Viscount Raoul de Chagny

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Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny
First appearance The Phantom of the Opera
Created by Gaston Leroux
Portrayed by See "Other versions"
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Viscount
Title Vicomte de Chagny
Family Count Philbert de Chagny (father, deceased)
Countess de Chagny-née de Moerogis de la Martynière (mother, died during childbirth)
Count Philippe Georges Marie de Chagny (brother, original novel)
Two sisters are mentioned once in the original novel.
Spouse(s) Christine Daaé
Significant other(s) Erik, the Phantom of the Opera
Nationality French

Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny is a fictional character and one of the protagonists of Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera.

Biography[edit]

Raoul de Chagny is a viscount and Christine Daaé's childhood friend. They first met when he was a young child when he went on vacation in Northern France. He meets up with her again after watching her performance at the former managers' retirement ceremony at the Palais Garnier. He reminds her that he is "the little boy who went into the sea to rescue your scarf," which provokes her laughter. At first, Christine refuses to recognize Raoul, in fear that the "Angel of Music" would return to heaven. However, they become engaged later. Unknown to them, Erik, the "Angel of Music" of which Christine speaks (actually a musical genius who lives beneath the Opera), had been spying on them. On the day they were going to elope, Erik kidnaps her during a performance of Faust at the opera house. Raoul then, along with the mysterious man known only as The Persian, goes down into the cellars of the Opera in an attempt to rescue Christine. He and the Persian endure near-drowning and torture in a mirrored, super-heated chamber before Erik eventually relents due to Christine's willingness to sacrifice her happiness for Raoul's life. Raoul nearly commits suicide under torture, and, when Christine's marriage promise to Erik saves them, has to be put to bed by Erik because of a poison that has left him "limp as a rag."

In Gaston Leroux's novel, The Phantom of the Opera, Raoul is described as having a 'small, fair mustache, beautiful blue eyes, and a complexion like a girl's and an air of "just having left the women's apron-strings."' His elder brother and former guardian, Comte Philippe de Chagny, is a man of the world who indulges in dalliances with the Opera's ballerinas and is exasperated by his brother's attachment to "the little baggage" Christine. Philippe is later drowned by Erik when he goes looking for Raoul in the cellars of the Opera.

Raoul is described as 'having been petted by his two sisters and his aunt' and spoiled as a child, but he is very kind-hearted. Raoul has been to sea, and had plans to go on a rescue expedition to the North Pole before falling in love with Christine. Christine decided they would play at being engaged as was scheduled to leave the country, although she later begged him to take her away from the Phantom, no matter how much she resisted later. He is puzzled and sometimes angered by her allegiance to Erik, and thinks that she may be toying with his heart. He is the youngest member of his family, with an older brother (Philippe De Chagny) and two sisters already married. However, in the film adaptation of the Lloyd Webber musical, he mentions his still living parents (who had died long before the events of the novel) because if his parents were dead he would no longer be the Viscount, but the Count himself.

Other versions[edit]

Film[edit]

Theater[edit]