Friday, September 2, 2011

Form 2 : The Phantom of the Opera - Characters, Themes & Moral Values

Characters are the people in the story. For the exam, students should be able to describe the characters' physical appearance and character traits by giving the textual evidence from the story. For PMR, I'm going to write about the main characters' qualities in the POTO.

Character 1: Erik, the Phantom of the Opera House


The Phantom of the Opera as portrayed in the 1925 movie.

Ugly

  • He had the face of a dead man. 
  • He had no nose and only had two black holes in a yellow face. 
  • Sometimes his eyes were two black holes and at other times had a terrible red light. 
  • He was tall and he wore black evening coat.


Skillful
  • He was a famous builder in Persia.
  • He was an illusionist. He could be in different places at the same time.
  • He was a ventriloquist. He could be in one place, and his voice could come from another place.
  • He could do many clever things with ropes, mirrors and secret doors.
  • He helped to build the Opera House. Under the Opera House, he built secret passages and his house on the lake.
  • He was a wonderful singer.


Can be a good person
  • He spoke nicely to people who were kind to him.
  • He left flowers for Madame Giry, the doorkeeper of some boxes in the Opera House. According to Madame Giry, the Phantom had a very nice voice and he did not shout at people.
  • He trained Christine until she became the famous opera singer in Paris.
  • He treated Christine kindly when he took Christine away for the first time to his house on the lake for five days.
  • He let Christine, Raoul and the Persian free after Christine kissed him on his mouth willingly and agreed to be be his wife.


Cruel
  • He did not like people talking about him. Erik killed Joseph Buquet because he told people about Erik. Joseph Buquet was found dead with a rope around his neck.
  • Erik was angry when Monsieur Armand and Firmin, the new directors of the Opera House, refused to obey Erik’s demands. So, Erik caused many strange accidents in the Opera House. First, he caused La Carlotta’s voice to change into a toad during an opera because he did not like La Carlotta singing in the opera. After the incident, La Carlotta never sang again. Second, he also caused the famous chandelier to break away from its rope and crash down onto the people below. Many people were hurt and one woman was killed in this incident.
  • He wanted to kill Raoul because he did not like Raoul’s relationship with Christine Daae. Erik left Raoul and the Persian trapped in the torture room when they wanted to save Christine after she was kidnapped by Erik. He even tortured them to death. He would release them if only Christine agreed to marry him.


Rejected by people
  • People would scream when they saw Erik’s ugly face. So, he was forced to live a strange life which was half-man, half-phantom.
  • He was even rejected by his own mother. His mother never kissed him due to his ugliness. She gave him his first mask when he was two years old. She would turn her face away from him every time he came near her.



Character 2: Christine Daae

Christine Daae as portrayed in the 2004 movie


Beautiful
She was young, beautiful, had blue eyes and a beautiful voice like an angel.

Loyal
  • She and Raoul fell in love with each other when they first met in Brittany. Then, Christine lost contact with Raoul. When they met again four years later in Paris, she and Raoul were still in love with one another.
  • She was torn between her love for Raoul and her gratitude towards Erik. She remained loyal to Erik although she did not love him. She did not have a heart to leave him because Erik was her angel of music. She was grateful to Erik because he taught her to be a good singer. Christine became a well-known opera singer in Paris under Erik’s tutelage.


Hardworking
  • At first, Christine was just a poor singer from Norway. After her father died, she returned to Paris and worked hard at her singing because she wanted to be the best opera singer. Christine managed to sing beautifully under the guidance of Erik, her angel of music.
  • Christine got the opportunity to be the lead singer in the opera when La Carlotta fell ill. All Paris loved Christine after her debut in singing Margarita in Faust. They regarded her as the girl with the voice of an angel. With Erik’s help, she became famous and her dream to be the best opera singer was finally achieved. 
  • Afterwards, it was also Erik who made it possible for her to continue singing in the opera when he forced Monsieur Armand and Firmin to disallow La Carlotta from performing in the opera. 


Kind
  • Christine saw Erik’s ugly face for the first time when he took her away to his house on the lake for five days. Although she was scared by his terrible face, she felt sorry for him. At his house, Erik confessed his love to Christine and wanted Christine’s love in return. When Erik learned that Christine was in love with Raoul, he threatened to kill Raoul. In order to save Raoul’s life, Christine decided not to see Raoul again and went back to Erik.
  • Christine was willing to make another sacrifice in order to save Raoul and the Persian’s lives when they were trapped and tortured in Erik’s torture room. Despite Erik’s hideous face, she agreed to be Erik’s wife. She even kissed Erik lovingly on his ugly mouth. Her kindness touched Erik’s heart. Then, Erik set Christine, Raoul and the Persian free.



Character 3: Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny


    Raoul as portrayed in the 2004 movie


    Young and handsome
    • He was twenty one years old. He had blue eyes, black hair and a wonderful smile.
    • Many girls in Paris were in love with him.


    Loyal
    • Raoul and Christine fell in love with each other when they first met in Brittany. Then, Raoul lost contact with Christine. When they met again four years later in Paris, Raoul and Christine were still in love with one another.
    • Raoul’s older brother, Philippe, the Comte de Chagny, did not like Raoul having a serious relationship with Christine. This is because Christine was only an opera singer and they knew nothing about her family. However, Raoul refused to listen to him. Therefore, he was determined to renew his relationship with Christine, the only love of his life. (This example also shows that Raoul is determined)

    Determined
    • Raoul’s older brother, Philippe, the Comte de Chagny, did not like Raoul having a serious relationship with Christine. This is because Christine was only an opera singer and they knew nothing about her family. However, Raoul refused to listen to him. Therefore, he was determined to renew his relationship with Christine, the only love of his life.
    • Raoul met Christine after her performance in Faust. However, Raoul was angry and frustrated because Christine said that she did not recognize him. He waited quietly outside her dressing room. When Christine is alone, Raoul heard a man’s voice inside her room. The man asked Christine to love him. When Christine left her room, Raoul was determined to find out who the man was. He bravely went into Christine’s room. But, there was nobody there.
    • Christine told him that she could not see Raoul anymore and must go back to Erik. This is because Erik loved Christine so much and threatened to kill Raoul. However, Raoul was not afraid of Erik’s threat and swore to kill him. He planned to run away with Christine and marry her.
    • On the night that Raoul planned to run off with Christine, Erik kidnapped her and took her to his house on the lake. Driven by strong determination, Raoul and the Persian ventured into the underground of the Opera House in the quest of rescuing Christine. Nevertheless, they fell into Erik’s trap. They were tortured to death in the room of mirrors and suffered from thirst from the intense heat in the room. They were unable to help Christine.


      THEMES
      The theme of a novel refers to the main idea in a story. The main themes in The Phantom of the Opera are:
      • Love
      • Sacrifice
      • Compassion



      MORAL VALUES (related to the themes in a story)

      Moral values refer to good qualities that we can learn from the characters. In the Phantom of the Opera, we can learn a lot about: 
      • Love
      • Kindness
      • Loyalty

      Moral values are also related to the lessons that we can learn from the bad qualities of the characters. For example:
      • Do not be revengeful
      • Do not reject people by their looks / appearance
      • Accept people for who they are



      You can download this topic by clicking on the following link:
      The Phantom of the Opera - Characters, Themes, Moral Values

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