In Amadeus, Salieri's perceived deficiencies are reflected in the strengths of Mozart. Because Salieri is unable to accept his own strengths, weaknesses, and actions, he alternatively spends the entire play hating and attempting to sabotage Mozart. Though it seems throughout Amadeus that Salieri's conflict is with Mozart, ultimately his real conflict is with himself.
Salieri is dissatisfied with his status as a composer when he hears Mozart's music. He knows he has never been as talented as his adversary. In fact, he gains his exalted musical position by virtue of his political and social maneuvering. When Mozart's wife brings Salieri music composed by Mozart, hoping to get his financial help, Salieri is shocked at the condition of the pages:
Astounding! It was actually, it was beyond belief. But they showed no corrections of any kind. Not one. He had simply written down music already finished in his head! Page after page of it as if he were just taking dictation. And music, finished as...
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