Phantom of the Opera Study Guide

Phantom of the Opera By Gaston Leroux

Christine Daaé is the daughter of 'the best wedding fiddler in all the land'. During her childhood, her father told her many stories about the Angel of Music. Her friend Raoul also enjoys her father's many stories. Later, when her father is dying, he tells her that, once dead, he will send the Angel of Music to her.

She goes to live with Mamma Valerius, who sends Christine to the conservatory to sing - but her sorrow and loneliness prevent her from singing to her potential. She nonetheless earns a position in the Paris Opera, where she begins to hear a Voice which she believes to be the Angel of Music. The Voice offers to teach her 'a little bit of Heaven's music'.

The Voice truly belongs to Erik, a disfigured genius who secretly built a home for himself in the cellars of the Opera building. He has been extorting money from the Opera management for quite some time - and he has fallen madly in love with Christine.

With the help of the Voice, Christine gets her own voice back, and becomes the star of the Opera. After a big event, Erik takes Christine to his home in the cellars, where she lives for two weeks before asking to be set free. He agrees on the condition that she wear his ring and stay faithful to him. Once out, she learns that Raoul has learned of her success and come to Paris to court her.

Christine will not decide between the two suitors, and both become increasingly jealous. Finally, she agrees to leave with Raoul, but only after singing for Erik one last time. That night, Erik kidnaps Christine and threatens to destroy the entire Opera if she will not marry him.

Raoul and a friend from Raoul's past come to rescue Christine, but find themselves trapped in a torture chamber. Christine, desperate to save Raoul, agrees to marry Erik, and kisses him. Erik is overcome with emotion, as he has never received a kiss before in his life - not even from his mother. Moved by her dedication, he frees her and tells her to marry Raoul, as she clearly loves him.

Christine and Erik cry together, and she leaves to Raoul's arms. Three weeks later, Erik's obituary surfaces in the Paris newspapers.

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