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Salieri's relationship with God and the way it is presented to the audience

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Introduction

Examine the Nature of Salieri's Relationship with God and the way it is presented to the Audience This essay explains and analyses the way in which Salieri relates to God and the techniques used by Peter Shaffer to present this to the audience. In a modern society where religion is not a massive part of most people's lives it becomes challenging to understand characters such as Salieri. A major part of Salieri's relationship with God is that of bargaining and trade, which in itself, might be said to be fairly common amongst less orthodox Catholics. This essay also analyses if Salieri really keeps his side of the deal and whether a human can be truly virtous. It also explains the challenges and changes Salieri faces with God when Mozart is introduced to the play and Salieri realises that he is merely mediocre. This essay analyses how Peter Shaffer conveys the relationship between God and Salieri to the audience. It points out techniques used by Shaffer and evaluates if they were effective. Finally this essay looks at the questions subtly implied within the text. The essential nature of the relationship that Salieri has with God hinges on his belief that if God does something for him, grants his wishes as it were, then he will do something in return. ...read more.

Middle

Inevitably, the relationship that Salieri perceives to have with God is challenged upon the arrival of a new character; Mozart. When Salieri hears Mozart's music for the first time he is breath-taken and astonished by the pure excellence of it. This is shown in the play when Salieri comments on Mozart's music as, "I was staring through the cage of those meticulous ink strokes at - an absolute beauty!" This makes him realise that his music is merely average compared to Mozart. Salieri cannot comprehend Mozart's immature and eccentric behaviour with the absolute brilliance, which Salieri thinks, God bestowed on him. This is eye-catching as this challenges everything Salieri believes God to be, a God which looks "at the world with dealer's eyes." This introduces doubts to Salieri about God. This makes Salieri very angry with God. For Salieri thinks that Mozart is God's favoured one and that Mozart is a way for God to mock him. Ironically, Mozart's baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus, means "loved by God", further implying his unique and special relationship with God, much to the jealousy of Salieri. Salieri starts to envy Mozart and he felt betrayed by God as he has dedicated his entire life to God and his own gift is much smaller compared to Mozart. ...read more.

Conclusion

If God was in the human form of Mozart then Salieri's relationship with God is very different to what I thought it to be. It would be filling with lying and backstabbing. Salieri's relationship with Mozart is based around pure envy for Mozart divine ability to compose. The fact that Mozart is a creator of music relates to the fact that God is also a creator. This is interesting as it states in the bible that "Jesus will return among us," there could be a relationship between this and the subtle suggestion that Mozart maybe God. The play brings up many questions such as does God exist? If he does is it possible to believe in a God that is forgiving in the real world? In the play, when Salieri decides to reject God his career suddenly rises and his music becomes more famous and he earns more money, this is one of the main moments where the existence of God is challenged. Surely, if one were to reject God and commit sins they should not receive fame and money. I think that Shaffer could almost be writing about himself in this play, as he may want to have fame and to be a celebrated writer. ...read more.

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