National I Want You to Be Happy Day: As Illuminated by the Phantom

Today is National I Want You to Be Happy Day, and I thought it would be interesting to explore how this day applies to the Phantom of the Opera. While I Want You to Be Happy Day is a modern national day that is supposed be celebrated by simply showing acts of kindness that make other people happy, I’m going beyond that scope in exploring how the phrase, “I want you to be happy” applies to the Phantom of the Opera.

The truest form of love is that which puts the other individual’s wants and needs above one’s own, which is precisely what Erik, the infamous Phantom of the Opera, did in the end. While he might have been depicted as a moral-less monster throughout the majority of the musical (even going so far as to commit murder in the name of love over his obsession with Christine), in the end, he put Christine’s own happiness above his own in a redeeming act that showcased his true love for her.

As is depicted in the picture featured with this blog post, releasing Christine to go marry her Vicomte, Raoul, brought the Phantom great pain and devastation. However, he did it anyways because he couldn’t bear the thought of entrapping Christine and holding her against her will. She undoubtedly would have come to resent him, I daresay even hate him, had he done so, and I believe that by putting her happiness first, he displayed the true extent of his love for his protegee…

Which brings me to this question: How many of us can truly say that we want someone else to be happy so much that we would voluntarily inflict such emotional pain and devastation on our souls? Does true love like that really exist? As always, please feel free to comment your thoughts below.

 

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