Presentation on theme: "The Count of Monte Cristo. AUTHOR: Alexandre Dumas PUBLISHED: 1844 SETTING: The story takes place in France, Italy islands in the Mediterranean and the."— Presentation transcript:
AUTHOR: Alexandre Dumas PUBLISHED: 1844 SETTING: The story takes place in France, Italy islands in the Mediterranean and the Levant during the historical events of 1815–1838 (from just before the Hundred Days through to the reign of Louis-Phillippe of France)
ALEXANDRE DUMAS ALEXANDRE DUMAS WAS BORN in 1802 in the village of Villers- Cotterêts, fifty miles northeast of Paris. His father, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, had been a general under Napoleon, and died in 1806 leaving the family almost penniless. Dumas taught himself to read and as a child he was especially fond of adventure stories and mythology. He was determined to become an author himself and in 1820 made his way to Paris to do so. His first play, Henry III and His Court, thrust Dumas into the limelight as one of the forerunners of the emergent French Romantic movement, which emphasized excitement, adventure, and high emotion in an attempt to rebel against the conservative climate of the Restoration period that followed the French Revolution. Like his Romantic colleagues, Dumas believed in the principles of social equality and individual rights, and he tried to infuse his dramatic works with these principles. Dumas went further than writing about his beliefs, however. He took an active role in the Revolution of 1830. As a result he was not popular with the new king, and left France in exile.
ALEXANDRE DUMAS When he returned to Paris, he continued to write frequently. In 1844, the same year he published The Three Musketeers, Dumas began the serialization of The Count of Monte Cristo. He continued writing prolifically for most of his life, publishing his last novel, The Prussian Terror, in 1867, three years before his death. Dumas also found the time to live like one of his dashing, dramatic, reckless heroes. He was constantly engaged in love affairs, foreign adventures, and exorbitant spending. He was also a generous man, granting money and gifts to virtually anyone who asked. Dumas’s self- indulgent lifestyle and excessive generosity eventually took a toll on his finances. By the time he suffered a stroke in 1870, he was far from a rich man, despite the fact that he had earned millions of dollars in his lifetime. He died in December 1870 at the home of his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas the younger. Dumas’s greatest gift was his ability to grant epic proportion to existing stories
Historical Context The novel takes place during the years following the fall of Napoleon’s empire. The story begins in 1815 and ends in 1844. Though most of the action takes place in Paris, key scenes are also set in Marseilles, Rome, Monte Cristo, Greece, and Constantinople. The Count of Monte Cristo is a novel set firmly in history, with many key plot points based on external political events. The key figure in French politics during the first quarter of the nineteenth century was Napoleon Bonaparte, who, though he does not appear in the novel, plays such a significant role that he can almost be counted as one of the major characters. Napoleon was a general who rose to prominence during the French Revolution, which occurred in 1789. He saved the revolutionary government from an angry mob and led the French army to victories over Austria, Italy, and Egypt, claiming all of these lands for France. In 1799, Napoleon led a coup against the existing government of France and formed a consulate, installing himself as its dictatorial leader.
Major Characters Edmond Dantès - a young man who is wrongfully improsoned; later known as the Count of Monte Cristo; sometimes called Abbe Busoni, Lord Wilmore, or Sinbad the Sailor Danglars- an employee of Morrel; later a Parisian banker Mercedes- Edmond’s beautiful and good fiancée Abbé Faria - A priest and brilliant thinker whom Dantès meets in prison. Abbé Faria becomes Dantès’s intellectual father: during their many years as prisoners, and bequeaths to Dantès his vast hidden fortune. Fernand Mondego - Dantès’s rival for Mercédès’s affections. Baron Danglars - A greedy, envious cohort of Mondego. Caderousse - A lazy, drunk, and greedy man who is somewhat involved in the plot against Dantès. Gérard de Villefort - The blindly ambitious public prosecutor responsible for sentencing Dantès to life in prison. Monsieur Morrel - The kind, honest shipowner who was once Dantès’s boss. Morrel does everything in his power to free Dantès from prison and tries to save Dantès’s father from death. His one true friend. Louis Dantès - Dantès’s father. Maximilian Morrel - The son of Monsieur Morrel. Brave and honorable like his father, Maximilian becomes Dantès’s primary beneficiary. Albert de Morcerf - The son of Fernand Mondego and Mercédès. Unlike his father, Albert is brave, honest, and kind. Valentine Villefort - Villefort’s saintly and beautiful daughter. Haydée - The daughter of Ali Pacha; Haydée is sold into slavery after her father is betrayed by Mondego and murdered. Dantès purchases Haydée’s freedom.
The Age of Progress The 19 th Century – A Steady Acceleration of Science – The Belief that Material Progress would lead to universal well-being and happiness – Belief that they are about to become the greatest culture the world has seen The Plight of the Poor – As the century progressed, the evils caused by industrialization increased and the gap between aristocrats and the impoverished factory laborer and peasants widened. – Also, major gap between the rich and powerful nations of Europe and their subjects in their colonial empires.
Romanticism: Take Notes Romanticism refers to a movement in art, literature, and music during the 19 th century. Romanticism is characterized by the 5 “I”s Imagination Imagination Intuition Intuition Idealism Idealism Inspiration Inspiration Individuality Individuality
Imagination Imagination was emphasized over “reason.” This was a backlash against the rationalism characterized by the Neoclassical period or “Age of Reason.” Imagination was considered necessary for creating all art. British writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge called it “intellectual intuition.”
Intuition Romantics placed value on “intuition,” or feeling and instincts, over reason. Emotions were important in Romantic art. British Romantic William Wordsworth described poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”
Idealism Idealism is the concept that we can make the world a better place. Idealism refers to any theory that emphasizes the spirit, the mind, or language over matter – thought has a crucial role in making the world the way it is. Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, held that the mind forces the world we perceive to take the shape of space-and- time.
Inspiration The Romantic artist, musician, or writer, is an “inspired creator” rather than a “technical master.” What this means is “going with the moment” or being spontaneous, rather than “getting it precise.”
Individuality Romantics celebrated the individual. During this time period, Women’s Rights and Abolitionism were taking root as major movements. Walt Whitman, a later Romantic writer, would write a poem entitled “Song of Myself”: it begins, “I celebrate myself…”
Origins Romanticism began to take root as a movement following the French Revolution. The publication of Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1792 is considered the beginning of literary Romanticism.
The Arts Romanticism was a movement across all the arts: visual art, music, and literature. All of the arts embraced themes prevalent in the Middle Ages: chivalry, courtly love. Literature and art from this time depicted these themes. Music (ballets and operas) illustrated these themes. Shakespeare came back into vogue.
Visual Arts Neoclassical art was rigid, severe, and unemotional; it hearkened back to ancient Greece and Rome Romantic art was emotional, deeply- felt, individualistic, and exotic. It has been described as a reaction to Neoclassicism, or “anti-Classicism.”
Visual Arts: Examples Neoclassical Art Romantic Art
Music “Classical” musicians included composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Josef Haydn. Romantic musicians included composers like Frederic Chopin, Franz Lizst, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Literature In America, Romanticism most strongly impacted literature. Writers explored supernatural and gothic themes. Writers wrote about nature – Transcendentalists believed G-d was in nature, unlike “Age of Reason” writers like Franklin and Jefferson, who saw G-d as a “divine watchmaker,” who created the universe and left it to run itself.
Romantic Writers Came to see themselves as rebels, passionately devoted to personal freedom in reaction against their own times (becoming uglier and more commercialized), they used as background for their works a simpler, more mysterious time of the past or some far away place. Turned from Emphasis on rationalism to an acceptance of importance of Human Feelings. Glorification of nature and ultimate truth of individual experience.
Characteristics of Romanticism SentimentalityNature EmotionalSimplicity (Noble Savage) ImaginativeRemote (Past, Far Away) Common ManMelancholy Human FreedomDeath and Anticipation Non-ConformityTerror Rural Life
Romantic Adventure Stories Sympathy for obvious hero/ dislike for obvious villains Novel has great adventure Hero has most noble qualities Hero often put to test- survives well Narrative Plot is most important focus, not character development Success depends on capturing readers’ interest