The story of Amadeus becomes poetry and myth when one learns it is far from the official biography of Mozart. For in fact Salieri first became Mozart's lethal enemy in a poem by Pushkin, written 40 years after the great composer's death. Robbins clarifies many historical inaccuracies regarding both Mozart and Salieri in the film, but proposes that playwright Shaffer and screenwriter Milos Forman have made the story a "myth better than history," a masterpiece of drama which reveals deep truths about the human condition. The film confronts the viewer with the sheer givenness of human inequality, the pride that gives way to envy, and the sometimes relentless character of efforts that may be finally deemed mediocre. It is the mysterious story of Cain and Abel: one loved by God, the other for whom God had, inexplicably, "no regard."
"Mozart & Salieri, Cain & Abel: A Cinematic Transformation of Genesis 4,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 1
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol1/iss1/5