The Truth Ablut The Phantom of the Opera, Christine, & Raoul
Over the last century, many ideas about The Phantom of the Opera, Christine, and Raoul have flourished. Most have sprung from Gaston Leroux’ 1912 novel, The Phantom of the Opera, but, in my opinion, few have come close to telling the truth. Some have been inspired by other versions about this legendary man, the woman he loved, and his rival, which dilutes the truth further.
While I never tire of watching Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway musical or his movie version about the Phantom, it saddens me at how Erik, AKA the Phantom, is portrayed. However, Sir Webber did do more justice to this character than some of his earlier counterparts. Most of them have gone so far as to extract various aspects of Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula to make their versions of the Phantom sell more tickets. I’ve found that most of Christine’s characterizations are closer to the true account whereas Raoul’s are not. His description makes poor Erik appear even worse than he was.I value and appreciate artistic license, which I myself have used. Without this license we wouldn’t have the multitude of entertainment that we have today. But, as I mentioned earlier, it saddens me with how Erik is portrayed, and that sadness has led to this article and the ones to come. In them, I plan to scrutinize carefully Gaston Leroux’ words and tell the true story about the Phantom of the Opera, Christine, and Raoul.
In the next article, I won’t be retelling their story, since that's what I've done in the fifth volume of Through Phantom Eyes. Instead, I want to focus on each of them and relay the facts that are known about them. My purpose in doing so is to help any reader of a Phantom novel to have a clearer picture of these characters that have had such an impact on our literary world. So for those of you who read my fifth volume, you’ll then know the truth about the Phantom of the Opera, Christine, and Raoul.
By Theodora Bruns