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Why did Dumas include Shakespeare's "The same thing that happened to Brutus the night...

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kathia1993 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 9, 2009 at 2:07 AM via web

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Why did Dumas include Shakespeare's "The same thing that happened to Brutus the night before the Battle of Philippi: I saw a ghost."

in The Count of Monte Cristo

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:11 AM (Answer #1)

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In Chapter 90 of The Count of Monte Cristo, it is the night before his duel with Albert de Morcerf, who has challenged him for dishonoring his father's reputation by exposing the criminal acts of Ferdinand de Morcerf. Albert's mother, Mercedes, has come to the Count of Monte Cristo, whom she has recognized as Edmund Dantes, and begs him to spare the life of her son:

"...I have seen him whom I loved on the point of murdering my son." 

"What do you ask of me?"  said he--"your son's life?  well, he shall live!"

Like Brutus, who sees the ghost of Caesar, who fortells seeing him in Phillippi, Edmund Dantes talks with the ghost of his love, Mercedes, and promises her that he will not kill her beloved son.  However, to save Albert, he must die; thus Mercedes, like Caesar, places a virtual sentence of death upon Edmond Dantes.  This is why he bemoans the incompletion of his plans of revenge as he writes out a codicil to his will and contemplates that he will die, like Brutus, rather than be dishonored by any intervention by Mercedes.

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