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Raoul versus Erik (The Phantom)

by Mrs Elizabeth Darcy


A question that has been bugging me:



Why does everyone like Erik (Phantom) so much? Why does everyone think Christine should end up with him? Erik doesn't hold a candle to Raoul in any universe!



Why do I think this? Let me explain.



Using a system of pros and cons, my evaluation of their comparative characters stands thus.





Erik: Terribly attractive. (pro)

Raoul: Terribly attractive. (pro)

Erik: Awesome voice. (pro x2)

Raoul: Nice voice. (pro)

Erik: British accent! (pro)

Raoul: American accent. (con)

Erik: Ugly. (con)

Raoul: Handsome. (pro)

Erik: When he wanted Christine, he hypnotised her into following him. (con)

Raoul: When he wanted Christine, he asked her out to dinner. (pro)

Erik: And then yelled at her and cursed her and called her names. (con)

Raoul: And then worried about her frantically when he couldn't find her. (pro)

Erik: Obsessed over and stalked her since she was seven, and he was an adult. (con)



Raoul: Fell in love with her when they were both kids, and remained in love with her even though he didn't see her for nine years. (pro)

Erik: Wanted to possess her. (con)

Raoul: Wanted to marry her. (pro)

Erik: Made her the star... (pro)

Raoul: Wanted her to be the star... (pro)

Erik: ...by killing/threatening people... (con x2)

Raoul: ...and encouraged her...(pro)

Erik: ...because he was obsessed with her voice. (con)

Raoul: ...because he was in love with her. (pro)

Erik: Helped her, then demanded that she pay him back by giving him her soul, her freedom, and herself. (pro, con x2, con x2, con)

Raoul: All he asked of her was her love. (pro x2)

Erik: When she didn't give him what he demanded, threatened her, manipulated her, hurt her, and killed people. (con, con x2, con x2, con)

Raoul: When she couldn't help him, kept loving her, protected her, watched over her, and gave her what she wanted. (pro x2, pro x2, pro, pro)

Erik: Killed innocent people to be with Christine. (con)

Raoul: Almost killed someone who had threatened and kidnapped Christine and attacked him. But then he didn't because Christine asked him not to. (pro, pro, pro, pro, pro x2)

Erik: Set up a plan to seduce Christine so she couldn't escape (involved killing someone.) (con x2, con, con)

Raoul: Set up a plan to protect Christine by calling in the police. (pro x2, pro)

Erik: Didn't care if he hurt her as long as he got her. (con x2)

Raoul: Cared very much if she had to take the slightest risk for her own safety. (pro x2, con, pro)

Erik: Kidnapped her (again) (con)

Raoul: Went after her, risking his own life. (pro x2)

Erik: Threatened to kill Raoul if Christine didn't stay with him. (con x2)

Raoul: Was willing to die if it meant ensuring Christine's freedom. (pro x10)

Erik: Finally gave her up. (pro x4)

Raoul: Didn't kill him. (pro)

Erik: Left his rose and her ring at her grave. (pro, bonus pro point for making me cry)

Raoul: Spent money to leave something at her grave that she cared about. (pro x2)

Erik gets 5 cons for the life sized mannequin of her in a wedding dress. Ewww. However, he gets 1 pro for tragic past and 10 for sexiness.

Raoul gets 5 pros for general trueness and courage, and 1 con for not believing some of Christine's crazier claims.

TOTALS:

Erik: Pros: 23, Cons: 33

Raoul: Pros: 48, Cons: 3

Allowing one like point for every pro and negative one like point for every con, the totals stand thus:

Erik: -10, Raoul: 45.

Raoul beats Erik by FIFTY FIVE POINTS.



Raoul is the epitome, not only of lawful goodness, but of romance. Why do people like the Phantom more than Raoul??


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Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:48 pm
writerwithacause wrote a review...



You're missing the point. It's not about Erik (evil part) vs Raoul (good part), love -- as described in both the movie and book -- is more than this, it breaks all these notions of good vs evil, it's like something that can't be controlled.

If you ask me, Raoul is somehow boring. We all love Erik because he has a good heart, contrary to what we all expected. We (readers) like complex characters... and don't forget that we pity Erik in the end. How can you not like somebody who make syou feel sorry about him?




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Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:46 pm



You're missing the point. It's not about Erik (evil part) vs Raoul (good part), love -- as described in both the movie and book -- is more than this, it breaks all these notions of good vs evil, it's like something that can't be controlled.




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Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:48 am
ToritheMonster wrote a review...



Darling; most hardcore Phantom fans are mildly goth theatre people. This automatically makes them all masochists. Dark, creepy, and incredibly complex villains trump the cute blond hero every time. Only the slightly sane ones go for Raoul.

Sincerely,

A Highly Opinionated Goth Theatre Freak




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Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:07 pm
Areida wrote a review...



He's a bad boy. It makes for a good story, at least! I'm with you, though - if it came to a choice between the creepy Phantom in the basement wanted me to chill down there in the depths for the rest of my life and Raoul, I think I'll take the happy, rich, childhood friend, thanks very much. ;)





“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents!”
— Little Women