Romanticism Revived and Revealed in The Count of Monte Cristo
The film of The Count of Monte Cristo directed by Kevin Reynolds embodies a wide range of characteristics specific to romantic literature such as a love of nature, a respect for primitivism, and a value of the common man. Almost immediately, another romantic idea is revealed: the distinct separation between the working and aristocratic class, along with the belief that many of the ill wills of society result from this privileged upper class. Reynolds portrays these concepts typical of the French Romantic era, from which The Count of Monte Cristo originates, by calling attention to the bond between nature and man’s freedom, the ironic complexity of common man, and the insignificance of wealth in terms of one’s happiness, through the development of the character, Edmond Dantès.
Throughout Reynolds’s film, the romantic idea that man is born free, but is chained and restricted everywhere other than in nature reoccurs in a variety of ways. One of the first instances in which this concept (that stems from the teachings of Rousseau) is revealed, is when Abbé Faria is digging his tunnel out from the prison and exclaims: “Oh my god! Roots! Plant roots! If these are plant roots then we are only months away” (Reynolds). After decades of extensive imprisonment, seeing this plant root emerge from the soil was promising and it made escape in the near future and eventual freedom appear probable. Even the slightest presence of nature instilled a sense of hope; something that was indeed scarce under the circumstances of the prisoners of Chateau D’if. Nature once again portrays freedom after Edmond Dantès manages to in fact escape from his captors and wakes up on the shore of a beach a few miles off from the facility. When Dantès escapes from prison, he plunges into the ocean and frolics about, experiencing a second baptism and a renewed dedication of his soul to God (Reynolds). Dantès emerges from prison...
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