Who was Salieri in the movie version of "Amadeus?"

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timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Amadeus," Antonio Saleri is portrayed as classical composer of mediocre ability who was eaten up by his envy of Mozart.  He is portrayed as sick, miserable, jealous ... but is this true?  I am not a musical scholar, but as a musician I was always interested in how real this portrayal is.  Since I have not learned enough, I won't take an absolute position, but I am going to give you some resources that will help you get started.

If asked for my slightly informed opinion, I think the director of "Amadeus" took a real historical person and altered his character for his own purposes.

It has also been rumored that Salieri poisoned Mozart, accounting for his "sudden" death.  I've included a final link that discusses this possibility.  It's a little long and dry, but it is interesting.

Check the sources below and see what you think.

parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you mean what actor played the main role, it was F. Murray Abraham. The giggly Mozart was played by Tom Hulce.

The film describes the rivalry between Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, both famous composers seeking the patronage of Emperor Joseph II of Austria. Although on a superficial level the conflict is evidently 'man versus man,' the real conflict is an internal one within the tormented mind of Salieri.

A "must-see," if you haven't already, based on Peter Schaffer's stage play of the same title!

Check out the following reference for a 'fact versus fiction' film review dealing with what actually is historical truth and what isn't.