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Soloninkina Anastasia

Private School №1

Form 11B

The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux.

To begin with I’d like to say some words about the author of the story Gaston Leroux. He was born in Paris, the son of a wealthy storeowner. He attended school in Normandy and studied law in Paris, receiving his degree in 1889. After inheriting nearly one million francs, he spent most of his time drinking and gambling. Finding his money gone, Leroux started to work as a theater critic and reporter for L'Écho de Paris. By 1890 Leroux had become a full-time journalist. Between the years 1894 and 1906, he traveled in different countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia as a correspondent. Leroux wrote for the daily newspaper Le Matin and L'echo de Paris and reported, amongst other things, about the Russian Revolution of 1905. From 1909 Leroux devoted himself entirely to writing, focusing on plays and popular novels of mystery and detection, influenced by Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. Leroux's narrative was fast moving, and he often used complicated plots.

«The Phantom of the Opera» was inspired by his fascination with the Paris Opera House. It is his most popular novel that has been made into many stage plays and films.

And now some words about the plot of this marvelous novel. Our story of darkness and intrigue – the story of the Phantom of the Opera – unfolds in the Paris Opera House, the place where wealthy and noble Parisians enjoy great musical performances, displaying themselves in their finest clothes and jewels.

Tonight, Christine Daaé stands in for Carlotta, the Spanish diva, who has fallen ill. More than that, Christine impresses everyone with her voice and makes a triumphant debut, not being able to sing a note six months ago.

The new managers of the Opera House, M. Moncharmin and M. Richard, and the new patron of the Opera House Raoul look on from the stage box. Raoul is impressed; he remembers Christine from their childhood. After the performance the Phantom’s voice commends Christine on the night performance. Besides, the managers bring Raoul to her dressing room. But she looks away as though she hadn’t recognized him. A little bit later Raoul receives a letter from Christine. She asks him to come to Perros if he wishes to see her. When they meet she tells him she has been visited by the Angel of Music, and Raoul, impressed by the beauty of her voice, says she has, not realizing that the Angel is not just imaginary. When Christine realizes that Raoul doesn’t understand her, she runs away asking him to leave her alone.

Raoul is troubled by Christine’s behavior and wants to know what the matter is. He comes to the next performance and decides to sit in Box Five to watch the show with the managers. It is going well until the Phantom appears. He screams, because the managers did not keep Box Five empty. At the same time before the performance he writes to Carlotta not to sing in the Opera tonight, but she doesn’t listen to him. That’s why he makes her voice crock like a frog. More than that, he snatches Christine from the stage. The show stops, everyone flows into a panic and the police arrive.

Raoul searches for her everywhere during the next few days. Then he remembers about Mme Valerius, Christine’s acutance, and comes to her. She tells him that they can never be together because the Angel of Music will never allow it. She says that Christine belongs to him. Raoul is furious; he doesn’t understand why the Angel is controlling her. After some time he receives a note from Christine. She asks him to forget her and not to try to see her again.

A little bit later the Angel of Music, whose name turns out to be Erik, confesses that he is the one they call the Phantom of the Opera. Christine is horrified, but at the same she cares for Raoul, because the Phantom can kill him for her. More than that, Erik wants to marry her and places a gold ring on her hand.

And again Raoul searches for Christine for another several days, but in vain. In despair Raoul comes to Mme Valerius one more time. There he finds Christine with a wedding ring on her finger. She explains to him that it’s only a gift and asks him not to come to her dressing room unless he gets a note from her. Everything goes as they have planned: he gets the note, they meet and make up their minds to leave the Opera House and the city together.

Just that night Raoul sees two blazing eyes starting at him through the window. He thinks that it is the Phantom, that’s why he takes a gun and hides under his bed, where he is found sleeping next morning.

Raoul spends most of the next day planning his departure with Christine. They decide to flee Paris, the Opera House and Erik after the performance, but all of a sudden Christine vanishes and Raoul blames the Phantom her for disappearance and decides to find him and save his beloved. The Persian, the former friend of the Phantom, wishes to go with him. They find themselves in Phantom’s world, which is situated underneath, and begin looking for Christine. Unfortunately, the Phantom tries to stop them and they meet different obstacles. Finally, they find Christine with the Phantom, proposing to her. She has to promise him to be his wife because Raoul’s life hangs by a thread.

At the end of the story we see that the mysterious legend about the Phantom of the Opera that has haunted the world above for so many years comes to the end. What was the reason for it? The bullet that stroke the Phantom…

And now some words about the main heroes. According to the text, Erik was born in a small town not far from Rouen. He was the son of a master mason. He ran away at an early age from his father's house, where his ugliness was a subject of horror and terror to his parents. After years of wandering, Erik hides himself in the cellars and corridors of the Paris Opera House. He has helped in the reconstruction of the cellars and incorporated many trapdoors in the building. He falls in love with a young singer, Christiane Daaé. But Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, is also in love with Christine. When the Opera managers refuse to make her a star, the unmasking of Erik's evil side leads to his destruction.

As for Christine, she has always wanted to have beautiful voice. Besides, when she was little her father told her the story about the Angel of Music. He also said that when he left this life, he would ask the Angel bless his daughter the gift of perfect music. That’s why when he dies the Angel comes to Christine to make her a gift she has always wanted. But its coast is too high. The Angel says that she will take the gift if she agrees to belong to him. Christine has nothing to do except taking his propose…

To my mind, «The Phantom of the Opera» is a story about unshared love. The author of this story managed to describe the characters realistically, vitally, in such a true-to-life manner, that when reading the novel I couldn’t help being involved in all amazing events, invented by the author. I was totally captivated by the mysterious plot of this story.

All things considered, I’d like to confess that theme of love is eternal; it always awakes corresponding feelings in the souls of readers, no matter, what genre the story is written in : detectives, love stories, thrillers, fantasy, since fiction and what’s not.

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