Sympathy and Empathy in Musicals

The word sympathy reminds me of musicals. A musical has the advantage of song to make you feel for the characters. They want you to feel empathy for the characters, but sometimes all you can feel sympathy for them especially if you are feeling for a character you don’t like.

The emotions the actors are played to the audience makes the audience feel what the character is feeling. In my eyes, I feel like the characters personally know everyone in the audience and are comfortable with sharing their emotions to the audience even if they are not willing to share it to the other characters.

Some musical emotions are hard to feel and are tough. You don’t want the characters to go through what they are going through at times, but you still learn to care about them and they end up living in you. The negative emotions are the best example of feeling sympathy and eventually empathy for them. I don’t mind feeling the negative emotions especially if I fall in love with the sad and heartbreaking songs and fall in love with the character and plot because you feel like you are ingrained into the plot and when that happens, you end up having a positive experience.

What makes the songs make you feel for the characters? Well, for starters, songs are usually more powerful than words alone. Sometimes a musical’s use of crescendos makes a song feel strong and powerful, which is a very unique thing to see. The crescendo makes you see just how strong a character is and that can make you feel the emotions the song is trying to convey. There are key changes when it comes to a crescendo. Songs like “On My Own”, “One Day More”, “Defying Gravity” among others have a use of crescendos and crescendos help with emotions a lot. It lifts the song and makes a song even more powerful.

Unknown

I feel like the melody shows the nature of the emotions. A slow and quiet song is how you end up feeling love and the sad or heartbreaking songs fit under that category as well. “I’m Not That Girl” is an unrequited love, but because the melody stays consistent throughout, it  shows that Elphaba’s love for Fiyero is not that strong at that point in the story. But with the case of “On My Own”, which is another unrequited love song, the melody which has this whole introduction shows just dark and empty Eponine’s life is and when that sudden key changes after “all I see is him and me forever and forever”, the melody has a sudden key change and slowly builds up over time sells how just strong and deep Eponine’s love for Marius is. So melody does play a part in the emotion of the song. The exciting songs have the pattern of starting and suddenly speeds up and that gives you the wow factor that an exciting is supposed to have.

What is your opinion about feeling sympathy and empathy in musicals? Do you like the use of crescendos in musicals? Why you think songs bring out the emotions in the characters better than words alone?

Sympathy

Crescendo

Advertisements

Why I Love the Love Triangle in Les Mis

Yesterday, I talked about Phantom of the Opera’s love triangle and the day before I talked about  Wicked’s love triangle and now today it is time for me to talk about the Les Mis love triangle. The Les Mis love triangle is the second love triangle that entered my life and is between Eponine, Marius, and Cosette. In this post, I will try to explain why I love this love triangle. I know why I love this love triangle, but still seem to have to a hard time putting it into words and that it one of the special things about Les Mis.

In this love triangle, both Eponine and Cosette love Marius and it is Eponine who ends up with the unrequited love. This love triangle is youthful and full of hope and light, but full of pain and heartbreak and those two aspects are reasons why I love it. In my personal opinion, I love the way the love triangle is set up. Since Cosette represents hope and light in Les Mis, it makes sense why she ends up with Marius and why Eponine gets the unrequited love and makes sense because of the switch that happens between the two girls. Cosette and Marius are a beautiful couple and they wouldn’t have gotten together if it wasn’t for Eponine

Eponine is an unique factor in this love triangle and a big reason why I love it. Despite the love being unrequited, Eponine continues to stand by Marius even though he stays oblivious to her love for him. If it wasn’t for Eponine’s empty and horrible life, Marius’ kindness wouldn’t have moved her so much to love him as deeply. All Eponine wants is to feel loved, but she still continues to stay faithful to Marius. It was Eponine that got Marius and Cosette together and she protected Marius and risked her life several times for him. Eponine is my favorite of the characters in the love triangle and one of my favorite characters in the entire musical.

You wouldn’t expect a teenage girl going through unrequited love to respond in the way that Eponine did, but if you think about it, Marius is literally all she has in life and he is the only good in her life and the only person who ever shows her kindness. Because Eponine’s love for Marius is so deep, there is a lot of heartbreak and pain in the unrequited love, but is still strong, which is clearly shown throughout the beautiful and powerful “On My Own”.

This love triangle has two instances where you end up feeling for all three of them at once, which is quite clever. The first is when Marius first bumps into Cosette and the second is towards the end of “A Heart Full of Love” when Eponine joins in. You end up feeling wonderful for Marius and Cosette, but heartbroken for Eponine so you can end up feeling a bit confused about your emotions.

On a side note: this love triangle actually made me realize that unrequited love is a heartbreaking situation to be caught up in. It took an entire year to realize “On My Own” was heartbreaking. It was that song that made me understand “I’m Not That Girl” was heartbreaking, which strengthened Wicked’s love triangle, which isn’t even a straightforward love triangle.

What are your feelings about the Les Mis love triangle? What makes this love triangle unique?

Mystery of Phantom’s Love Triangle

Today, Phantom of the Opera’s love triangle will take center stage. As a bit of background about my journey with Phantom of the Opera, I first heard the songs in 2013 and I instantly fell in love with them and later that year I saw the special 25th anniversary film. Then for Christmas, Santa put tickets in my stocking for me to see the stage show live in Greenville in May of 2014. When I saw the stage show, I was choked up and spellbound by just how beautiful it was.

I feel like I know this love triangle less than the Wicked and the Les Mis one, but I might know more about it than I think I do. It is just I hardly know the characters involved in this. But I have a good feel one the love triangle.

In my opinion, the Phantom of the Opera love triangle is the darkest and the most suspenseful and I think that is where it gets its uniqueness from. The entire plot is basically a love triangle between Phantom, Christine, and Raoul. I am one of one of those Phantom fans who wants Christine and Raoul together, which means I love how the love triangle is set up in the musical. The Phantom is the one with the unrequited love.

The Phantom is the reason why this love triangle has the darkness that it has. I see him as the antagonist of the piece. He has a deformed face, which he is ashamed of  and he has had a horrible past and he is dealing with the feelings of unrequited love after Christine fell in love with Raoul. He doesn’t respond to his situation very well. Honestly, he terrorizes the Opera house and he murders people and he acts in revenge and in response to Christine not loving him, he wants to murder Raoul. In that final scene, he is forcing Christine to pick between him killing Raoul or marrying him. Not the best situation to respond to that situation. Because of how the Phantom responds, I love Christine with Raoul and I love them together because of beautiful “All I Ask of You” is.

While I don’t like how the Phantom responds, I honestly feel bad for him due to the unrequited love and his background. Love triangles are tricky and at least this love triangle is straightforward. I don’t understand why some people want Christine to end up with the Phantom when she isn’t in love with him and he is dangerous to spend time with.

There is still a lot of mystery in this love triangle. This love triangle feels like it is the most complicated, but it really isn’t. It doesn’t have a plot twist like the Wicked one has.

Why do you think this love triangle is dark and full of mystery? Do you like the way this love triangle is set up?

What are Your Feelings of Love Triangles in Musicals?

It is no surprise that most musicals are home to romance. Because I have been analyzing Wicked characters recently, I want to talk about love triangles in this post. In a love triangle, two people are in love with one person and things are never easy because someone gets the unrequited love, which is a heartbreaking situation to get caught up in, which was originally seen as just sad, which eventually I discovered was heartbreaking. Wicked is home to a love triangle, a love triangle that is extra special to me and is also my favorite. What exactly makes me fall in love with a love triangle in a musical? For me, I want to feel emotionally drawn to a love triangle and I want it to feel unique.

Spoilers ahead:

Elphaba, Glinda, Fiyero

This love triangle is the first one I ever emotionally connected to and ever seen. This is in my opinion is also the most complicated one. Glinda and Elphaba are two best friends, who are both in love with Fiyero. At first, it seems like Glinda and Fiyero are endgame, but a plot twist happens and Fiyero and Elphaba end up being the final couple. In so many ways, the love the two best friends have for Fiyero strengthens and tests their friendship. The friendship after all is the true center of the musical so the love triangle is crucial the development of their friendship. This love triangle provides a fascinating texture to the musical, which is something I started to understand in high school.

The two best friends, the plot twist, the growth of the three characters makes this love triangle a wonderful, but complex love triangle.

Unrequited love song: “I’m Not That Girl”

unknown

Cosette, Marius, Eponine

This love triangle is more straightforward than Wicked’s. It isn’t silly and fits nicely into Les Mis. Cosette represents hope and light in the midst of all the tragic events going on so I love that she falls in love with Marius. While everything is sad on Eponine’s part, I love that she brings Marius and Cosette together and shows true love towards Marius. One of the most fascinating parts about Les Mis is the switch that happens between Eponine and Cosette so it makes sense that Eponine gets unrequited love in the end. One overall theme in Les Mis is love, which occurs in all aspects, which is why the love triangle fits nicely into this musical.

In so many ways, this love triangle made me understand that unrequited love is quite heartbreaking and painful and I was able to connect and bring that understanding to Wicked’s love triangle. What makes me love this love triangle? This love triangle like Wicked’s provides an interesting texture and brings a youthfulness. In many ways, I love this love triangle mostly because of Eponine due to how strong her love for Marius is.

Unrequited love song: “On My Own”

les-miserables-australia-2014-euan-doidge-emily-langridge

Phantom, Raoul Christine

The entire plot of Phantom of the Opera centers on the love triangle between Christine, Phantom, and Raoul. The love triangle feels like it is the most complex, but in reality it really isn’t. This is the love triangle I understand the least of the three. The love triangle is dark and mysterious due to the Phantom and that character honestly doesn’t respond well to unrequited love. He wants to take revenge when Christine fell in love with Raoul, but to be honest Christine never loved the Phantom.

This love triangle, I honestly don’t know why I love it. It still stands out.

Unrequited love song: “All I Ask Of You (Reprise)”

Romance is a beautiful part of musicals and love triangles are really complicated thanks to unrequited love. I first started to be aware of love triangle with Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero and knew about the fascinating texture and then the Les Mis love triangle  showed me that unrequited love is heartbreaking, but not just sad like I once believed and then the Phantom love triangle I have no idea what to think of it.

What do you think makes a good love triangle in a musical?

Analysis of Nessa

Nessa is another Wicked character that I keep on overlooking. Like Boq, she is secondary and she also is involved in the romantic complex that is found in Wicked.

Major Spoilers:

Nessa is Elphaba’s younger sister, who is disabled and in a wheelchair. Her father spoils Nessa, which shows that Nessa is favored over her sister. Nessa’s father made special arrangements for Nessa to stay with Madame Morrible.

Unknown

In the whole “Dancing Through Life” scene, Glinda kindly asks Boq to ask Nessa to the dance. This is where Nessa fits into the whole romantic complex that is in Wicked. Well, during the dance, Boq tries to tell Nessa why he asked her to the dance, but wasn’t able to . Nessa believed it was because he felt sorry for her. Boq quickly goes to tell her that she is beautiful. Well, Nessa has fallen in love in Boq. Well, so Nessa loves Boq and Boq loves Glinda and Glinda loves Fiyero. Boy, Wicked has a complicated romantic arc.

Unknown

Many scenes later in act II, Nessa has become governor of Munckinland after her father died. Elphaba has arrived to try to ask Nessa for help because she knows that her father will listen to Nessa. It turns out that Elphaba’s father died out of shame. It seems that Nessa has betrayed her sister. But through Nessa’s role as governor, she has imprisoned all the Munchkins because she is so in love with Boq. Nessa really believes that Elphaba has betrayed her and hasn’t done any good for her. Elphaba realizes there is something she can do for her sister and puts a spell on Nessa’s shoes and it allows her to walk for the first time.

Boq seeing that Nessa no longer needs her assistance wants to find Glinda to tell Glinda about his love for her. Well, this angers Nessa seeing that Boq doesn’t love her and discovering about the spell book tries to put a spell on Boq to keep him from going, but the spell went wrong, which caused Boq’s heart to start shrinking. Nessa seeing the damage she has done urgently asks Elphaba to save him and Elphaba turns him to tin because it is the only spell that can save him. Well, after Boq wakes up, Nessa actually places the blame on Elphaba so in the end Nessa really does betray her sister.

Unknown

Nessa becomes the Wicked Witch of the East in the End. Her being able to walk is short lived. She is killed by a house at the end and that is always overlooked it seems. Nessa and Boq’s fates keep on being overlooked in Wicked it seems, but makes sense in a way. Each time I see Wicked, I still approach it from the point of view as a 12 year old, but the emotions are felt much deeper than that age.

Boy, if I have to look at the romantic complex, that is a lot. Nessa loves Boq and Boq loves Glinda and Glinda and Elphaba love Fiyero and the main focus is on Elphaba and Glinda. Nessa is a character that I feel like is odd to overlook. If I have such a personal bond to Elphaba,  why on earth do I keep on overlooking Nessa?  Then again, the center of the story is Glinda and Elphaba. She has a song in the musical called “Wicked Witch of the East”, but that song isn’t even in the soundtrack.

Analysis of Boq

Boq is a character from Wicked that I keep on overlooking. I think that is very easy to do. For starters, he is a secondary character and he doesn’t have song of his own. Boq is an unusually tall Munchkin. A lot of his character revolves around his unrequited love for Glinda. Well, Wicked’s love arc is more complicated than it might seem. The past two days, I made it seem like Wicked is home mainly to a love triangle. Well, it is mainly focused on the love triangle between Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero.

Unknown

Well, things get even more complicated now that we add Boq to the picture. Now it sounds like Wicked is home to a love rectangle. Glinda is so oblivious to the fact that Boq loves him. Boq is the character who would do anything to please Glinda. One obvious example is found during “Dancing Through Life”.  He asks Glinda out to the school, but Glinda not being in love with him asks him for a huge favor which is asking Elphaba’s younger sister out, who is disabled out to the dance. Boq seeing how happy this would make Glinda does as she says.

Unknown.jpeg

At the school dance, Boq is not able to confess to Nessa the real reason why he asked her to the dance, which makes Nessa believe they are meant for each other. To continue to please Glinda, Boq continues to assist Nessa even when the Munchkins are imprisoned and eventually tries to leave to find Glinda after hearing that she is engaged to Fiyero. Nessa out of anger cast a spell on Boq, which caused his heart to shrink and in order to save his life, Elphaba had no choice, but to turn him to tin. Nessa literally makes Boq believe that Elphaba purposely turned him to tin, but what Boq didn’t realize that if he wasn’t turned to tin, he would have died.

Unknown.jpeg

Boq honestly thought that Elphaba’s action of of turning him into a tin man was wicked so he became part of the hunt of finding Elphaba. But still, a lot of his story revolves around his unrequited love for Glinda. Still, Boq is hard to even spend time with and even analyze. I feel like the story keeps on leaning you towards the characters of Elphaba, Glinda, and Fiyero. I still don’t know if he even has grown on me or not. Tomorrow’s analysis is on Nessa, who is another character I keep on overlooking.

 

Heartbreaking Love Musical Songs

The musical emotions of love and heartbreak work nicely together. Both translate beautifully. There are musical songs that are heartbreaking love songs. Below I will talk about some heartbreaking love songs.

Possible Spoilers:

I’m Not That Girl- this song started out as sad. I was only in middle school when I first realized the song was sad. By high school, I definitely understood this song was part of a love triangle. I was 100% blind to heartbreak growing up. I honesty did not understand unrequited love in those days. The song, “On My Own”, is a huge reason why I discovered this song was heartbreaking and memorizing the lyrics helped as well. This song doesn’t have room to be fully heartbreaking because literally just moments before Elphaba sang this song, she just found out she loves Fiyero so in many ways this song is moderately heartbreaking.

images

On My Own- this song is even more heartbreaking than I’m Not That Girl. While both are unrequited love songs, there are obvious differences due to how different Elphaba and Eponine are as characters. Eponine’s story revolves around unrequited love so you know how it affects her unlike Elphaba. Marius is the only person who treats her kindly and that is why she loves him. This song shows just how strong Eponine is and this song is even more powerful and more heartbreaking than “I’m Not That Girl”

images-1

This Nearly Was Mine- while this song is not dealing with unrequited love, there are still some similarities. This is sung in South Pacific by Emelie. Nellie has left him due to the race of his children’s mother. So this sung is dealing with a breakup, which has similar emotions in my opinion with unrequited love.

.unknown

Somewhere- this is the last love song in West Side Story. As the love songs go on in this musical, the songs just get sadder and sadder. This song happens right after the rumble takes place and that is when the first traces of tragedy show up. It is so close to the tragic end of this modern Romeo and Juliet tale.

images

If I Can’t Love Her/Evermore-I put these two songs together because they are both sung by beast. They both are similar to each other in emotion. Beast has realized that he loves Belle, but doesn’t know if she will ever love him. He cannot be turned back into his human form until he loves someone and he is loved back.

Unknown

As Long As He Needs Me- I actually did see Oliver in middle school, but do not remember seeing it. The only knowledge I really have belong to the book and the 2005 movie. So it is interesting how I seem to know that this song is a heartbreaking love song, but the same could be said for “If I Can’t Love Her”. But by knowing who Nancy is in the book and that movie, I know this song is heartbreaking. Nancy loves Bill Sikes even though he is abusive towards her, but she will always love him as long as he needs her even though the situation is dangerous

images

In many ways heartbreak and love really fit nicely together. Even though I heard “If I Can’t Love Her” before “I’m Not That Girl”, “I’m Not That Girl” was really the start to sad love songs. That was because Wicked was the musical where I began to understand the negative emotions and Wicked is the best way I can even remember what the negative emotions were like in my younger years.

However “On My Own” started telling me more about sad love songs. I began to understand that sad love songs are actually heartbreaking. If it wasn’t for “On My Own”, I still would be interpreting sad love songs the same way as  I used to call “I’m Not That Girl”. Calling a song heartbreaking is even more devastating than calling a song sad. Due to that, a heartbreaking love song has more fragility and vulnerability. I cannot think of a single sad love song that is not heartbreaking.

Puncture