What is The Count of Monte Cristo about?
Have you read the analysis of this novel here on eNotes? It gives you an excellent overview of what this novel is about. It is an interesting and fast-paced adventure story that also has important themes of love, revenge, justice and redemption. It also is partly historical fiction because it is set mostly in France from the end of the Napoleonic years to the early 1840s. In fact, Napoleon himself appears in the plot!
Edmund Dantes is a young French sailor who is betrayed by his fellow sailor Danglars (who is jealous of Edmund's promotion) and his best friend Fernand (who is jealous of Edmund's fiancee, Mercedes). Edmund is imprisoned in the Chateau D'If (which really exists, by the way). In prison, an old man, Abbé Faria, befriends Edmund and they work together on a secret tunnel to escape the prison. The Abbe dies, however, and Edmund puts himself in the death shroud and is transported out of the prison. The Abbe has told him of a treasure, which he locates. Edmund is now a rich man and transforms himself into the Count of Monte Cristo. Thus begins his life of revenge.
Edmund sets out to avenge himself on all who have wronged him, but in the end, he realizes that vengeance belongs to God, not to man, and he is redeemed by Mercedes' love. Mercedes has been forced to marry Fernand because she was pregnant with Edmund's child.............it's complicated...........but the theme shows that vengeance is ugly and destructuve and even though there is little justice in this world, love conquers all.