Analysis of the Central Conflict in Biographical Drama Amadeus

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In my opinion, the central conflict in Amadeus is that Salieri's sacrifices don’t lead to the level of recognition he believed he should’ve received. Salieri believes Mozart got it easy by God giving Mozart the talent and a father figure that taught him everything and had the right connections and money.

Contrary, Salieri’s father hated the idea of music and would not allow his son to pursue a career as a composer. Salieri’s father died and he then viewed this as a miracle of God to let him become the greatest European composer. Salieri begins to have a conflict with Mozart right away. Mozart acts very disrespectfully for being in the position he is in. Salieri sees no professionalism in him and pure disrespect. He may respect his mastering of composing music, but he does not like Mozart and finds it humiliating that that Emperor Joseph lets Mozart encourage him into having his way most of the time, even ignoring his own laws.

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Salieri finds conflict within himself as he has trouble finding his confidence once he meets Mozart. He is full of rage when he comes to find his talents aren’t as recognized as much as Mozart himself is. He believes that he has sacrificed way too much. Salieri begins to have conflictions with nature especially in his views on the power of God the creator. Salieri believes he should be guaranteed fame due to his sacrifices. He sacrifices to God his chastity and devotion to him if he gives him the talents of being the greatest composer in Europe. When he realizes that Mozart is much more talented than him, he blames God and becomes extremely enraged with him for giving Mozart the talents he believed he would receive from God. He blames God for his mediocracy.

There are many important conflicts in the film including the scene when Mozart is invited to meet with Emperor Joseph. Mozart walks in and the emperor is playing a newly composed piece by Salieri. Afterward, Mozart seems to shame the piece with comments such as, “The rest is just the same, isn't it?” and “Doesn’t really work does it?” (Amadeus, 1984). Saleri feels extremely humiliated in front of all his peers.

Another instance occurs when the emperor decides to let ballet be a part of the opera even though it is strictly prohibited. Mozart is given a pass after the ridiculousness of dance without music is seen by the emperor. You can see while Mozart is turned around he gives Salieri a nod and a wink as his gratitude because he believes he put in a good word for him. This conflict leaves Salieri dumfounded and speechless and his frustration continues to grow. Salieri attends a party that Mozart, his wife, and father are attending that night. They are all masked as it seems to be the theme of the party, so this conceals their identity. Salieri immediately distinguishes an “annoying” laugh to belong to Mozart.

During the party, as a forfeit, Mozart must play the harpsichord. He asks the crowd for suggestions and Salieri, hidden behind the mask, suggests himself. Mozart accepts the challenge but ridicules and makes fun of Salieri and the crowd indulges in laughter along with Mozart. Salieri explains in a cut scene that Mozart didn’t betray him, God did. He stated, “it wasn’t Mozart laughing at me, it was God” (Amadeus, 1984). In the cut scene, he explains his frustration and announces he will make a plan for revenge “before I leave this earth, I will laugh at you” (Amadeus, 1984).

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