In "The Count of Monte Cristo" what elements in the characterization of Edmund Dantes have not followed the typical pattern of a hero or villain?I would like for the elements to be pointed out...

In "The Count of Monte Cristo" what elements in the characterization of Edmund Dantes have not followed the typical pattern of a hero or villain?

I would like for the elements to be pointed out with maybe a few examples, please.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Having possessed a naivete and a Romantic nature blinded to the treachery of others, Edmund Dantes becomes disillusioned with life and embroiled in bitterness after he is thrown into prison in the Chateau d'If.  As a prisoner, Dantes learns from the abbe and dwells on revenge.  However, after he escapes and finds the treasure willed to him by the beloved teacher, Dantes yet retains his inherent goodness.  For, he makes two promises:  one to the abbe that he will donate part of the fortune to help others, and another to use this fortune to avenge the injustices done him as a youth. Before beginning his dastardly plans, Dantes assures that a little red purse arrives at the home of the desperate M. Morrel, who has lost his last merchant ship.  This purse contains a gem that saves Morrel from financial ruin.  So, Dantes plays the good angel as well as the dark angel. 

For the most part, Edmund Dantes becomes the Bryonic hero, the anti-hero, since his goals are antithetical to the ones of the traditional hero.  For instance, he saves the son of Mme de Villefort so that she will be impressed by the vials of herbs and medicines that the Count of Monte Cristo possesses.  Yet, in his design to have de Villefort destroyed, Monte Cristo cannot allow the innocent Valentine, whom the son of his old employer loves, to be destroyed also.  So, like the deus ex machina of ancient Greek plays, Monte Cristo intervenes with fate, and in saving Valentine he designs a plan to also save the despairing Maximillian Morrel.

As he completes his plan to destroy his last enemy, Ferdinand, Comte de Morcerf, Monte Cristo has the "glove thrown" by Albert de Morcerf, who challenges the Count because he has insulted his father's character.  Set to sacrifice the son for revenge against the father, Edmund Dantes sees the tears of the mother of Albert, Mercedes, and he spares the life of the son of the woman whom he has continued to love.

Having accomplished his acts of revenge against his enemies, the Count of Monte Cristo/Edmund Dantes experiences a resurrection of the soul of his youth and is able to love Haydee.  He tells her,

'God has sustained me against my enemies and I see now He does not wish me to end my triumph with repentance.  I intended punishing myself, but God has pardoned me! Love me, Haydee!  Who knows?  perhaps your love will help me to forget all I do not wish to remember!'

At the end of the novel, the anti-hero Edmund Dantes/aka/"The Count of Monte Cristo" admonishes Maxmillian,

Live and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget that, until the day comes when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these words:  Wait and hope!



enote55 | Student

hey buddy,

This was meant for you to figure out. GO GET a life. Stop playing video games and start learning!

LOL ownt?




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The Count of Monte Cristo

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