Good and Evil in Pushkin's Poem and Forman's Film Amadeus

Both Puskin’s poem and Forman’s film are very interesting in how they portray good and evil, genius and mediocrity. I will start by saying that Mozart is not portrayed as a morally flawed character in the film, and especially not in the poem, He does act arrogant, childish and ornery in both portrayals 7 in the film he never conducts himself in a graceful manner, only paying respect to others when it suits him, and in the poem laughing at the pauper’s expense — but it is never implied that he even knows better, and he never does anything particularly bad or evilt He just seems to be an overgrown child who was so concerned with his music his whole life that he never learned proper manners.

Yet he is still a genius. In Amadeus, Salieri is not a genius. He was not born with special talent like Mozart, and he never achieves the level of fame or ability that Mozart does and naturally has.

In the poem, however, it is unclear whether or not he is a genius. We are given no indication of whether or not he is on Mozart‘s level of abilities, other than from his own perceptiont.

He says he isn’t a genius, but it still can’t be said whether or not this is really true — he may just be unaware. Therefore, the poem does not really answer the question of the compatibility of genius and evilt Rather, it proposes this: if Michelangelo, a genius, was actually an assassin, genius and evil are not mutually exclusive.

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If he was not actually an assassin, however, then Mozart’s theory may hold some weight. So the audience is left with two questions: Was Michelangelo actually good, and was Salieri actually genius? Forman answers the question of compatibility a bit differently, While his Salieri questions the morality of God himself, the fact is that he is evil. He goes from being a devout Christian (who should thereby know that killing is wrong) to doing everything he can to ruin Mozart’s life, which ultimately kills Mozarti He is not a genius, either. Forman often portrays Mozart as an instrument of God’s music, which would suggest that he cannot be truly evil. Salieri, on the other hand, is doomed to Mozart’s shadow by his own lack of God-given talent, which leads to his envy of Mozart, and eventually his plot against him. Amadeus was Forman’s answer to Pushkin’s question.

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Good and Evil in Pushkin's Poem and Forman's Film Amadeus. (2022, Jul 26). Retrieved from

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