The Phantom's Opera: Book and Musical discussion

Characters > Making fun of Raoul

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

This is something I enjoy immensely.

message 2: by Hope (new)

 Hope ME TOO! just ask my brothers they are so annoyed!

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

OOHH!!!!!!!! i like THIS topic already! ^^

message 4: by Hope (new)

 Hope me too!

message 5: by [deleted user] (new) *sings* its fop~! finest int the shop~! (meaning raoul)

Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 37 comments Awww! Poor Raoul! *gives Raoul a big hug*

message 7: by Allie (new)

Allie (pearlrose95) | 40 comments I don't like raoul... But I feel bad for him.

message 8: by Hope (new)

 Hope I feel bad for him, too, but only because he's almost killed.

message 9: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (hirumayoichis) I wanted him to die. I awaited it...

Rachel (aka. Kaiserin Sisi) (looney-lovegood) | 37 comments *gives bigger hug*

message 11: by Hope (new)

 Hope I wanted him to die at first, but I didn't like the feeling that gave me, so I think it is alright that he lived, but I don't know, I don't think that him and Christine were meant to be. I keep thinking about it and wondering about the Erik though, I keep telling myself that he is better than Raoul, but is he really? I used to be very adamant about how I felt about Raoul and Erik, but the more I ponder the outcome and the experiences that each of them went through, I believe that Raoul and Erik were both very selfish and spoiled. Their characters are much the same, although they show them in different ways, and they aquired these traits in different ways, I do believe that they are very much the same.

message 12: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Hope wrote: "I wanted him to die at first, but I didn't like the feeling that gave me, so I think it is alright that he lived, but I don't know, I don't think that him and Christine were meant to be. I keep thi..."

Here's the thing:

Gaston Leroux was writing a very thinly veiled social commentary about Parisian society.

No matter what else you might think of Erik, he was a sociopathic, obsessive murderer. Raoul was a pampered society man with a commission in the Navy; his older brother was the Comte. As for Christine, as much as Paris likes its opera, opera performers (heck, all theatre people) were considered to be just one rung above prostitutes in terms of social status. That's why, in the book, Raoul is threatened with disinheritance if he marries Christine.

When Philippe is murdered by Erik, Raoul becomes the Comte and basically turns his back on the aristocracy to be with Christine. He's a whiny young man who spends half the book wringing his hands ineffectively; I wanted to slap him. At the same time, though, he is the more "appropriate" match for Christine. Women in France didn't even have the right to vote, own property in their own name or even have a passport/traveling papers without a male relative's permission until after WWII. Despite her obvious Electra complex (in the book she keeps getting Erik confused with her father), Christine does not want to be attached to Erik because she wants to be out in the world, not stuck in the basement.

::shrug:: There's a whole lot of backstory that you can only get from the book; the stage play and the movie will only get you so far into understanding the psychology of the tale.

message 13: by Hope (last edited Dec 18, 2009 09:32PM) (new)

 Hope I have read the book, although it was a while ago. When I said they were very much alike, I meant that they were both rather selfish, and conceited in a way. I know most of what you said, except for the things about women in France before WWII.

I see Christine's point of view. I understand that Erik was a sociopathic obsessive murderer, but I can't help but like him. I don't know really know the full extent of my reasons but I do like him. I do admire Raoul, because of his love for Christine, where as Erik's is much more obsessive than anything, I still like him anyway.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

To exp;ain my feelings for Raoul: I don't have anything against him. He is the safe choice for Christine. He can't help that he was spoiled and used to getting what he wants. I just don't think he was ever meant to be with Christine.

message 15: by Allie (new)

Allie (pearlrose95) | 40 comments I just don't think he's as good of a character as phantom. yes, they are both kinda selfish, but phantom/ erik has more of a reason behind it, he has a real terrible past, and has a reason to hate everyone, while raoul is just spoiled.

message 16: by Hope (new)

 Hope Allie wrote: "I just don't think he's as good of a character as phantom. yes, they are both kinda selfish, but phantom/ erik has more of a reason behind it, he has a real terrible past, and has a reason to hate ..."

I agree, Erik has much more reason to be the way he is, whereas Raoul is very shallow, but I think that Raoul is a little different now that he has a taste of Erik's life. I believe that he is also changed because he saw that Christine may be taken away from him and that has shown to him that he should not take his blessings for granted anymore.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Hope wrote: "Allie wrote: "I just don't think he's as good of a character as phantom. yes, they are both kinda selfish, but phantom/ erik has more of a reason behind it, he has a real terrible past, and has a r..."

Yes. I think, in the movie, th ewhole last scene -- now that he's lost Christine, he understands Erik.

message 18: by Hope (new)

 Hope Thank you, it seems that way.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I hate how when he comes back and sees Christine, he just starts where he left off.
Raoul tries to have everything throughout the book - social status, money, and Christine . . . eventually he just saves Christine, and he's going to give his life for his freedom. Which I still think is presumptious of him to assume that Christine would have minded Erik so much, but an admirable gesture. :)

message 20: by Hope (new)

 Hope I personally don't think he saved Christine at all. He just stood there and almost got killed.

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

True. Very true. He made the effort though.

message 22: by Allie (new)

Allie (pearlrose95) | 40 comments He did indeed try... then failed

message 23: by Hope (new)

 Hope How did he try? He walked in and watched Erik walk up and tie him to the gate! Although he was probably tired after almost dying, I'll give him that excuse.

message 24: by Allie (new)

Allie (pearlrose95) | 40 comments well, he planned on helping at least

message 25: by Hope (new)

 Hope Yes, at least he was hoping to help, it doesn't matter anyway, Christine liked him no matter if he helped her or not. It is a little funny that he went to save her and she ends up saving him...

message 26: by Emily (new)

Emily  (marleyrose) "Christine, Christine, don't think that I don't care, but every hope, and every prayer rests on YOUUUU NOWWW!"

^^ cause every girl wants to hear that right?

that quote is from the musical, for those who haven't seen it!

message 27: by Katelyn (new)

Katelyn Cancienne | 3 comments I'm not a big Raoul fan so this is fun.
I really don't like him in the book or musical. I totally think Christine should have left him in the Phantoms lair to deal with the Phantom.
Why, Why Chhristine...Why did you have to choose this loser.

Raoul's a coward, I don't know why people call him the hero, he nearly died trying to help Christine (if you would call it that)

message 28: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (goodreadscomjennifer_deschanel) | 7 comments That is a heroic attribute though, albeit stereotypical. When you look at Christine, a lot of her actions were due to captor bonding with the Phantom. What she had with Raoul was a childhood connection making him a safe and sane choice in her mind.

message 29: by Hope (new)

 Hope I definitely agree, Jennifer. I used to really not like Raoul, and I still don't, but I don't make fun of him as much anymore. I have a hard time saying he truly loved Christine, but at the same time I know he did.

message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Has anyone noticed that, in the musical, both Erik and Christine say 'Lead me, save me from my solitude' but Raoul says 'Let me lead you from your solitude.'?

message 31: by Emily (new)

Emily  (marleyrose) i've noticed that.!

message 32: by Hope (new)

 Hope Yes! Ooh, sometimes I want to slap Raoul! Even though I realize he was just ignorant about most things, you would think he would be a bit more sensitive to a girl's feelings!

message 33: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (goodreadscomjennifer_deschanel) | 7 comments Good point, Hope. Let's consider Raoul's upbringing. He had more female influence in his life than male, as Leroux points out. (despite being a naval officer) Philippe de Chagny (my favorite character as seen in my books)did his best when with Raoul to foster in him more strong male attributes so to speak,but in Leroux we do see a sensitive male. The weeping, the insecurity...etc. Though Philippe boasts of him "being a Chagny" he certainly was not the "playboyish" type that Philippe appeared to be in the book. So I agree that he would seem to be more sensitive to a girl's feelings...

message 34: by L. (new)

L. (weavelin) | 35 comments I become exceptionally annoyed by Raoul bashing, particularly as it's always childish, tedious, and has little basis in reality. I will defend Raoul to the death; few people give him the credit he deserves. His only mistake was to fall in love with the same woman as a childish, amoral lunatic.

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

I commend your bravery. I still think he's worth bashing. We should argue his character on the raoul discussion board. :)

message 36: by L. (new)

L. (weavelin) | 35 comments Whur's my copy of Leroux.. :)

message 37: by Hope (last edited Jul 10, 2010 05:16PM) (new)

 Hope The Raoul discussion board? I don't know that Erik was really childish. He was a lunatic, but I just don't see how Raoul was so grown up himself. On Christine Disembarks, Raoul does not sound like a guy I would like very much... I guess he is protective of Christine and Gustave, but other than that... Also in What a Dreadful Town! he is not very nice. I wanted to slap him!

message 38: by L. (last edited Jul 10, 2010 07:05PM) (new)

L. (weavelin) | 35 comments Ah, see, now you're starting to call LND canon--and that I refuse to recognize. I'm willing to make some concessions to the musical, but LND is a trainwreck with massive character assassination on all sides. It's a collection of every terrible phanphic cliche, written by a person who claimed Leroux didn't understand his own characters. No, LND will never be canon.

Then again, if we are speaking LND, I find Raoul the most interesting character in that musical by far. At least he has personality and character! Everyone else is just a whiny, Twilight version of what they were in the previous musical. ...Anyway, that belongs in the LND thread.

message 39: by Hope (new)

 Hope Canon? I should probably know what you mean, but I don't.

message 40: by L. (new)

L. (weavelin) | 35 comments In most fandoms (and religions), there's something called "canon"--that is, the accepted "holy writ" or books of authority. "Fanon" on the other hand, is apocryphal information that, while not found in official canon, is generally accepted by the fandom as canon.

You'll get the hang of it!

message 41: by Hope (new)

 Hope Wow, that's complicated. I don't think that Love Never Dies is "holy writ" I'm simply stating what I got from those songs. I'm not saying that that is how Raoul was or anything. I just didn't like that about him.

message 42: by L. (new)

L. (weavelin) | 35 comments I'm just saying, LND should not be used as evidence to discuss Raoul's character. Everyone except Leroux has it out to destroy Raoul as a character; therefore, only Leroux can be used as evidence in discussing Raoul's character.

That's what I mean by canon. There are only certain sources of information that can be accepted as what actually happened. Anything else is false.

message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree, Lindsay.

message 44: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 48 comments Interesting discussion..... I can't pass this one up!

I try to be fair to Raoul in my mind and say there's not much wrong with him, but, well, there's not much right with him either. His love for Christine seems pretty selfish for most of the book, he jumps between loving her and hating her quite a bit, and raised mostly by women or not, he cries too much for me (come on, now -- be a man!). In the musical, he's rather arrogant (I've also noticed the "let me lead you from your solitude" part), and even more useless as a rescuer. Going after Christine once Erik had carried her off was a noble gesture, but he only made things worse! He's frustrating past endurance in any incarnation!

But on the other hand, he is a little endearing, too. He did what he could to help Christine, no matter what his motives were, he was brave despite the fact that he was in over his head, and he really did love Christine. He might not have loved her the way he should have, but he did love her.

That being said, I still prefer Erik.

message 45: by Anne (new)

Anne (Spartandax) | 26 comments I agree with you, Gemma. No matter how nice Raoul is, I just can't seem to want him romantically. Erik just lights up my soul and won my heart from the beginning. There is just something about him that makes you want to hug him, love him, and make him happy.
I have never hated Raoul, like some do, it was Christine that really made me angry the first time I saw the movie. When she left a heartbroken crying Erik, I wanted to kick her across the lake. I have become a bit gentler towards her, but never felt she deserved Erik. This is why I created new love for him in my book.
I just love Erik!!!!

message 46: by Emily (new)

Emily  (marleyrose) Sometimes i like Raoul and sometimes i don't but i never, ever love him.
<3 Erik forever. :D

message 47: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 48 comments Several people have already commented on Raoul's "let me lead you from your solitude" and Erik's "lead me, cave me from my solitude," but has anyone noted the next respective lines? Raoul says "say you need me with you here, beside you" and Erik says "say you want me with you here, beside you." Raoul wanted Christine to depend on him, and Erik just wanted her to love him. Does the vicomte have some ego issues, or what?

message 48: by Emily (new)

Emily  (marleyrose) ^ true, never noticed that one before.

message 49: by L. (new)

L. (weavelin) | 35 comments With respect to Gemma Irene's comment, I think it really reflects where they are with each of their respected relationships:

Raoul and Christine have already established a friendship and are advancing to a passionate engagement. There's no point in getting married if you don't utterly -need- that person in your life and can't live without them.

Erik has been behaving like a lunatic, threatening the administration, dropping chandeliers on the cast, etc. Erik is attempting to mend his relationship with Christine: she's already screamed and run from him once and is engaged to another man.

Admittedly, Erik's is more heart-wrenching because he sounds so shy in that line, but I don't think it has anything to do with an ego trip on Raoul's part.

message 50: by Anne (new)

Anne (Spartandax) | 26 comments Emily Christine wrote: "^ true, never noticed that one before."
Neither have I!!!But it just makes my feeling for Erik deeper, as it shows he wants her because he loves her whereas Raoul is content for her to need him. A lot of people do not like erik, but I truly believe that love can work wonders with someone, and if he had been truly loved, he could be a changed person. Loneliness can kill.

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