Amadeus Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Does the narrative seem to suggest that Mozart deserved his ultimate misfortune?

    If you think that it does, you can argue that Mozart creates his own downfall. He disrespects Prince-Archbishop Colloredo, who had been his benefactor for years, and he disregards Leopold's pleas to return to Salzburg. Then, he incites Salieri's wrath. Salieri could have been a powerful ally for Mozart had Mozart not insulted and humiliated him many times. Furthermore, despite his financial troubles, Mozart continues to spend recklessly. He disregards Constanze's attempt to limit his spending, and he instead does as he pleases.

    If you think that it does not, you can argue that Salieri takes revenge too far. He exploits Mozart's guilt over a deceased Leopold, and he does not relent even when Mozart's personality has softened.

  2. 2

    How do gender dynamics influence the narrative?

    Constanze commands tremendous power in Mozart's life, in spite of this being atypical for a woman of the times. This is the case because Mozart is an infantile man who needs direction. Mozart is not able to handle independence. Constanze essentially replaces Leopold. She advises Mozart and tries to manage his finances. Unfortunately, she encounters the same difficulties that Leopold encountered with Mozart. Mozart disregards any source of authority.

  3. 3

    "Strong parallels exist between Salieri and Mozart." Please agree or disagree with this claim, and provide evidence to support your stance.

    If you agree with the statement, you can begin by stating that both Mozart and Salieri have domineering fathers, and the death of these father figures have tremendous effects on them. Furthermore, both Salieri and Mozart have a strong passion for music, and both men find ways to subvert authority, although Mozart's approach is more straightforward.

    If you disagree with the statement, you can discuss Mozart and Salieri's development throughout the film. Mozart becomes humbler as the film progresses whereas Salieri's hubris increases. Moreover, Mozart redeems himself before he dies. He asks Salieri for forgiveness. Salieri, however, does not ask for redemption despite confessing his actions to the priest. He feels as if God has already punished him enough. He merely goes on a rent where he absolves all mediocrities, which include the priest and the asylum's inmates.

  4. 4

    Is Salieri a reliable narrator?

    If you say yes, you can argue that he confesses information that depicts himself in a negative light. He confesses to the priest that he spread false rumors about Mozart and that he propositioned Mozart's wife for sex. Furthermore, Salieri is an old man in a mental asylum. You can say quite convincingly that he has nothing to lose.

    If you say no to Salieri being a trustworthy narrator, however, you can argue that Salieri's description of Mozart feels exaggerated. In Salieri's narrative, Mozart has an obscene laugh, and Mozart's mannerisms make even Emperor Joseph II feel uncomfortable at times. Furthermore, Salieri does not experience firsthand a lot of what he recounts. His spy, Lorl, witnesses certain scenes and relays the information to him. Information might have gotten lost or misinterpreted in transmission.

  5. 5

    If Mozart had not died, would Salieri have gone through with his plan to kill him?

    If you say yes, you can argue that Salieri's actions leading up to Mozart's death prove that Salieri reached the point of no return.

    If you say no, you can use the tender scenes that occur the night before Mozart dies to support your position. On that night, Mozart tells Salieri that he is thankful that Salieri came to see his opera, and he also compliments Salieri's transcribing skills. Salieri is earnestly moved by Mozart's words. Mozart dies at the moment where there seemed to be a real turning point in his relationship with Salieri.