Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Music Of The Night

I won't post an article on the temperaments just yet, so you can all
relax. :-) One or two more articles, and I'll post one. However, this
article won't be an LOTR article, but similar lessons can be learned.
In this post, I want to explore all of the lessons from a certain novel
that can be applied to our present day (whether or not the author
was aware of them. Don't you just love it when the author writes
something that has moral benefits and doesn't realize it? It's much
more hilarious when they're intending to cause moral harm, although
I don't think that is the case here). After this post, you can do the
same with "Dracula", Old Fashioned Liberal. :-)

The novel I wish to examine is "Le Fantome De L 'Opera' ", or more
commonly known in English as: The Phantom of the Opera. Well, I
fibbed actually. I've never read the book :-), so I'm judging it off of
the interpretation of the famous musical.

I assume you all know the tale of the hideous figure that hides below
the opera house. But have you ever thought of the spiritual themes?
I will extract two particular ideas:

One: the frequently appearing struggle between good and evil.

Two: the practice of perfect Christian charity.

Of the two, the most obvious idea that is present the second. But
because of the overall evil nature of the Phantom and the somewhat
sinister and dark themes that occasionally occur, as well as the
seductive elements, the struggle between good and evil is also
present (Raoul is often looked on as "the good side"), but this is not
as obvious as . This theme might be harder to follow, because you
have to look at it from a supernatural point of view. The second is
easy to follow, because it is on the natural level. It is present in
Christine's practice of charity toward the Phantom, who has had
an unhappy life after all (I will discuss this in another psychology
post sometime).

The two ideas, or themes seem to go back and forth as far as which
one is prominent. So I will give a brief analysis of the musical and
examine each number.

Nothing to see here!!!

Nothing to see here either.

Think of Me:
Still nothing to see. The Phantom has not made his entrance yet,
and the two themes rely on his presence.

Angel of Music:
Here we have Christine talking about the Phantom. She describes
him as "The Angel of Music". This scene strikes me as having
elements of the first theme. It seems to illustrate how easily one
can be fascinated by something evil, and how something evil can
appear to seem like a good part of our lives (although I might be
playing this part up just a little bit). The Phantom is an unseen
force that seems to have brought about great good in Christine's
life, so she naively mistakes him for "The Angel of Music". A perfect
example of "a wolf in sheep's clothing".

Little Lotte/The Mirror:
This scene is much similar to the previous one. The only
difference is that Christine is talking to Raoul now. :-)

The Phantom of The Opera:
This is yet another portrayal of the first idea (theme). However, the
lyrics to this number are very abstract, so it is difficult to explain.
In general, the first half talks about being "called", drawn to
something, which doesn't sound very good does it (don't worry,
it gets better, and "lighter". Maybe...)?

The Music of The Night:
In this number, we the Phantom on a more natural level, but he
speaks (or sings in this case) with a voice that seems to be more
than meets the eye: a certain darkness which has enveloped him,
and he seeks to draw Christine to it with him. So there's definitely
elements of theme one going on here.

I Remember/Stranger Than You Dreamt It:
After all this darkness, we have a change of pace in this number.
There's no trace of the first theme, but instead we have the second.
We have the sad tale of this man whom has been rejected by
society and neglected by his family on account of his disfigured
face. Surely this awakens memories of similar stories, most of
which are true. How many people have been misunderstood or
abused because of mere disabilities which cause them to seem
different to us. Some might believe that they are inferior to the
majority of us who are "normal". And one might make this less
specific. One might compare this to the countless number of people
who grow up to be involved in shootings, drugs, drinking, and other
such vices which can only lead to despair, all because they were
neglected as children due to divorced or excessively working parents
(more specifically the case where the mother works and the small
children end up in daycare). These people have never learned to
respect God's gift of life, because no one ever showed it to them by
example. Why is it any surprise then, that women have no respect
for their unborn children? Of course, if these people had heroic
virtue, they could overcome these terrible circumstances. But how
many of us are perfect? How many of us can say that we would
overcome those conditions if we were in their exact same position?
The only way we can overcome it is with God's grace.

I'm sure you can see the similarities here. I think all of these people
have sang "The Music if The Night" at one time in their lives, and
many will continue to sing it.

Magical Lasso:
Nothing to see here. Just a bunch of old tales about the Phantom.

Prima Donna:
Comic relief!!!!!!!!!

Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh:
In this number, we see the truly evil nature that has possessed the
Phantom (for those of you who don't know the story, he hangs a
man during the performance.). Believe it or not, this number still
follows the second theme, because there is nothing to indicate any
supernatural themes.

Why Have You Brought Me Here/Raoul, I've Been There:
This returns to the first theme. Christine talks about having been to
the Phantom's "lair", and is naturally afraid. This is undoubtedly an
evil place, and evil usually brings fear (not like I had to tell you that).
This can be compared to the fear of sin (grievous sin at least). Once
one knows the true evil and consequences of sin, and from where it
comes, one can have a great fear of returning there.

All I Ask Of You:
This is a beautiful number that the rest of the world might picture
as a nice love song, but I see more in it. This number still follows
the first theme. It is a beautiful portrayal of how Christ draws us
away from sin and darkness, and calms our fears if we put our trust
in Him.

All I Ask Of You (reprise):
We return to theme two now. After hearing Christine profess her
love to Raoul, he is grief stricken. Christine was the only light in
his life of terrible darkness, and his grief turns to great rage at her
absence. Perhaps he is obsessed with her because she is the only
ray of light in his dark world. In that case, can you not understand
his plight? It's true, however, that he wants her for the wrong
reasons, and only Christine can make him realize this.

-to be continued-


Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Okay, sorry about getting on my
soapbox everyone. I just see so
much in this.

Carmen said...

Nice post. The story portrays that the Phantom became evil because no one showed any compassion to him, but we are all born with a sin nature. So we shouldn’t take pride in being good, because any goodness that we have comes from God.

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

That's very true.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

I don't know any of the songs, so I really have no clue what you are talking about (I mean, I know what sin and good and evil and grace and salvation and God etc. are, kind of, but I don't know the songs.)

Jo March said...

What a great blog! I am a fellow lover of literature and will follow your posts with great interest! Always exciting to find a new blog to read...

Anyway, I discovered it thanks to the Ancient Greek Philosopher's post on my friend, Lady Rose's blog.

God bless!
Jo March

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

So that's how you found us? Yes, I comment from time to time on there. I got hooked because I saw on her profile that she liked Phantom of The Opera.

Ancient Greek Philosopher said...

Hey look Old Fashioned Liberal, I fixed it so it doesn't cut off my comment!!!! I'm sooooo happy!!!!