Christine’s love interest and Erik’s rival. A member of one of the noblest families in France, Raoul is a surprisingly innocent and passionate young man, willing to prioritize his emotions over his social duties. Overwhelmed by his feelings of love for Christine, Viscount Raoul is well-intentioned, but often alternates between states of wild love, despair, and anger. These conflicting emotions reveal his passionate yet fickle personality, as well as his inexperience with relationships—since, as the narrator notes, his upbringing among women caretakers has maintained a child-like attitude in him. His insecurity can make him behave in insensitive ways, as his focus on his rivalry with Erik keeps him from trusting in Christine’s sincerity. However, Raoul reveals his nobility of spirit and his devotion to Christine on various occasions. He does not hesitate to put his life at risk for her, thus demonstrating his courage as much as his capacity to put her well-being before his own. His confrontation with his brother Philippe about marrying Christine, who is not of noble birth and is merely a singer, also reveals that he cares less about social decorum than following his heart.
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The The Phantom of the Opera quotes below are all either spoken by Viscount Raoul de Chagny or refer to Viscount Raoul de Chagny. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
).Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Phantom of the Opera published in 2012.
“As I would not let go of the cloak, the shadow turned round and beneath the hood I saw a terrifying skull, whose staring eyes burned with the fire of Hell. I thought I was face to face with Satan himself. It was like a vision from beyond the grave.”
Related Characters:Viscount Raoul de Chagny (speaker), Christine Daaé, Erik / The Phantom of the Opera / The Ghost / The Voice