Skip over navigation

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

full title  ·  The Count of Monte Cristo (Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, in the original French)

author  · Alexandre Dumas

type of work  · Novel

genre  · Adventure; Romantic novel; moralistic tale

language  · French

time and place written  · 1844, France

date of first publication  · Published serially from August 1844 until January 1846

publisher  ·  Le Journal des Débats

narrator  · The novel is narrated by an anonymous voice.

point of view  · The narrator speaks in the third person, focusing almost entirely on outward action and behavior rather than delving into the psychological realities of the characters.

tone  · The narrator is detached from the story, relating the events as they happen.

tense  · Present

setting (time)  · The novel takes place during the years following the fall of Napoleon’s empire. The story begins in 1815 and ends in 1844.

setting (place)  · Though most of the action takes place in Paris, key scenes are also set in Marseilles, Rome, Monte Cristo, Greece, and Constantinople.

protagonist  · Edmond Dantès

major conflict  · Unjustly imprisoned, Dantès’s seeks to punish those responsible for his incarceration; as the vengeful Count of Monte Cristo, he struggles to transcend his human nature and act as an agent of divine retribution.

rising action · In prison, Dantès meets Abbé Faria, who unravels the mystery of Dantès’s downfall; Dantès vows to spend his fortune on an obsessive quest to reward those who have been kind to him and to punish those who have harmed him; Dantès visits Caderousse and confirms the details of the events leading up to his incarceration; Dantès eases himself into the lives of those responsible for his time in prison.

climax · Dantès slowly brings complete devastation upon Caderousse, Fernand, Villefort, and Danglars.

falling action  · Dantès enables the blissful union of Maximilian Morrel and Val-entine Villefort; Dantès finally opens himself to emotions other than gratitude and vengeance and admits his love for Haydée.

themes  · The limits of human justice; relative versus absolute happiness; love versus alienation

motifs  · Names; suicide; politics

symbols  · The sea; the red silk purse; the elixir

foreshadowing  · Abbé Faria’s apology to Dantès; the painting of Mercédès looking out to sea suggests her undying love for Dantès.

More Help

Previous Next
Sultan of Monte Cristo-The Sequel

by keitht7, July 15, 2012

The Sultan of Monte Cristo is a return to the great classic writing of

the late 19th century.Written as a sequel to the long time loved and

treasured adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo,Sultan of

Monte Cristo pays great tribute to the original by remaining full of

intrigue and adding more seductive romance with the harem of the

Sultan.
The many exploites of the Sultan leaves you wondering how could

this astonishing work of literary art be so captivating while keeping

to the ... Read more

0 Comments

23 out of 76 people found this helpful

WARNING!!!!!

by KingSize4, May 02, 2013

This for the full version if your not reading the full version this will get you even more confused than the book does. The Count of Monte Christo is a good book but not when your confused about the Plot i'm in the middle of reading it and think the spark notes really help.

0 Comments

5 out of 8 people found this helpful

Not done yet- Many Characters

by thereader77, October 16, 2013

Keep track of the many characters in this novel - the notes so far are far off from the chapter notes. Chapters listed here are incorrect. wait for further notes.

See all 4 readers' notes   →

Follow Us