Acting

F. Murray Abraham in Amadeus – Movie Monologue Monday

This week we’re looking at F. Murray Abraham’s performance in Amadeus.

Abraham is Salieri, a musician of note, but whose music and fame is being overshadowed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart is a brash uncouth upstart.

Salieri describes seeing Mozart’s music for the first time.

Class Exercise

Watch the video and discuss these questions. Don’t worry about whether or not everyone has seen the whole movie. Fill in the missing details using what you see, hear, and imagine.

  • Salieri is shot from below in the present and shot from far below in the past. Why is he always shot from below? Why is he shot from further below in the past?
  • Does the monologue depend on the music? In other words, would the monologue have as much impact without the music?
  • Why does he whisper the word “why” (at the 1:20 mark)?
  • Why does Salieri say, “This piece had to be an accident?”
  • What is happening in the very long pause at the end?
  • What does he mean by “it better be”?
  • Do you feel the same way about the music as Salieri? Why or why not?

About the author

Craig Mason