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The Count of Monte Cristo

by Alexandre Dumas père

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Which aliases does Edmond Dante use for characters in The Count of Monte Cristo?

Examples: Abbé Busoni for Caderousse, Sinbad the Sailor, Chief Clerk of Thompson and French, Lord Wilmore, the Count of Monte Cristo.

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In The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantès uses the alias "Abbé Busoni" for Caderousse, "Sinbad the Sailor" for Julie Morrel, "Chief Clerk of Thompson and French" for M. Morrel, "Lord Wilmore" for the Morrels, and "the Count of Monte Cristo" for many other characters.

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After he escapes from the Château d’If, Edmond Dantes will need to forge a new identity, and not content with one disguise, he chooses five different ones: Abbé Busoni, a clerk of the house of Thomson & French of Rome, Lord Wilmore, Sinbad the Sailor, and, of course, the Count of Monte Cristo.

It’s worth considering why Dantès chooses certain aliases for certain people. Dantès disguises himself as the Abbé Busoni, for instance, to speak with Caderousse, one of the men responsible for Dantès’s imprisonment (he was perhaps the least culpable of the men on whom Dantès seeks revenge). Appearing before a swine like Caderousse as a man of God is an example of Dantès’s belief that he is an avenging angel called by Providence. There is poetic justice at play here, too, since Caderousse never feels guilt for the role he played, never repents for what he does, and indeed becomes more and more immoral as the story proceeds.

Meanwhile, to his friends, Dantès usually appears as one of two disparate aliases: that of a clerk from an anonymous firm in Rome and that of a mysterious, occasionally Byronic, generous, and, to his enemies, avenging crusader known as the Count of Monte Cristo. There are parallels to modern literature and one of its famous split personalities: it’s easy to see the germination of the Clark Kent/Superman dichotomy when considering the unlikely duo of a quiet clerk from Thomson & French and the dynamic Count.

Sinbad the Sailor is used sparingly, and often with strangers as a means of acquiring information; his actions also take place in the background of the story. Dantès also plays with the personas occasionally, even mentioning that Lord Wilmore and the Count of Monte Cristo are enemies, for example.

Though it would seem that keeping track of all these different identities would cripple an ordinary person, Edmond Dantès is not an ordinary person. His control over his personas is seen as further proof in his eyes that he is on a mission from God.

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  1. Abbe Busoni for Caderousse
  2. Sinbad the Sailor for the Julie Morrel
  3. Chief Clerk of Thompson and French for M. Morrel
  4. Lord Wilmore for the Morrels
  5. The Count of Monte Cristo for  Baron Franz d’Espinay and Viscount Albert de Morcerf, Ferdnand de Morcerf and Mercedes, Baron and Madame Danglars, Monsieur Gerard and Madame de Villefort, Mlle. Valentine de Villefort, M. Noirtier, Benedetto, Maxmillian and Julie Morrel, M. Lucien Debray, M. Beauchamp, Comte de Chateau-Renaud, Luigi Vampa, Haydee, Bertuccio,

Abbe Busoni

After he sells some smaller diamonds from his treasure, Dantes disguises himself as the priest the Abbe Busoni in order to speak with Caderousse, one of the men involved in writing the letter implicating Edmund Dantes as a Bonapartist.  The Abbe tells Caderousse, now an improverished proprietor of the Inn of Pont Du Gard, who reveals that he was involved with the writing of the letter which sent Dantes to prison. Caderousse says that he lives with his guilt; convinced that Caderousse is sincere, Dantes gave him a large diamond to be distributed among his old friends.  While talking with Caderousse, the Abbe learns that his father has died of starvation even though Morrel left a red silk purse filled with gold for him.

Chief Clerk of Thompson and French

With the information gleaned from Caderousse, Dantes disguises himself as an English representative for the investment firm Thompson and French and visits the Mayor of Marseilles as well as the Inspector of Prisons, both of whom have large investments in Morrel's shipping business.  As the English clerk, Dantes purchases all the inspector's shares; then he asks to see the prison records for Abbe Faria. While looking at Faria's records, Dantes reads his own records and removes the incriminating letter written by Danglars that sent him to prison by order of Villefort. 

In Chapter XXIX, still disguised as the representative, Dantes visits the house of M. Morrel and learns of the shipowner's desperation.  Since he own much of the shares in Morrel's shipping company, Dantes offers him three months to make his debt good.  As he leaves, he tells Morrel's daughter to obey any instructions Sinbad the Sailor will give her.  Later, she receives the red silk purse which has a large diamond inside for her dowry.

Lord Wilmore

In Chapter LI, the Count of Monte Cristo visits Maxmillian and Julie and her husband. When Juliet shows him the red silk purse which contained a diamond for her dowry, Monte Cristo says he thinks the anonymous benefactor is a man he once knew, Lord Wilmore, who does not believe in true gratitude, but, nevertheless, performs generous acts.

The Count of Monte Cristo

The ultimate disguise for Emund Dantes is that of the Count of Monte Cristo, his persona for rewarding his friends, especially for counseling Maxmillian and protecting Valentine, and for seeking revenge upon his enemies, Danglars, de Villefort, and Ferdnand.  For some time, Monte Cristo perceives himself as an agent of divine Providence, but later he recognizes his sin of pride with the death of the innocent child, Edouard de Villefort.  At the novel's end, then, he writes the despairing Maxmillian for whom he rescues Valentine,

As for you , Maxmillian, here is the secret of my conduct toward you: there is neither happiness nor un happiness in this world; there is only the comparison of one state with another. On ly a man who has felt ultimate despair is capable of feeling ultimate bliss. it is necessary to have wished for death, Maximillian in order to know how good it is to live.


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