English III AP
20 September 2005
The Count of Monte Cristo: An Annotated Bibliography
“Alexander Dumas.” The Spectator 43, No. 2216 (1870): 1506-1507. Rpt. in Nineteenth
Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Laurie L. Harris. Vol. 11. Detroit: Gale, 1986.
60-62. In this essay, the author compares the entire story to an enormous
daydream. He notes the lack of details in the story as being the reason for it
having a dream-like quality, mainly the part between Dantés’ escape from the
Chateau d’If and his arrival as a count in Italy. The actions performed by the
Count are possible, yet the occurrence of them involving the same person would
be uncommon. The writer blames the unrealistic actions of Dantés on the color of
Dumas’ skin, which was “tropical”. This is a rather racist view on Dumas and the
fact that the author blames the many problems on his skin color is a testament to
his racist tendencies, therefore creating doubt in the fairness of the criticism.
Aubrey, Bryan. “Critical Essay on The Count of Monte Cristo.” Novels for Students. Vol.
19. Gale Research, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Gale Group. Mayde Creek
High School Library, Houston, TX. 9 September 2005
<http://galenet.galegroup.com>. Aubrey is voicing how Dumas used many
different allusions in writing The Count of Monte Cristo. The comparison of
Dantés to a Byronic hero is just superficial, as the Count is not guilty of any
transgression against society, which was just something to add to the “literary
pot”. He compared the Count to Lord Ruthven from The Vampyre, as both had
escaped from death to exact revenge on the living. It is also apparent that Dumas
used several of Shakespeare’s characters in developing the Count.
Marinetti, Amelita. “Death, Resurrection, and Fall in Dumas’ ‘Comte de Monte-Cristo.’”
The French Review 50, No. 2 (1976): 260-269. Rpt. in Nineteenth Century
Literature Criticism. Ed. Laurie L. Harris. Vol. 11. Detroit: Gale, 1986. 83-86.
Marinetti believes that the hero, Dantés, goes through two cycles, which are
defined as the fall and the resurrection. The first cycle began when Dantés was
thrown into the Chateau d’If, followed by his resurrection when Faria gives
Dantés “much knowledge, wisdom, wealth, and strength of character to make it
possible to play the role of a god…”. The second occurred after all of the revenge
was wrecked upon the Count’s enemies, he became corrupted in the process. He
does his best to right his wrongs against the innocent by helping Maximilien
reunite with his love Valentine. She briefly covers the motif of temptation and the
main theme of the book, which is to “wait and hope” for the right moment.
Oliphant, Margaret. “Alexandre Dumas.” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine 114, No.
693 (1873): 111-130. Rpt. in Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Laurie
L. Harris. Vol. 11. Detroit: Gale, 1986. 65-66. Oliphant argues that Dantés is a
character with which people can identify, but that the Count is not. Dantés is a
person similar to the reader, while the Count is absorbed with revenge that he is
like a magician and cannot easily be identified with. She also says the book is
framed after Arabian Nights, stating that both are tales of retribution. She reveals
that nothing is forced in the tale of Dantés, like the agony he experiences when he
is separated from his family and imprisoned in the Chateau d’If. The Count’s
desire for revenge is petty and causes the reader to lose sympathy, almost to the
point of caring more for the victims of his deeds. This feels like an accurate
depiction of the Count’s never-ending desire for revenge, which leads to the
destruction of many lives, including that of his former love Mercedes.
Santsbury, George. “Alexandre Dumas.” The Fortnightly Review 24, No. 17 (1878): 527-
542. Rpt. in Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Laurie L. Harris. Vol.
11. Detroit: Gale, 1986. 69. In this essay, the author gives a strong
characterization of Edmond Dantés. He views the novel as a waste, except for the
narrative of Dantés. Santsbury focuses on the book’s lack of description about the
characters and the plot. He feels as though this was written by Balzac because so
many of his ideas for characters were incorporated in the book. This critique
seems like a stretch because I feel that the book was very descriptive of its
“The Chronicler of Romance: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo”. Twayne’s World Authors.
Gale Group. Mayde Creek High School Library, Houston, TX. 9 September 2005
<http://galenet.galegroup.com>. The author emphasizes the impact of realism in
The Count of Monte Cristo. He points out how actual people were used as
characters in the book. For example, he compares the character of Dantés to
Picaud, the person who actually experienced the events of unfair imprisonment
and then took revenge upon his enemies. But perhaps the most significant of the
literary elements is the setting. The point of the story was to make the realistic
imagery tangible, to make the impossible possible. The author mentions how, like
d’Artangnan, the fictional character of the Count has become “historical”. People
traced the life of the characters as though they existed after the book’s
publication. While the characters are just a figure of the people’s imagination and
show how plausible the book’s characters can be, Dumas goes the extra mile to
incorporate the settings of the characters’ lives to make the characters seem more