Thursday, September 23, 2010

Raoul v. the Phantom

I have gone on a kick of listening to musicals while I work on my homework. Without it, it's far to quite in my dorm while I study. So, I've been listen to 1776 and The Phantom of the Opera via YouTube.

If you don't know the story of The Phantom of the Opera, here's a synopsis from Wikipedia (of the musical):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phantom_of_the_Opera_(1986_musical)#Synopsis
and of the book:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Phantom_of_the_Opera#Plot
(They are slightly different).

I was surprised by the way people responded to the Phantom. The majority of the YouTube population was pitted against Raoul, Christine's childhood sweetheart, as her lifelong companion, and in favor of the Phantom.

I understand what people say about Raoul (from the musical) being a selfish, pampered man who has no respect for Christine's career. However, people often overlook the fact that he was behaving the way society dictated in asking Christine to give up her singing when she married him, as well as the fact that Christine happily agreed.

I also understand why people pity the Phantom. The musical is written in such a way as to make you see him as a sad boy who was never loved and denied his musical talents because of his face. However, people don't consider how scary he really is. This is a man who has lived underground for many years, who has secret passageways into a young girl's dressing room, hangs stagehands to make points, and is generally insane. You cannot justify the fact that he is crazy and kidnapped Christine. I don't care how much she appears to love him at the end of the musical. A) It's not really love, just her compassion and B)he's a total creeper!

I'm not saying Raoul is the right choice either. However, in the novel, he seems to truly love her and suffers quite a lot to be with her. According to the novel, they elope and the Phantom dies. I highly suggest that fans of the musical read the novel - it's got more of a horror aspect, but is also extremely interesting and provides some background to the characters (like, the Phantom's first name).

On the second musical I've been listening too, 1776, I want to encourage everyone to see it - it is silly, yes, but is quite fun and very true to John and Abigail Adams' real relationship (which was far better than either of the relationships Christine Daae had!). If you do watch it, read this note on historical accuracy, just so you don't fail your APUSH exam! (AP US History)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1776_(musical)#Historical_accuracy

1 comment:

~ megan said...

The book of Phantom is really good definitely more horror like you said and more psychological as well with pretty much all the main characters boarding on insanity at one point or anyother. Have you listened to / ever seen Jane Eyre the musical? It's a weird story for a musical for sure, but its super great and I love the soundtrack :)