The Limits of Human Justice- Edmond Dantès takes justice into his own hands because he is dismayed by the limitations of society’s criminal justice system. Societal justice has allowed his enemies to slip through the cracks, going unpunished for the heinous crimes they have committed against him. Moreover, even if his enemies’ crimes were uncovered, Dantès does not believe that their punishment would be true justice. Though his enemies have caused him years of emotional anguish, the most that they themselves would be forced to suffer would be a few seconds of pain, followed by death. Relative versus Absolute Happiness- A great deal separates the sympathetic from the unsympathetic characters. The trait that is most consistently found among the sympathetic characters and lacking among the unsympathetic is the ability to assess one’s circumstances in such a way as to feel satisfaction and happiness with one’s life. Dantès claims that “There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more.” In simpler terms, what separates the good from the bad in The Count of Monte Cristo is that the good appreciate the good things they have, however small, while the bad focus on what they lack. Love versus Alienation- Dantès declares himself an exile from humanity during the years in which he carries out his elaborate scheme of revenge. He feels cut off not only from all countries, societies, and individuals but also from normal human emotions. Dantès is unable to experience joy, sorrow, or excitement; in fact, the only emotions he is capable of feeling are vengeful hatred and occasional gratitude. It is plausible that Dantès’s extreme social isolation and narrow range of feeling are simply the result of his obsession with his role as the agent of Providence. It is not difficult to imagine that a decade-long devotion to a project like Dantès’s might take a dramatic toll on one’s psychology. CHARACTERS
Edmond Dantès - The protagonist of the novel. Dantès is an intelligent, honest, and loving man who turns bitter and vengeful after he is framed for a crime he does not commit. When Dantès finds himself free and enormously wealthy, he takes it upon himself to act as the agent of Providence, rewarding those who have helped him in his plight and punishing those responsible for his years of agony The Count of Monte Cristo - The identity Dantès assumes when he emerges from prison and inherits his vast fortune. As a result, the Count of Monte Cristo is usually associated with a coldness and bitterness that comes from an existence based solely on vengeance. Lord Wilmore - The identity of an eccentric English nobleman that Dantès assumes when committing acts of random generosity. Lord Wilmore contrasts sharply with Monte Cristo, who is associated with Dantès’s acts of bitterness and cruelty. Appropriately, Monte Cristo cites Lord Wilmore as one of his enemies. Abbé Busoni - Another of Dantès’s false personas. The disguise of Abbé Busoni, an Italian priest, helps Dantès gain the trust of the people whom the count wants to manipulate because the name connotes religious authority. Sinbad the Sailor - The name Dantès uses as the signature for his anonymous gift to Morrel. Sinbad the Sailor is also the persona Dantès adopts during his time in Italy
SETTING (TIME & PLACE) - the novel takes place during the years following the fall of Napoleon’s empire. The story begins in 1815 and ends in 1844. Though most of the action takes place in Paris, key scenes are also set in Marseilles, Rome, Monte Cristo, Greece, and Constantinople.
NARRATIVE OF THE MOVIE “THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO”
Edmond Dantès has been betrayed by a neighbor, a coworker, a friend, a fiancée and an officer of the law, and following a lengthy imprisonment in terrible conditions, he escapes and uses the knowledge and wealth that has been given to him by a fellow prisoner to exact his revenge on all of these...
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