Amadeus: European Enlightenment

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European Enlightenment

Made in 1984, Amadeus the film focuses on Mozart’s life while representing the 18th century European Enlightenment through social class, politics and social history. Firstly, through the life of Mozart, we saw how difficult it was to survive in society. There was a complex hierarchical structure, which did not allow individuals to upgrade their social class. Therefor, even though Mozart was a brilliant and well-known artist, he lived a mediocre life and his life ended with a below average funeral. Secondly, throughout the movie, we saw how not only the Emperor Joseph II was influenced by Mozart’s music and his new cultural ideas but he also played a big role in the entertainment business. Joseph II, himself, played music and had intellect in different aspects, which can be explained by the cultural movement in Europe, Enlightenment. Mozart to compose an opera to portray the banned Marriage of Figaro play, the Emperor changed his mind about this forbidden play and allowed it in his national theater, in Vienna, because he simply wanted to depict his political empire as a culturally rich environment. Lastly, Amadeus was an excellent portrayal of the 18th century in Europe. It showed us visual aspects such as the clothing of members of different social classes or how people lived and interacted with each other. For example, Constanza was well aware of Mozart’s financial situation, which was a new ideology that women were implicated in economic matters. Also, the way Mozart acted around the King was very different from the way he was around his friends due to the fact that his musical intellect was greater then the King but out of respect he humbled himself. To conclude, Amadeus was a great depiction of the 18th century European Enlightenment in relation to cultural, political and social history.
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