January 06, 2022

#08-175: The Count of Monte Cristo

Cover of the Classic Comics version

Note: This classic tale of revenge remains popular, having been produced at least 50 times for film and television, in many languages.

Get Ready: Why do you think Stories about revenge--the righting of a wrong--are so popular?

Who doesn't love a great revenge story? And French author Alexandre Dumas the elder's 1844 Count of Monte Cristo is one of the greatest of them all. Along with The Three Musketeers, it is one of Dumas's most popular works.

The story takes place from 1815-1839, a time of great upheaval in Europe in general and France in particular.

A dying ship's captain gives a nineteen-year-old Frenchman named Edmond Dantes a package to deliver. Dantes is supposed to marry a woman named Mercedes, but a shipmate named Danglars, and Fernand Mondego--Mercedes's cousin and a rival for her affection--accuse Dantes of being a supporter of the disgraced Napoleon, using the contents of the package as "evidence."

Dantes is arrested the day of his wedding. To prevent him from speaking publicly and exposing the political sympathies of several government officials, including one magistrate named Villefort, he is imprisoned without a trial or appeals.

After six years Dantes meets the Abbé Faria, a priest who has tunneled into his cell. The priest makes Dantes an educated man, and before he dies tells him the location of a treasure on the Island of Monte Cristo. After Dantes escapes in the sack supposed to hold Faria's body, he recovers the treasure, and buys both the island and a title to go with it: The Count of Monte Cristo.

Disguised as a priest, he discovers the names of the men who betrayed him. Mercedes has married Mondego, and they have a son named Albert. Both Danglars and Mondego have become quite successful.

Dantes travels to the east to study and make a plan, and reappears nine years later, now as the wealthy Count. He begins his move to exact revenge on three men--Danglars, Mondego, and Villefort--by arranging for Mercedes's son Albert to be kidnapped. After he "rescues" him, the young man then introduces "the Count" into Parisian society.

Dantes destroys a large portion of Danglars' fortune by manipulating the bond market; through many sub-plots, he causes Mondego to kill himself; and he exposes Villefort's crimes. When the magistrate learns that "the Count" is really Dantes, this news drives him insane. In the end, though, Dantes decides that it is wrong to "play God," and leaves for the east with a new love.


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Count_of_Monte_Cristo

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. affection
  2. betrayed
  3. disgraced
  4. disguised
  5. exact
  6. insane
  7. manipulating
  8. revenge
  9. rival
  10. tunneled

  1. shamed; having lost one's reputation
  2. dressed; appearing
  3. one competing for the same thing
  4. demand; require
  5. mad; crazy
  6. love
  7. dug a hole to crawl through
  8. the act of getting even
  9. managing or influencing skillfully
  10. exposed by treachery

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for January 6, 2022

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. f; 2. j; 3. a; 4. b; 5. d; 6. e; 7. i; 8. h; 9. c; 10. g