Is There More than A Love Triangle In Wicked?

It is very obvious in Wicked that a love triangle is in it, which is very ironic and complicated, but is there more in Wicked than just a love triangle? This musical focuses so much on Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda.

Possible Spoilers:

You first know there is romance in Wicked during Dancing Through Life. Boq asks Glinda to the school dance. We learn that Boq actually loves Glinda, but Glinda asks Boq to take Nessa to the dance since Glinda wants to ask Fiyero. So right now Boq loves Glinda and Glinda supposedly is starting to love Fiyero. But at the dance things get even more challenging. We now learn that Nessa loves Boq. So now Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, and Glinda loves Fiyero. So right now we have a bit of a love quadrangle.

Unknown

Elphaba starts getting involved in the picture starting with the lion cub incident. In class, a professor is starting to do an experiment on a scared lion cub and out of anger, Elphaba casts a spell on the class and it doesn’t affect Fiyero. The two run off to free the lion cub. In this scene, Elphaba realizes she loves Fiyero for the first time. It would be easy at this point to see the musical is only home to a love triangle. Elphaba feels like she isn’t good enough for Fiyero because she is green and she knows that her best friend loves him. There are hints in the lion cub scene and after “I’m Not That Girl” that maybe Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba, but not realizing it.

unknown

Things get even more complicated in act II. During “Thank Goodness”, Fiyero hears rumors about Elphaba and in this moment, he realizes that he loves Elphaba. So he ends up breaking up with Glinda and searches for Elphaba. Now the unrequited love has shifted from Glinda to Fiyero, which really challenges things.

images

The whole love situation in Wicked is way more than a love triangle. Even though it is more than a love triangle, a love triangle still exists. That is due to both Glinda and Elphaba being in love with Fiyero. So the whole situation is that Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, and Glinda and Elphaba love Fiyero. So four characters in Wicked go through unrequited love, but isn’t well noticed by Boq or Nessa. The unrequited love seems mainly focused on Elphaba in act I and she is able to move on from Fiyero and later Fiyero and Elphaba end up a couple. Elphaba’s story revolves around friendship and not unrequited love.

This whole love pentagon thing in Wicked only adds to the complexity. The only unrequited love song is “I’m Not That Girl”, which why it is easy to overlook the love pentagon and only see a love triangle. That song is sung twice: The first being the full song and sung by Elphaba and the second time it is sung by Glinda and as a reprise. Due to Nessa and Boq only being secondary characters, you might not understand their importance to the story and you might easily overlook them. After all, the story is truly about the friendship between Elphaba and Glinda.

So do you feel like Wicked’s romance is more than love triangle?

 

Popular Analysis

As a matter of fact, pink is my favorite color. My favorite outfit that Glinda wears is the dress that she wears during Popular. Popular is my favorite song from Wicked because the main thing I remember about seeing Wicked on Broadway with my mom in 2006 was the fact that the song, Popular, was my favorite song from the show. So Popular has a wonderful connection to the first time I ever saw Wicked. Whenever I see Wicked, Popular makes me feel like a twelve year old the most even the rest of it makes me feel the same age.

I find Popular to be a very special song from Wicked. This songs happens after Dancing Through Life. Both Glinda and Elphaba bonded during Dancing Through Life when Glinda made something special out of Elphaba’s dance. But Popular is really the moment where the two start to become best friends. The friendship found between Elphaba and Glinda is the core of Wicked. The friendship in Wicked gives me a bigger emotional connection than the love triangle.

Minor Spoilers:

The scene leading up to Popular is interesting as a matter of fact. The two girls share a secret with each. Glinda is quite crazy in what she said because she said that Fiyero and her are going to get married, but it is funny because he hasn’t proposed. Well, one big reason why I love Glinda is her comic nature. Elphaba shares something very personal to Glinda. She explains her family situation. She explains that her father hates her because for one she is green and because he blames her for why her mother died and why Nessa is disabled. That was all due to because her father feared Nessa would turn out green so he made her mother eat milk flowers. Well, Glinda tries to explain that it wasn’t her fault.

In Popular, Glinda decides to try to give Elphaba a makeover. It is a very funny song in the musical. Glinda wants to help Elphaba feel more accepted. Well, this is really the moment where you realize that they will become friends. At the end, Glinda says “pink goes good with green” hoping to make Elphaba more beautiful since she is well green. In an acting class, I once performed Popular and this is quite a fun song. Glinda is my favorite comic character in the world of musicals and she is the main form of comedy in Wicked.

Unknown

Boy, this song is hard to analyze. It just has special meaning to me due to it being my favorite song from the musical as a twelve year old.

What are your thoughts on this song?

Pink

Letter to Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda

Dear Elphaba, Fiyero, and Glinda

You three are my favorite characters in Wicked. Elphaba: I know exactly why I love you. But Glinda and Fiyero, that reason is so hard to pinpoint. Elphaba, I feel like I relate to you so much, but of course I don’t relate to everything. Elphaba, like you I am smart, determined, talkative, unique, and believe in equality, and staying true you yourself. Glinda, I have some reasons why I love you. A huge part of it is your friendship with Elphaba and I love your comic side a lot. But Fiyero, I honestly cannot pinpoint the exact reason why I love you. Fiyero, I feel like it has something to do with the love triangle, but there has to be other reasons.

You three, I decided to talk about you three today due to the love triangle. I love the love triangle in this musical. You three create the most complex and fascinating one. That is due to what happens in act two. Glinda, you started out being in a relationship with Fiyero. But Elphaba, you started out with feeling unrequited love for Fiyero. But in act two, the tables are turned. Now Glinda, Fiyero broke up with you and began a relationship with Elphaba. Fiyero, I feel like you had a crush on Elphaba in act one without even realizing it.

To be honest, it took a less complex love triangle to understand this one better. I honestly am not joking about that. In Les Mis, there is a love triangle and there is no unrequited love shift and the unrequited love is felt even stronger and even more heartbreaking. “I’m Not That Girl” started out as being sad and eventually became heartbreaking. For the longest time ever, “I’m Not That Girl” stayed sad. That was due to not knowing about heartbreak growing up. Les Mis introduced me to that emotion. At first, I also didn’t realized “On My Own” was heartbreaking and that song is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and at first, I didn’t see the heartbreak either, but as I got to know that character more and more, I realized that song was heartbreaking.

I know you three may not be familiar with Les Mis. But it helped me better understand your love triangle. Due to the parallel between “On My Own” and “I’m Not That Girl”, your love triangle strengthened and made me love it even more. That realization made me feel even more vulnerable to the story. Due to the unrequited love shift, it is fascinating to watch. Besides, you were the first love triangle I was fully aware of.

What are your thoughts on the Wicked love triangle?

Letter to Fiyero

Dear Fiyero,

You are one of my favorite characters in Wicked. I honestly have no idea why I love you as a character. I don’t know if it is song-related, costume-related or is something about you that really stands out. I feel like it partially has something to do with the love triangle. You are the one that makes the love triangle really confusing. You start out by going out with Glinda and then you eventually break up with her and start a relationship with Elphaba. That unrequited love shift is so confusing, but I don’t even know if you were aware that you are part of a love triangle in the first place. I feel like in act I, you had a crush on Elphaba, but didn’t even realize it at the time. It can be so frustrating  loving a character without knowing the exact reason. I hope I eventually find the reason why I love you as a character.

images

Yes, this letter sounds crazy. I enjoy writing letters to characters on this blog. But I decided to go with a character that I don’t even know how to analyze that well and someone I don’t know why I love them.

Strong Musical Characters

In my opinion, strong musical characters exist. It can be quite difficult to understand what makes a character strong. Some of them have very challenging lives and they tend to know how to thrive.  Some of them are very strong-willed and even can be stubborn.

Here is the list I think of at the moment:

  1. Elphaba
  2. Glinda
  3. Jean Valjean
  4. Eponine
  5. Young Cosette
  6. Fantine
  7. Anna- King and I
  8. Maria- Sound of Music

What exactly makes all of these characters strong? Well, both Anna and Maria are very strong-willed and both the Captain and the King both call them difficult women. Those two might be the most surprising on this list, but I know they are strong-willed.

Young Cosette is quite a strong character. She is Fantine’s daughter and her mother had to leave her in the hands of the Thenardiers. Little does Fantine know that the Thenardiers are going to treat her daughter poorly. The Thenardiers horribly abuse the little girl and forcing her to be a servant. Young Cosette is quite optimistic and is always positive that she will eventually get rescued. She eventually does after Valjean comes to take her away after promising to her dying mother that he will raise Cosette as his own.

unknown-2

Thinking of Young Cosette, I would like to talk about Eponine. Eponine and Cosette have an interesting dynamic in a way. Their lives completely switch places. While Cosette was rescued from the Thenardiers and gets a better life, Eponine is stuck with them her whole life. Eponine has to grow up pretty quickly due to how the Thenardiers will treat her. Her parents are quite horrible towards her and she gets the same treatment that Cosette got. She becomes the abused, neglected and lonely teenager and was raised to be a criminal. Her life has gotten even worse and all she sees in her life is darkness.

images-1

All of this is highly important to order to understand her. Even though she was treated horribly, she is brave and tough and manages to not fully develop her parents wicked ways. I think that might have something to do with Marius. What makes matters even worse is that she has only one source of light in her life. That would be Marius, but she falls in love with him unrequitedly, but she is quite protective when it comes to him. She would anything for him and he is what keeps her going. He is the only person who treats her kindly and he does care about her even though he is unaware that she loves him..

Jean Valjean is both physically and spiritually strong. He is well known for his physical strength. The book compares his physical strength to the strength of four men. He also is very spiritually strong. When released from prison, he is a very angered, harsh, and hateful man. But through the forgiveness, kindness, and compassion shown by the bishop, Valjean starts his life fresh and lives by the bishop’s example. His actions clearly show that. Whether that is promising Fantine he will raise her daughter, saving Marius from the barricade or turning himself in when an innocent man was believed to be him or forgiving Javert, his spiritual strength shows. He has to live his life as an ex-convict and it is his spiritual strength that makes him show compassion and forgiveness and always lives by the bishop’s example.

images-2

Fantine is quite a heart-renching character. She was abandoned by her lover leaving her to care for Cosette. She has to abandon her child in the hands of the Thenardiers. She even was fired from Valjean’s factory and had to turn to prostitution to provide for her child. She received a letter from the Thenardiers telling her that Cosette is deathly ill, but little does she know that Cosette’s guardians are actually scamming Fantine out of money and that they are horribly abusing her daughter. It is the love of Cosette that keeps Fantine thriving. In an act of self-defense, she attacks a man after he sexually harassed her and Valjean intervenes to prevent her from being arrested. She does not know what will happen to Cosette and Valjean decides to promise Fantine that he will raise Cosette as his own.

images

As far as Glinda, it is hard for me to describe why she is strong. But I know that she is. I do know that she has to face people spreading rumors about her best friend and she still sticks by even though it does hurt her. Fiyero even leaves her for Elphaba.

As far as Elphaba goes, the strength is easier to notice. Elphaba has been treated like an outcast her whole life. Her father hates her because she was born green and blames her for the reason why her mother is dead and why Nessa is disabled. Even at school, people still misunderstand her. She befriends Glinda and Glinda becomes her best friend and the story centers around their friendship. Even in the second act when the Wizard makes the citizens of OZ believe she is Wicked, she is still strong. She has always been misunderstood, but she is such a wonderful young woman. She truly does develop through this musical. At the beginning she is very hopeful full of innocence, but it is during “Defying Gravity” where she truly matures and finds a new purpose in life.

unknown

In your opinion, what makes a musical character strong and what are some examples of strong musical characters?

“I’m Not That Girl” Analysis

When I mean “I’m Not That Girl”, I am only referring to when Elphaba sings it. This song is very parallel to “On My Own”, which is why I decided to analyze it today.

Just like “On My Own”, “I’m Not That Girl”, is an unrequited love song. “On My Own” is about Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius and “I’m Not That Girl” is about Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero. As a matter of fact, “I’m Not That Girl” was my first exposure to unrequited love. I knew it was a song about a girl who loves a boy who doesn’t love her back, but I didn’t know it was called unrequited love. Well, in middle school and high school, I interpreted the song as sad. I didn’t see it beyond sad and couldn’t see anything else about it.  That was how much I understood the song and eventually I found the heartbreak in that song.

Even in 2013 when I saw the show for the third time, this song stayed sad. I was aware of the emotion of heartbreak by then, but still couldn’t find in “I’m Not That Girl”. I don’t remember when it was but I soon made the connection to “On My Own”. When I realized it was about the same thing as “On My Own”, I picked up on the fact that the song is heartbreaking. But it wasn’t until I memorized the lyrics where I realized the song has a lot of insight built into it.

In my opinion, “I’m Not That Girl” is not quite as heartbreaking as “On My Own”. The melody of “I’m Not That Girl” even sells that opinion. The melody stays very consistent throughout. The song still has some innocence built into it with the right amount of vulnerability, fragility, and insight. The melody doesn’t sell as much strength and power as “On My Own”. I feel like my understanding of sad in musicals really shows its journey through “I’m Not That Girl”. I feel like “I’m Not That Girl” is moderately heartbreaking. The song once started out as being sad and eventually became heartbreaking over time.

unknown

I don’t exactly know how to analyze this song. By understanding that “I’m Not That Girl” is heartbreaking, but not quite as heartbreaking as “On My Own” shows that even heartbreak is layered. Elphaba’s unrequited love for Fiyero is not as important as Eponine’s unrequited love for Marius.

I love the scene leading up to “I’m Not That Girl”. Elphaba and Fiyero are in the woods about to free a lion cub. Previously a new professor was about to an experiment on the lion cub and out of anger, Elphaba cast a spell on the class and it didn’t affect Fiyero. Well they run into the woods and through their conversation, Elphaba realized she loves Fiyero, but her best friend, Glinda, loves him as well. In that entire scene, I feel like Fiyero has a crush on Elphaba, but didn’t’ realize it. Because Elphaba realized she loves Fiyero literally just moments before she sings that unrequited love song, the song doesn’t even have room to be fully heartbreaking.

Just like “On My Own”, there are lyrics that are quite similar. One such place is where Elphaba sings “every so soften we long to steal to the land that what might have been” and that is a place of fantasy, but right after that she sings “but doesn’t soften the ache we feel when reality sets back in”, Elphaba realizes that her best friend loves Fiyero. That is just like the instances in “On My Own” when Eponine realizes that the reality is that is only in fantasy that she can be with Marius.

Just like “On My Own”, I feel like “I’m Not That Girl” goes beyond the unrequited love. There is a lyric in there that goes “I wasn’t born for the rose or pearl” and I interpreted the lyric as Elphaba doesn’t think she’s good enough for Fiyero because she’s green. For me, it is a bit ironic feeling heartbroken in “I’m Not That Girl” due to the fact that she will eventually get Fiyero in the end, but I have to feel heartbroken because Elphaba doesn’t know it yet.

So overall, I find “I’m Not That Girl” less heartbreaking than “On My Own”. I feel more innocence in “I’m Not That Girl” and even less strength and power. My understanding of “I’m Not That Girl”  was strengthened thanks to the help of another song from another musical. That shows that musicals rely on each other. I feel like “On My Own” helped me understand “I’m Not That Girl” because “On My Own” is a more intense and strong form of unrequited love. I feel like it is easier for me to analyze “On My Own” than “I’m Not That Girl”. A big reason for that is that Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love while Elphaba’s story revolves around her friendship with Glinda.

Musical Characters Who Show Courage

What does brave mean? In the musical world, there are character who show courage. They show it in many ways. Below I will talk about some musical characters who show courage. In a lot of ways, these are characters that you can admire and fall in love with.

Possible Spoilers:

Elphaba is a character who shows courage. She shows courage despite how much she keeps on being misunderstood. She does not let anyone define who she is. She stands up for what she believes even though she risks being up against the Wizard. Elphaba knows the Wizard will use her for the wrong reasons so she defies him and decides to go on her own path. Even though this act causes the Wizard to believe she is wicked, she still stays passionate towards her cause.

images

Enjolras, Gavroche, Marius and the students all show courage. They stay passionate towards what they believe in. They stand up against France’s weak government at the time. General Lamarque, the only left in the government who shows feelings for the poor, is dying. The students all decide to have an uprising. They are risking their lives for hope of a better France. They know they might die. After Eponine dies, they know they are outnumbered. But despite that, they stay stay passionate towards their cause. At the end all of the students died excluding Marius and even in death, they still were passionate towards their cause. Even Gavroche, who was just a boy, died on the barricades. The students were low on ammunition and he climbed over the barricade and died in the attempt.

tumblr_mg1is1kwwr1qkk5w8o1_500

Eponine is another character from Les Mis who shows courage. She has to face terrible abuse from her parents and has to deal with extreme poverty. But when it comes to Marius, she is very protective of him. She loves him so much that she is willing to do anything for him. Even though the love for him is unrequited, she helps him find Cosette even if it risks losing Marius forever. She even shows courage when her father is about to rob Valjean’s house and out of love for Marius, she screams to alert Cosette, Marius, and Valjean. This act of courage causes her father to disown since his daughter just defied him and prevented him from robbing Valjean’s house.

Despite the heartbreak of Eponine’s love for Marius, she decides to join Marius on the barricade. In the stage version, Marius noticing that Eponine is there sends her away to deliver a letter to Cosette and he does that in order to protect her from the uprising. Eponine still returned to the barricade and that led to unfortunate circumstances. In the movie, seeing that Marius was about to get shot, she sacrificed her life for him. The wounds she received were fatal and she ended up dying in the arms of Marius. In fact, dying in Marius’ arms was the happiest time of her life. Marius was heartbroken over the fact that Eponine was dying, but he still stayed brave for her and still showed compassion in this moment.

images-1

Jean Valjean showed courage as well. He showed courage after discovering that a man believed to be Valjean was going to be sent to jail. Valjean decided to intervene and prevented this man from being sent to prison. Valjean knows what it is like to be in prison and did want this man to face that same fate. He even showed courage after realizing that Cosette loves Marius. He learned that Marius is one of the student revolutionaries and went to the barricade to make sure Marius survives. When Marius falls unconscious, Valjean carried him to safety and the only way to escape was through the sewers.

unknown

Crazy just how many characters from Les Mis showed courage. They risked their life in order to protect others. Both Eponine and Valjean risked their lives for Marius. Eponine did it out of love for Marius and Valjean did it out of love for Cosette. The students and Gavroche showed courage out of love for France. It seems that a lot of the characters in Les Mis show courage out of love for either a country or even someone else.

Even all the Newsies show courage. They decided to go on strike against Pultizer after he raised the price on papers. Even when they stopped work, they still stayed passionate towards their cause. This does led to a big fight, but even after that fight, they still stayed passionate about the strike, but does cause a lot of inner conflict in Jack.

unknown

There is just something wonderful about musical characters who show courage. They can be admired. They teach you the importance of courage. In “Seize the Day” from Newsies, some of the lyrics are “courage cannot erase our fear. courage is when we face our fear”.  Courageous characters show the importance of standing up for what you believe in. All of the characters who show courage is one important characteristic to a well-written character. All of the characters I talked about are characters that I love.