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Ludwig van Beethoven has long been lauded as a master composer and brilliant musician completely deaf by the end of his life yet still capable of feats in music surpassing those who came before him and those that have come since Very few if any would dispute the genius of Beethovens music However there is definite room for dispute on the portrayal of Beethovens genius in Bernard Roses Immortal Beloved 1994 The writerdirector falls into the mythical archetype trap publicized by mass media focusing on and magnifying the traits of the socially popular icon of genius without exploring the profile of the true genius in an effort to appease the societal demand for something that the public can recognize understand and conceivably identify with There are many typical traits that make up the popular perception of genius He is a mentally unbalanced person and his temperament is easily aroused often because of mental illness andor substance abuse He is lonely and isolated deemed a social outcast either by the local community or by his own accord and has troubled personal relationships The person is born endowed with super-human talents and a natural panache for the selected field essentially requiring no training He also has a seemingly ethereal insight that seems to transcend personal experience These last two notions of genius date back to ancient Greece when Muses were thought to breathe creativity into men It was in this manner that the superhuman and sublime characterization of genius was brought about Daitch and Hoddeson 5 This conception has only been cultivated further in popular iconography by writers such as Mary Shelly and Edgar Allen Poe and with mainstream movies like Good Will Hunting Geniuses are characterized as untrained unprivileged nonconforming outrageous solitary and emotionally unstable people possessed by their creative powers rather than endowed with them Their genius becomes a burden rather than a gift and ultimately they are consumed and damned by the powers over
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