Salieri is an old man, having outlived his fame. He claims to have poisoned Mozart, and begins to explain himself. Start in the eighteenth century, a time when Salieri has not yet met Mozart. He adores Mozart’s work, and is thrilled to get the chance to meet him in person. When he finally does however, he is disappointed to find that Mozart lacks the grace and charm of his compositions. When Salieri first meets him, Mozart is crawling on his hands and knees, in a profane talk with his future bride Constanze Weber.
Salieri cannot reconcile Mozart’s behaviour with the genius that God has bestowed him. Salieri, who is a devout Catholic, cannot believe that God would choose Mozart over him for such a gift. Salieri renounces God and vows to do everything in his power to destroy Mozart as a way of getting back at his Creator.
Salieri now masquerades as Mozart’s friend while trying to destroy his reputation and success. Often, it is only the direct intervention of the Emperor himself that allows Mozart to continue. Salieri also humiliates Mozart’s wife, and smears her character with the Emperor.
“A major theme in Amadeus is Mozart’s repeated attempts to win over the aristocratic “public” with increasingly brilliant compositions, which are always frustrated either by Salieri or by the aristocracy’s own inability to appreciate Mozart’s genius.” ~ Wikipedia