Amadeus

I don't understand you! You're all up on...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Amadeus

See more monologues from Peter Shaffer



Basics

Show
Gender
Male
Age Range
Adult
Style
Dramatic
Length
Medium
Time Period
Classical
Show Type
Play


Monologue Text

I don't understand you! You're all up on perches but it doesn't hide your arseholes! You don't give a shit about gods and heroes! If you're honest - each one of you - which of you isn't more at home with his hairdress than Hercules? Or Horatius? Or your stupid Danaius come to that! Or mine - mine! Idomeneo, King of Crete! All those anguished antuques are all bores! Bores, bores, bores!

All serious operas written this century are boring! (laughs vigorusly) Look at us! Four gaping mouths. What a perfect quartet! I'd love to write it - just this second of time, this now, as you are! Herr Chamberlain thinking 'Impertinent Mozart: I must speak to the Emperor at once!' Herr Prefect thinking 'Ignorant Mozart: debasing opera with his vulgarity!' Herr Court Composer thinking 'German Mozart: what can he finally know about music?' And Herr Mozart himself, in the middle, thinking 'I'm just a good fellow. Why do they all disapprove of me?' That's why opera is important, Baron. Because it's realer than any play! A dramatic poet would have to put all those thoughts down one after another just to represent this second of time. The composer can put them all down at once - and still make us hear each one of them. Astonishing device: a Vocal Quartet! ....I tell you I want to write a finale lasting half and hour! A quartet becoming a quintet becoming a sextet. On and on, wider and wider - all sounds multiplying and rising together - and the together creating a sound entierly new!

.... I bet you that's how God hears the world: millions of sounds ascending at once and mixing in His ear to become an unending music, unimaginable to us! That's our job! That's our job, we composers: to combine the inner minds of him and him and him and her and her - the thoughts of chambermaids and Court Composers - and turn the audience into God. (blows a raspberry and giggles) I'm sorry. I talk nonsense all day: it's incurable - ask Stanzerl. My tounge is stupid Baron. My heart isn't.