Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Character Thursday: Erik – The Phantom

I have always restrained myself from writing about the things I'm crazy in love with, because I can only write about something clearly when my mind is clear enough to do so. I mean, it's difficult to pour down your feelings systematically in written words. At least the case is so with me.

But I make exception this time. (I can imagine Sherlock looking at me right now and say, “Your exception disproves the rule,” but never mind). I am deeply in love with Phantom, both the Phantom in the novel and the musical. I don't expect my writing to be so objective or orderly, but at least I can explain why I like him so, plus adding some pictures I find amusing.

Ramin Karimloo as Phantom in the
Red Death's Mask
From the beginning of the novel, Phantom is described as a Ghost, so he's of course mysterious and a bit scary. His various unique abilities make him able to give the impression of 'real ghost' to people in the opera. Being an architect, he can enter and leave any room unknown, therefore makes people believe that the ghost has the ability to walk right through the wall. Being a ventriloquist, he can make noises and lead people to believe that the sounds come from whichever side of the wall he wants, or even from the air above them. Amazing, just amazing. And being an artist, a musician, he's just breathtaking. He sings Nuit d'hymenee from Gounod's Romeo and Juliette and lead the stupefied Christine through the mirror into the darkness. (Knowing the piece I actually can hear the music in my head when it is mention in the novel).

But then, there, in the darkness, we see the feelings of Erik, his real character. He hates himself for being such a “living corpse”, and hates other people for not loving him. He doesn't want to be alone, he needs love, but he doesn't know the way of expressing it. He has this dream of living a normal life, with a normal wife, someone who loves him, but he knows he can't do it. How could he, with such a face?

“'Know,' he shouted, while his throat throbbed and panted like a furnace, 'know that I am built up of death from head to foot and that it is a corpse that loves you and adores you and will never, never leave you! ... Look, I am not laughing now, I am crying, crying for you, Christine, who have torn off my mask and who therefore can never leave me again! ... As long as you thought me handsome, you could have come back, I know you would have come back ... but, now that you know my hideousness, you would run away for good...”

He believes that no one would ever love him. But can anybody hates someone just because of his looks?

Ramin Karimloo as The Phantom unmasked.
But what makes me cry is when he recites how he let the young lovers go to the Persian. His reaction after Christine promised to stay with him, to become his living bride.

"Yes, she was waiting for me ... waiting for me erect and alive, a real, living bride ... as she hoped to be saved ... And, when I ... came forward, more timid than ... a little child, she did not run away ... no, no ... she stayed ... she waited for me ... I even believe ... daroga ... that she put out her forehead ... a little ... oh, not much ... just a little ... like a living bride ... And ... and ... I ... kissed her! ... I! ... I! ... I! ... And she did not die! ... Oh, how good it is, daroga, to kiss somebody on the forehead! ... You can't tell! ... But I! I! …

"Yes, daroga ... I felt her tears flow on my forehead ... on mine, mine! ... They were soft ... they were sweet! ... They trickled under my mask ... they mingled with my tears in my eyes ... yes ... they flowed between my lips ... Listen, daroga, listen to what I did ... I tore off my mask so as not to lose one of her tears ... and she did not run away! ... And she did not die! ... She remained alive, weeping over me, with me. We cried together! I have tasted all the happiness the world can offer!

“While I was at her feet ... I heard her say, 'Poor, unhappy Erik!' ... AND SHE TOOK MY HAND! ... I had become no more, you know, than a poor dog ready to die for her ... I mean it, daroga! …”

He's an angel and demon at the same time. He is mysterious, bold, and dangerous. No doubt about it. But there, deep inside, he's vulnerable. He's just a little child looking for love there in the vast heartless world of his. No matter how great the art that controls his body and mind, or the power he has in his hands, in the end, he's just a human being, like us, who needs another human being with him, who needs another to say that he is loved.

Poor, unhappy Erik.


Character Thursday
Adalah book blog hop di mana setiap blog memposting tokoh pilihan dalam buku yang sedang atau telah dibaca selama seminggu terakhir (judul atau genre buku bebas).
- Kalian bisa menjelaskan mengapa kalian suka/benci tokoh itu, sekilas kepribadian si tokoh, atau peranannya dalam keseluruhan kisah.
- Jangan lupa mencantumkan juga cover buku yang tokohnya kalian ambil.
- Kalau buku itu sudah difilmkan, kalian juga bisa mencantumkan foto si tokoh dalam film, atau foto aktor/aktris yang kalian anggap cocok dengan kepribadian si tokoh.

Syarat Mengikuti :
1. Follow blog Fanda Classiclit sebagai host, bisa lewat Google Friend Connect (GFC) atau sign up via e-mail (ada di sidebar paling kanan). Dengan follow blog ini, kalian akan selalu tahu setiap kali blog ini mengadakan Character Thursday Blog Hop.
2. Letakkan button Character Thursday Blog Hop di posting kalian atau di sidebar blog, supaya follower kalian juga bisa menemukan blog hop ini. Kodenya bisa diambil di kotak di button.
3. Buat posting dengan menyertakan copy-paste “Character Thursday” dan “Syarat Mengikuti” ke dalam postingmu.
3. Isikan link (URL) posting kalian ke Linky di bawah ini. Cantumkan nama dengan format: Nama blogger @ nama blog, misalnya: Fanda @ Fanda Classiclit.
4. Jangan lupa kunjungi blog-blog peserta lain, dan temukan tokoh-tokoh pilihan mereka. Dengan begini, wawasan kita akan bertambah juga dengan buku-buku baru yang menarik


  1. Aku suka tokoh satu ini walau ia menjadi antagonis sekaligus protagonis namun secara keseluruhan kisah hidupnya menyedikan. Saya belum pernah membaca bukunya namun pernah menonton filmnya, yang paling sukai adalah bagian dimana si Phantom menyanyi baik sendirian maupun duet, bagus sekali lagunya :)

    1. Yup, you mean the musical. I really want to make a review of the musical as well, one day. As you said, the musical is full of beautiful pieces of music.

      I recommend you read the novel. And if you find the musical good perhaps you would want to watch the DVD of Phantom 25th Anniversary, where Ramin Karimloo sings Phantom beautifully.

  2. I love this: "He's just a little child looking for love there in the vast heartless world of his." You're right...poor Eric. It's hard to decide who is the antagonist of this story. Is it Eric? Well, it looked like that, but I think it's actually the cruel world out there who only judge everything from beauty and appearance, and neglect the deeper value of human being: his heart.

    1. Yes, you're right. It's hard to decide whether he's an antagonist or a protagonist (against the antagonistic world around him). He's a character one adores, fears, respects, and pities.

  3. You describe him so well. I admire the Phantom, too. For me, he's more of a protagonist, a victim, the underdog.

    As to your question on Short Stories on Wednesdays, I don't mind at all having you merged your posts for both my meme and that of Shorty July. After all, we share the same goal of spreading the love for short stories. I look forward to reading your posts.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog.