In "Amadeus," how does Salieri seek immortality? Explain how Salieri speaks of his great desire to praise god through music, and yet he strikes a bargain with God.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a couple of issues present in the question.  The first would be Salieri’s bargain with God.  This is facilitated on the idea that Salieri knew as a young boy how committed he was to the idea of composing music.  It was this love that drove him to pledge himself to creating the most glorious of music in God’s name.  The problem was the father who refused to hear of such a notion for his child.  Hence, the bargain:  The father’s absence in exchange for the young boy’s total devotion to music in the name of God.  As the father died, Salieri understood that the act of God had confirmed the bargain to be present.  The desire for immortality comes out of this bargain, but is not directly a part of it.  As Salieri gains notoriety for himself, he still credits God with the creation of his talent and the facilitation of it, yet there is an artistic desire for immortality.  This is something that he sees as being usurped by Mozart and his natural genius.  When Salieri understands this, he senses that the God had abdicated the bargain.  The endowing of talent to Mozart, whom Salieri perceives could care less about it, and not to him causes him to reject God.  It can be said that the initial desires for immortality were taken over by a more self centered desire and this ends up spelling doom for both Salieri and Mozart.

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Amadeus

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