Music and thought (Amadeus/SALIERI essay)

In the play of life and death, Peter Shaffer's Amadeus exemplifies a distinct contrast between the Age Of Reason and Romanticism thoughts. In representing the various themes, Shaffer uses his two main characters as spokesmen for each. The musician Salieri, based on reason, lives a struggled life attempting to find fame through composition. As for Amadeus Mozart, the Romantic composer, finds joy in living life as freely as can be.
The character Salieri represents one side of the conflict taking place in the play which is that of reason. In being Mozart's competitor in the music world, Salieri envies Mozart for his sublime work and way of life. Salieri observes Mozart and his perfection in fame, and yet as he tries to work up to Mozart's greatness, he uses the complete opposite tool than Mozart to become the same thing. Salieri bases his life around thoughts of planned living and above all, life by reason. His thoughts are therefore revolved around ideas of goals towards dominating power and only through reason does Salieri believe he can obtain those accomplishments. In terms of religious ties, Salieri looks to praise God for all works of life, including his ability to create music. Art is therefore produced by artists who are truly inspired at greatest by God himself. In Salieri's eyes, art is a gift by God. As his belief in God as inspiration to all music, Salieri becomes caught up in conflicts in the matters of religious thought. As Salieri's life changes and he grows towards more and more hatred for Mozart's abilities, his interactions with'God' grow. Towards the end of the play he says,
[To audience]. What did this mean? Was this proof
God had finally decided to defend Mozart against me?
Was he engaging with me at last?
With the premeditated and reasoned surroundings, Salieri observes life in a structured manner. In regards to music, Salieri fol…


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