influenced by his father. Eventually, Mozart's estranged father, Leopold, dies, and Salieri sees that this has an emotional effect on Mozart. Salieri takes this opportunity to break down Mozart more, and soon Mozart's health begins to decline. He was not a very strong man. And this was so ironic as Mozart was a complete genius.

The story is about Salieri's madness and obsession with Mozart. Mozart is obviously the better of the two composers, and Salieri can see his own mediocrity and recognize that he is inferior compared to Mozart. As much as Salieri hated Mozart, yet he recognizes the brilliance of his music, a brilliance he will never possess. And what is ironic is the fact Mozarts music is now popular, even today (to much of Salieris despite), and Salieri hasnt been heard of so much. Mediocrities everywhere... now and to come- I absolve you all. Amen!

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