Amadeus Essay

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Hamilton is an English teacher at Cary Academy, an innovative private school in Cary, North Carolina. In this essay, she examines the conflict between genius and mediocrity and their relationship to the observing and judging audience in Shaffer's play.

Shaffer spent five years writing Amadeus, and of that, "a whole year attempting a different opening scene every week." As anyone knows who has written and rewritten a work, trying to get it right, the writer's internal "judge" watching and criticizing, often prevents the natural flow of ideas. One imagines a future audience, at one moment approving, the next moment condemning. Anticipation of criticism can stifle the creative process or lead an author to try to perfect the work to ward off an unpleasant rejection. Shaffer's play puts this tension in the creative process at center stage His rival characters, Salieri and Mozart, are rivals of talent-one a genius...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 1,643 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Amadeus Study Guide
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Amadeus from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.