The Count of Monte Cristo

Chapter 20

With this descent into vengeance, how do you see his plan working thus far?

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In chapter 20 Dantes suggests they all attend a public execution in the square. This prompts a discussion of various methods of executions, a topic that the Count knows a great deal about. He tells Albert that he does not find decapitation a suitable punishment for many offenses. For example, crimes that cause immense human suffering should not be punished so quickly. The offender should first be made to suffer slowly. Dentes has cleary spent years reflecting on what his vengeance should look like.

Dantes knows that in order to exact his revenge he must have access to his intended victims. Thus, he needs to become a member of the upper crust nobility. By entertaining Albert and Franz, he is really scheming to enter the Parisian society by winning Albert de Morcerf's favor. Thus, every gesture made by Dantes in his role as The Count will be premeditated and calculated.

This scene is the first of the "plot" scenes, where Dantes begins to construct the web by which he will destroy Danglers, Villefort and Fernand. He has the patience (after all he was imprisoned for fourteen years) to construct the perfect plot to strike at his enemies. His discussion of punishments with Albert and Franz foreshadows that his enemies' downfall will not be painless. He believes in an eye for an eye, and thus, since he has suffered so much, his enemies will suffer a great deal.