What are the major conflicts in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The major external conflict in the story is the ongoing struggle between the Musketeers and Cardinal Richelieu's guards. This external conflict is related to D'Artagnan's own inner conflict. He's young, impetuous, and filled with pride. Shortly after he arrives in Paris his pride gets the better of him as he challenges, in turn, each of the Three Musketeers to a duel. Thankfully, for D'Artagnan, the arrival of the cardinal's guards gives him a chance to channel his pride in a more positive direction, joining with the Musketeers to fight against them. To some extent, D'Artagnan's inner conflict between his youth and his desire to become a man of honor is resolved.

Another conflict is still troubling D'Artagnan, though. He's just a humble country boy from a poor background and so naturally feels a sense of social inferiority to the aristocrats whose world he now inhabits. D'Artagnan is naturally brave, if still occasionally foolhardy, but there's a sense that he's constantly trying to prove himself—to show the world that, whatever his background, he has nobility of spirit.

In all his actions, he is playing the role of aristocrat. Whether it's saving Constance from being kidnapped, or retrieving the Queen's jewels to save her from public disgrace, or even just engaging in a brief skirmish with the cardinal's men, D'Artagnan is actively playing up to the role of noble blade. And it's not until the end of the swashbuckling tale, when D'Artagnan is finally commissioned as a lieutenant in the Musketeers, that the conflict between the naive country boy and his aristocratic self-image is fully resolved.

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One major conflict can be found in Chapter 26, in which Aramis struggles between love and religion. 

"As long as a person loves, and is loved in return, and knows the whereabouts of his beloved, religious matters rarely fill one with anguish. But if one feels rejected in love, as does Aramis, then a viable alternative to love in this world is a religious life in a monastery. That is, when Aramis thinks that he has been rejected, he turns to religion for solace.

However, when Aramis receives a letter from his beloved—Madame de Chevreuse, the friend of the queen whom the king suspected of connivance and banished to Tours—Aramis becomes ecstatic. He immediately disavows his religious plans and tells d’Artagnan that he is bursting with happiness. He rejects the religiously correct meal of spinach and eggs, and, instead, he orders meat, game, fowl, and the bottle of wine which he rejected only moments earlier. Here, in this typical romantic novel, the power of love once again triumphs."

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moniperdomo | Student

i really dont know i havent read the book.


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revolution | Student
  • to protect the honor of the Queen by concealing her affair with the King of Buckingham
  • The next conflict was between the musketeers when they set out to duel with each other at the first part of the story
  • The final conflict was between Athos and his former lover, who is actually Milady, mastermind behind all of the terrible deeds and destructions.
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