Why is The Count of Monte Cristo considered a classic?

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The term "classic" can sometimes be overused or applied too liberally. For this writer, a classic is a well-crafted work which remains entertaining and/or relevant despite its age. With that criteria in mind, The Count of Monte Cristo certainly fits the bill.

Firstly, The Count of Monte Cristo is considered...

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The term "classic" can sometimes be overused or applied too liberally. For this writer, a classic is a well-crafted work which remains entertaining and/or relevant despite its age. With that criteria in mind, The Count of Monte Cristo certainly fits the bill.

Firstly, The Count of Monte Cristo is considered a great adventure story, much like Treasure Island. It features exotic locales and suspenseful action. No matter what era you're living in, a good adventure yarn is always fun.

Secondly, the story deals with universal themes: vengeance and love. Edmond seeks revenge for those who wrongly imprisoned him and took from him the chance to wed the woman he loved. Love also plays a big role because eventually Edmond finds greater peace in the arms of Haydee. He lost his old life, but has been reborn into a newer one.

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A classic is a novel with a universal theme that has lasted the test of time. In addition to being timeless, its appeal is to various ages as it can be read on different levels. These criteria are met by Alexandre Dumas's "The Count of Monte Cristo."

While the theme of Dumas's novel appears at first to be revenge and can be read as such, the astute reader will perceive that Edmund Dantes does find redemption through his love for the Morrel family and his charity. Either theme, of course, is universal. The action of the plot is interesting to readers of all ages; young readers are intrigued with the imprisonment of Dantes, his escape, and discovery of a buried treasure. Then, his return to wreak justice on his enemies is also exciting. The development of character makes them come to life for young readers while more mature readers find interest in following the destruction of them by the Count as he cleverly uses their own flaws as tools for their demise. Of course, a good love story is a pleasure to everyone, and there are a couple of these in this novel. And, for the history buff, there is the setting of the 100 days in which the king is restored after Napoleon has been deposed.

"The Count of Monte Cristo" has all the elements of a classic: universal theme, great characters, intriguing plot, interesting setting, and a timeless (Romantic) point of view, all written by an accomplished writer.

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