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Name: Lynn Rossignol | Gender: Female | Age: 39 | Posts: 30 | Roses: 10
Old 10-09-2014 at 08:04 PM
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Raoul, intentional spark to Erik's kindling?  Post [1] »


Just for the purpose of discussion let's look at how Leroux portrays Raoul in the original version. Look a bit into how one leg of the love triangle stands in the original vision. (I won't sugar coat things, I state right away that I absolutely lean heavily towards Erik -- but in rereading Leroux I began to question a number of interesting details that began to come out and wonder -- did Leroux design Raoul to be a purposeful spark for Erik?

Here is what makes me wonder this:
First of all, it becomes fairly evident that in general Erik does not act out malevolently unless he is given a reason to do so. I count any REAL act, not the rumors flying about concerning the Opera ghost. Generally, he is acting in self defense or in the interest of something that he holds precious that he feels is threatened.

Second we have Raoul entering the scene traipsing in and expecting Christine to just love him ... he is instantly perplexed when she doesn't and right away begins to spy upon her through the door rather than respect her request to leave her alone. A good gentleman would have respected her wishes and would have come back to 'call upon her' at another time, instead Raoul feels obliged to poke his nose into what is not his business. A behavior that continues as he bounces back and forth between pining for her and basically calling her a cheating wench. Who is she cheating on? She is not in a relationship with Raoul officially so it is extremely presumptuous for him to assume so.

Third, and most importantly, Raoul's continued reckless pursuit of Christine is pivotal to climaxing the tension of what was happening behind the scenes. It was often his very meddling actions that were driving Erik further down the ladder of dark choices.

IF one were to remove the 'reckless' treatment of Raoul from the story, would Erik have felt the need to demand Christine's hand in such a diabolical fashion? Or would he have remained respectful and waited for her to come around? It seems to me that Leroux purposefully intended Raoul's actions to taunt and push Erik to the next level until we reached the explosive climax ... well, thank heavens that part didn't actually light! In the end, looking at it from this angle, Raoul becomes a bit of an antagonist ... however, it does add depth to the characters within the story. Worth at least a passing glance.


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Name: Linda | Gender: Female | Posts: 147 | Roses: 10
Old 10-10-2014 at 03:25 PM
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I would say that Erik would have eventually demanded Christine's hand anyway regardless. The one who acted recklessly here is Erik himself. He was the one who confirmed he was the Angel of Music when Christine asked if he was. From that moment on he could not interact with Christine like a normal man could. He was restricted to being 'the Voice' and commanding her. He had to have known that there would come a time when he would no longer be needed, that a man would come along and change things. Since he was obsessed with her, the only thing he could do is demand her hand. While Raoul may have been reckless (depending on your point of view), he still acted like a normal man. Erik did not.
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Old 12-09-2014 at 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightingale View Post
Just for the purpose of discussion let's look at how Leroux portrays Raoul in the original version. Look a bit into how one leg of the love triangle stands in the original vision. (I won't sugar coat things, I state right away that I absolutely lean heavily towards Erik -- but in rereading Leroux I began to question a number of interesting details that began to come out and wonder -- did Leroux design Raoul to be a purposeful spark for Erik?

Here is what makes me wonder this:
First of all, it becomes fairly evident that in general Erik does not act out malevolently unless he is given a reason to do so. I count any REAL act, not the rumors flying about concerning the Opera ghost. Generally, he is acting in self defense or in the interest of something that he holds precious that he feels is threatened.

Second we have Raoul entering the scene traipsing in and expecting Christine to just love him ... he is instantly perplexed when she doesn't and right away begins to spy upon her through the door rather than respect her request to leave her alone. A good gentleman would have respected her wishes and would have come back to 'call upon her' at another time, instead Raoul feels obliged to poke his nose into what is not his business. A behavior that continues as he bounces back and forth between pining for her and basically calling her a cheating wench. Who is she cheating on? She is not in a relationship with Raoul officially so it is extremely presumptuous for him to assume so.

Third, and most importantly, Raoul's continued reckless pursuit of Christine is pivotal to climaxing the tension of what was happening behind the scenes. It was often his very meddling actions that were driving Erik further down the ladder of dark choices.

IF one were to remove the 'reckless' treatment of Raoul from the story, would Erik have felt the need to demand Christine's hand in such a diabolical fashion? Or would he have remained respectful and waited for her to come around? It seems to me that Leroux purposefully intended Raoul's actions to taunt and push Erik to the next level until we reached the explosive climax ... well, thank heavens that part didn't actually light! In the end, looking at it from this angle, Raoul becomes a bit of an antagonist ... however, it does add depth to the characters within the story. Worth at least a passing glance.
That's an interesting thought.
In the novel, the engagement is all just a game. Christine states that she fears that even though she promised to come back, Erik might still never let her go the next time she sees him. And do remember that Erik approved of the game.

Raoul stayed the first time because he knew that something was up. I don't think that he was demanding her to love him, only hoping that she would remember him, as they had been great friends that had already begun to love each other. One of those who were in the room after she fainted said that she did not normally act that way, which rose suspicion inside him. I'm not saying that he should have stayed, but at least he had a sort of reason. If he hadn't, Christine wouldn't have had anyone to turn to and would have eventually been kept by Erik forever with no one else knowing of her whereabouts. The phases you call "cheating wench" are Raoul's confusion. He's been told that she's still the same sweet, kind girl he had affections for, which have only been heightened. You have to remember the time period that they were in. A girl suddenly disappearing with a man to no one's knowledge certainly said something very unvirtuous about her (yeah, she leaves with Raoul at the end, but they went and were planning to marry immediately). In that time, virtue was associated with good character and such. So had Christine been with him of her own vain accord and not out of terror and compassion, it would have meant that Christine had changed from the girl he fell in love with. But she hadn't much: in the end, she was still the same sweet, kind Christine, even if she did grow up a bit throughout the story.

The fact that Raoul tried to save Christine from Erik does not make him the antagonist. Erik's rash actions began as soon as Christine spoke of Raoul, thinking it wouldn't be a big deal. You see, Raoul's intentions were not bad. Raoul was the reason that Erik acted at that particular time, yes. It was not his recklessness rather than Christine's reaction to his presence that provoked him.
I think it's safe to assume that Erik would have acted so harshly no matter who it was that Christine fell in love with. Had no one come around, he would have taken her into his house eventually and she would have seen his monstrous side (the coffin, the awful music, plus the many people he killed for entertainment that she did not know of). Erik was a monster before Christine. What I'm trying him to say is that there was no way Raoul could have known his actions provoked Erik, even though he would have acted later. In my opinion, someone becomes the antagonist when the act wrongingly with very selfish/possibly evil intentions.
To answer your question, no, I don't think that recklessness had anything to do with it, as Christine could already sense his increasing longing to keep her.
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Old 12-20-2014 at 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotte Potter View Post
That's an interesting thought.
In the novel, the engagement is all just a game. Christine states that she fears that even though she promised to come back, Erik might still never let her go the next time she sees him. And do remember that Erik approved of the game.

Raoul stayed the first time because he knew that something was up. I don't think that he was demanding her to love him, only hoping that she would remember him, as they had been great friends that had already begun to love each other. One of those who were in the room after she fainted said that she did not normally act that way, which rose suspicion inside him. I'm not saying that he should have stayed, but at least he had a sort of reason. If he hadn't, Christine wouldn't have had anyone to turn to and would have eventually been kept by Erik forever with no one else knowing of her whereabouts. The phases you call "cheating wench" are Raoul's confusion. He's been told that she's still the same sweet, kind girl he had affections for, which have only been heightened. You have to remember the time period that they were in. A girl suddenly disappearing with a man to no one's knowledge certainly said something very unvirtuous about her (yeah, she leaves with Raoul at the end, but they went and were planning to marry immediately). In that time, virtue was associated with good character and such. So had Christine been with him of her own vain accord and not out of terror and compassion, it would have meant that Christine had changed from the girl he fell in love with. But she hadn't much: in the end, she was still the same sweet, kind Christine, even if she did grow up a bit throughout the story.

The fact that Raoul tried to save Christine from Erik does not make him the antagonist. Erik's rash actions began as soon as Christine spoke of Raoul, thinking it wouldn't be a big deal. You see, Raoul's intentions were not bad. Raoul was the reason that Erik acted at that particular time, yes. It was not his recklessness rather than Christine's reaction to his presence that provoked him.
I think it's safe to assume that Erik would have acted so harshly no matter who it was that Christine fell in love with. Had no one come around, he would have taken her into his house eventually and she would have seen his monstrous side (the coffin, the awful music, plus the many people he killed for entertainment that she did not know of). Erik was a monster before Christine. What I'm trying him to say is that there was no way Raoul could have known his actions provoked Erik, even though he would have acted later. In my opinion, someone becomes the antagonist when the act wrongingly with very selfish/possibly evil intentions.
To answer your question, no, I don't think that recklessness had anything to do with it, as Christine could already sense his increasing longing to keep her.
I thought this was very well worded. I never thought Raoul's actions actually provoked Erik. Otherwise he would have simply dispatched Raoul in order to get him out of the way.
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Old 12-21-2014 at 02:54 AM
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Interesting thoughts! I think from a writing perspective, it's possible that Leroux put Raoul in the story in order to motivate Erik to take (drastic) action to try to win Christine. There's a neat thing I read about the recent Penguin Classics translation of Leroux's novel by Mireille Ribière -- she gave a talk a few years ago, and some Phans were in attendance, so they posted on another forum about what was said. One of the things Ribière said was that she didn't view the story as a "love triangle," but as two separate but intertwining love stories, neither of which could have happened without the other. Without Erik, Christine wouldn't have gotten her voice lessons from the "Angel of Music," and so Raoul wouldn't have seen her performing in Faust that night and wouldn't have even known she was at the Opera House. And without Raoul, Erik might never have felt threatened enough to actually take Christine through the mirror and reveal himself -- his voice clearly had a powerful effect on her, so he probably could have done that any time, but he didn't until after he learned of Raoul's existence.


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Old 12-21-2014 at 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamErik771 View Post
Interesting thoughts! I think from a writing perspective, it's possible that Leroux put Raoul in the story in order to motivate Erik to take (drastic) action to try to win Christine. There's a neat thing I read about the recent Penguin Classics translation of Leroux's novel by Mireille Ribière -- she gave a talk a few years ago, and some Phans were in attendance, so they posted on another forum about what was said. One of the things Ribière said was that she didn't view the story as a "love triangle," but as two separate but intertwining love stories, neither of which could have happened without the other. Without Erik, Christine wouldn't have gotten her voice lessons from the "Angel of Music," and so Raoul wouldn't have seen her performing in Faust that night and wouldn't have even known she was at the Opera House. And without Raoul, Erik might never have felt threatened enough to actually take Christine through the mirror and reveal himself -- his voice clearly had a powerful effect on her, so he probably could have done that any time, but he didn't until after he learned of Raoul's existence.
Huh. I still believe that Erik would have taken her eventually if he really loved her and was that obsessed with her. But my point with Raoul was that it wasn't his fault. What you said might be correct - no one can say but the deceased Leroux himself. But it could have happened with anyone, it's just that the timing was with Raoul. Y'know? It wasn't like he came to provoke Erik.
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Old 12-21-2014 at 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Lotte Potter View Post
Huh. I still believe that Erik would have taken her eventually if he really loved her and was that obsessed with her. But my point with Raoul was that it wasn't his fault. What you said might be correct - no one can say but the deceased Leroux himself. But it could have happened with anyone, it's just that the timing was with Raoul. Y'know? It wasn't like he came to provoke Erik.
Agreed... I know Raoul didn't intentionally set out to start a romance with Christine in order to ruin Erik's life; after all, he didn't even know Erik existed until Christine told him. I think the original post in this topic was about whether Leroux created Raoul as a character in order to give Erik the motivation needed to start things with Christine. We'll never know for sure, of course, but it's interesting to think about.

I think it's also important to remember that Erik in the novel is much less confidently romantic and seductive than in the musical. His voice can bewitch and entrance people, but he's much less willing to show himself to Christine until he entices her to go through the mirror. It's possible that he might not have gathered the courage to do that if not for the perceived rivalry with Raoul, but maybe he would have, or maybe it would have taken longer.


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Old 12-21-2014 at 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by IamErik771 View Post
Agreed... I know Raoul didn't intentionally set out to start a romance with Christine in order to ruin Erik's life; after all, he didn't even know Erik existed until Christine told him. I think the original post in this topic was about whether Leroux created Raoul as a character in order to give Erik the motivation needed to start things with Christine. We'll never know for sure, of course, but it's interesting to think about.

I think it's also important to remember that Erik in the novel is much less confidently romantic and seductive than in the musical. His voice can bewitch and entrance people, but he's much less willing to show himself to Christine until he entices her to go through the mirror. It's possible that he might not have gathered the courage to do that if not for the perceived rivalry with Raoul, but maybe he would have, or maybe it would have taken longer.
This is really turning into an interesting discussion! I wanted to add something I have been thinking about and that is the mirror itself. From what I remember of the story, no one seemed to know that the mirror was actually a doorway. So did Erik create it? If he did create it, I don't believe it was for the purpose of coming to/leaving the opera house. He already had a way of doing that and a key to unlock the gate on the Rue Scribe side.

Could he have created the mirror as a way of getting Christine to his house? If so, then he would have already had plans in place for Christine way before Raoul appeared on the scene.
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Old 12-21-2014 at 03:26 PM
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I always assumed that Erik would have insane if he really loved her but never took her. I think it would have been a little later, but still have occurred.
Driver, I love that thought! I have something to add: Erik already had the bed and room and everything set up for her what, not but a few days in? I don't remember when exactly, but I'm sure it took more preparation than he had time.
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Old 12-21-2014 at 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Lotte Potter View Post
I always assumed that Erik would have insane if he really loved her but never took her. I think it would have been a little later, but still have occurred.
Driver, I love that thought! I have something to add: Erik already had the bed and room and everything set up for her what, not but a few days in? I don't remember when exactly, but I'm sure it took more preparation than he had time.
Thank you, Lotte. You also have a very good point. At the time when Erik builds the opera house and his own little dwelling, he is tired of the world and ready to retreat from it. Now he's never going to put his house up for sale, so he can build it in any way with any amount of rooms he wants. So why place another bed in a separate bedroom? unless he planned on having someone in that bedroom. Granted, he had to go out and get additional things for Christine once he kidnapped her, but the things he got were those that could be purchased immediately. Hauling a bed down to his lair and fixing the room up so that it's comfortable for her takes a little more time.

Just to throw a log out into the fire here, though, I wanted to ask a question about Raoul. I don't consider him as a spark to Erik's kindling. I get the impression from Leroux that Raoul is never on equal footing with Erik, even romantically. If he even for once considered Raoul a serious contender, Erik would have never allowed a play engagement.
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