Amadeus Play by Peter Shaffer Analysis
The play starts with whispers, and the audience cannot hear the words being uttered until the murmuring is dominated by “Salieri! Salieri! Salieri!” The hissing continues as people pass gossips and rumors of Salieri killing Mozart. Salieri confesses to having killed Mozart and vows to tell the audience the entire story. The play is flashbacked before Salieri met Mozart. Salieri is portrayed as a young devoted Catholic who has dedicated his life to God through music composition. Salieri is comfortable with his job until the name of Mozart pops up. Mozart is admired by many, and Salieri becomes anxious to meet the famous musician. Finally, Salieri has a chance to meet Mozart and wonders how a vulgar, immature and perverted young man has managed to scoop a music award that he has worked for in his entire life. Even though Salieri decides to dedicate himself to God, along the way he ruins both Mozart’s music career and life. In the plot, three characters emerge; Salieri, Mozart, and Constanze Weber, Mozart’s wife. Salieri and Mozart are leading characters while Constanze is a supportive character.
Scene 1 begins in a dark place with whispers mentioning the name of Salieri. In the stage, there are a few people who seems less concerned with the distressful undertones of an old man, Salieri, who is seated next to them. The faint light illuminates the blue curtains and reveals the square-red and white-colored floor with Venticello 1 and 2 popping from the darkness wearing long cloaks and tall black hats discussing the rumors and gossips that Salieri has killed Mozart. The two Venticellos advance the rumors among themselves and the audience, and this is well-represented by their first instances when entering the stage. They repeat certain phrases like “I don’t believe it”……they say……..I hear………the whole city is talking” (Forman). By doing so, they present incredible news that Salieri is responsible for Mozart’s death. Salieri cooks are also part of the characters in the stage, and their dressing as portrayed by shawls over their night-dresses and clogs on their feet signifies cold weather. The line “Thirty-two years” as narrated by Venticello 1 shakes of the cooks and the rest of the characters in the stage as showcased by the disbelief movement of their hands, heads and entire bodies to look at Salieri wondering how he has kept the secret of killing Mozart for so long.
Scene 41 takes places in Mozart’s apartment in a fairly lightened bedroom with Mozart and Salieri as the only two characters. Mozart is seen sitting in bed supporting himself with white pillows against the bed, and he is wearing a long sleeve shirt and a half-coat. Down from his waist, Mozart covers himself with white bedsheets. Salieri on the other hand, wears a long-sleeved white shirt, a black coat, and black trousers. Many candles are burning on top of the candle stand, and on the coverlet lies the coins. Salieri is seen sitting at worktable without a wig or coat. On the table are ink, quills and a blank paper. Mozart appears weak while Salieri seems ready to start writing down music notes dictated by Mozart. Mozart dictates the music notes until Salieri gets tired and a bit confused, and tells him, “Please! Just one moment.” Mozart is not pleased with Salieri’s request to pause, and as a result, he irritably glares at him and moves his hands impatiently. Reaction to the Play The Amadeus play is mainly Mozart’s biography as told by Salieri. The setting depicts the fabulous scenery as showcased through the dressing of the characters and props. The play presents the evil ways used by society to deter the achievements of others. Salieri’s plan to hurt Mozart portrays jealousy and naivety. Salieri does not only envy Mozart’s talent; he is also jealous why God gave Mozart music composition prowess.