The Perfect Species?

Topics: The Count of Monte Cristo, Odysseus, Human Pages: 5 (1835 words) Published: January 8, 2013
Many believe that humans are the perfect species. Many believe that no other species in the universe can compare to the intellect and emotional stability of humans. Although this is the popular belief for the majority of the public, many philosophers say this is not the case. Humans are far from perfect and various authors and journalists, directors and philosophers exemplify how humans are flawed daily through their works. Alexandre Dumas and Homer are two particular authors/philosophers that not only show why humans are not the perfect species but also just how flawed they are. In Dumas’ book The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes, the son of a poor fisherman lives a perfect life with his fiancée and father. His friends however recognizes that though they are richer and better off than Edmond, they are not nearly as happy which leads them to frame Edmond for treason and that gets him sent off to jail for 14 years, while in jail the only thing that kept Edmond going was the thought of revenge. As for Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus, the king of Ithaca having won the Trojan War is trying to return back home to his wife and son but is lost at sea. Back on his island however suitors of Odysseus’ wife has taken over his palace in attempts to marry his wife. Dumas and Homer exemplify how flawed humans are as a species in their books, The Count of Monte Cristo and Odyssey, through their characters undying envy and need for revenge which in turn portrays their view on society and humans as a whole. Envy is an ugly thing, it brings the worst out of people, in addition, most of the time the envious not only fail to get what they truly want but also ruin the lives of several happy people along the way. This is shown when both Fernand Mondago and Antinous allowed their envy to get the better of them and plot harm to innocent men. Antinous, the leader of the suitors who gave in to the envy of his king Odysseus and decided to become a suitor for the king’s wife, Penelope and plotted to kill the king’s son, Telemachus. Fernand Mondago was so envious of his best friend Edmond Dantes that he framed him to go to prison in order to start an affair with Edmond’s fiancée, Mercedes: “Dantes doesn’t deserve Mercedes; just what does she see in him [...] doesn’t matter if he didn’t trick, rob or kill [...] he will all the same be arrested and taken away forever” (Dumas 37). The following quote is of Fernand Mondago telling Donglars that Edmond Dantes doesn’t deserve to have Mercedes fall in love with him and that despite his innocence, they can still have him arrested. Moving on, Antinous, the leader of the suitors who gave in to the envy of his king Odysseus and decided to become a suitor for the wife of his king, He and Penelope plotted to kill Telemachus, the son of the very same king out at war: “The fair lady that is Penelope married to a man who is out there probably dead is pure unjust [...] I will seek her hand in marriage and have her forget about our so called king within weeks” (Homer 87). This quote is of Antinous expressing his feelings about how Penelope should not be married to Odysseus due to the fact that he is lost at sea without anyone knowing of his whereabouts. He then says that he’s going to try and convince Penelope to marry him claiming he can get her to forget about Odysseus. In a biography written about Homer, it is stated that “although not much is known about Homer’s identity, his works often show him to be a dark and gloomy person”. This quote shows why Homer wrote that Odysseus kills all the suitors, the king killing the youngest and brightest young men in his island. On to the second comparative point, two characters who are naturally considered good people but both all the same gave into their envy are Caderousse and Amphinormus. In the Count of Monte Cristro, Caderousse didn’t want to do anything bad to Edmond but allowed his envy to get the better of him as he sat and watched knowing full well that he is allowing...
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