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Phantom of the Opera

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Essay title: Phantom of the Opera

Ben Brown


November 17, 1999

Phantom of the Opera

In the novel, Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux, we are introduced to a character

known to everyone as the mysterious Opera Ghost. His character in this book is very complex.

Although the Opera Ghost is very ugly physically and mentally, through his actions, we can find

much beauty.

During the masked ball we are given, what the reader believes at the time, a very good

physical description of the Opera Ghost. At the masked ball the Opera Ghost does a perfect job

imitating death. "The Grim Reaper himself must have posed for it," the on looking crowd would

comment. But the hideous thing that he wears upon his head is, in fact, only a mask. What he

hides underneath the mask is more wretched than anything imaginable to men. The Opera Ghost

was, "Made up entirely of death,"(138). He was so disgustingly ugly that, "his mother would

never let him kiss her, she would throw his mask at him and run away,"(263). Poor Erik's life

knows nothing but ugliness.

We see more of the Opera Ghost's ugliness when we read of the Persians description of

the Opera Ghost's love of torture. Before the Opera, Erik designs torture chambers for a little

sultana in Persia. His design was just a small room with six walls, with each wall being a mirror.

There is also a tree with a Punjab Lasso. The Opera Ghost's idea of torture was not so much

physical pain, but a torture in which a victim would go mad, and in their madness, they would kill

themselves. On the outside of each one of these chambers there is a place the Opera watches his

victims while they were going mad. Erik truly was ugly, not only physically, but mentally.

We are given our first example of Erik's beauty when

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