Dantes, the naïve sailor from Marseilles, is imprisoned as a political criminal in the Chateau D'If. Those he trusted imprison him. He remains in prison for fourteen years. He no longer is the same man once he breaks free, the lion of vengeance has grown in his soul. Revenge is reason for living now. Dantes assumes the role of the Italian priest, Abbe Busoni as well as the role of the Count of Monte Cristo to avenge the wrongs committed against the hopeful nineteen year old sailor he once was. The knowledge and fortune that Abbe Faria imparted to him allows him to accomplish this goal. He truly believes that he has the right to act as divine justice by punishing the sins of his enemies. They must suffer slowly. In the end, the death of Villefort's young son causes Monte Cristo to question his God-like role. He reaffirms the justification for his deeds when he visits the Chateau D'If and asks to see his former cell.
This is the Abbe who saves Dantes from suicide. The old Abbe had tried to tunnel h is way to freedom, however, a miscalculation brought him to Dantes' cell. The Abbe is also a political prisoner. The Abbe has made his own tools and has also written a treatise while incarcerated. The Abbe spends the next few years educating Dantes in the sciences, literature, and languages. He also helps Dantes figure out who was responsible for his imprisonment. Thus, he instills vengeance in his young protégé. He sees Dantes as a son, thus before he dies of apoplexy, the Abbe tells Dantes of a treasure that is buried on the Isle of Monte Cristo. When the Abbe dies, Dantes replaces his body in the Abbe's body bag in order to escape.
Mercedes/Countess de Morcerf
Mercedes is a poor Catalan, yet she is noble and beautiful. She is the fiancee of Dantes who is wronged by the man whom she thought of as a brother, Fernand Mondego. When Dantes is imprisoned she cares for Dantes' father until his death. She is comforted by Mondego, but she loses hope of ever regaining Dantes. She thus marries Fernand, who has amassed military glory. They become the Count and Countess de Morcerf. She alone recognizes Dantes when he returns as Monte Cristo, however, she keeps silent until her son challenges Monte Cristo to a duel for having destroyed his father's honor. She then visits Monte Cristo to plead for her son's life. He accepts, yet tells her of her husband's treachery. This knowledge causes her and her son to abandon their name and fortune. They pack their bags and leave. Mercedes shall finish her life in a convent.
Fernand Mondego/Count de Morcerf
Fernand was the fisherman who betrayed Dantes because he was in love with Mercedes. Military glory brought him a fortune, and he changed his name to Count de Morcerf. He commits suicide after Monte Cristo reveals his military treason. He betrayed his benefactor in Greece, Ali Pasha. He surrendered the Greek city to the Turks, and sold Ali's wife and daughter into slavery.
Albert de Morcerf
The Count's son is befriended and saved from bandits by the Count of Monte Cristo in Italy. He thus introduces his savior into Parisien society. He is shamed however, when Monte Cristo reveals the treachery of his father. At first he challenges the Count to a duel, however, his mother relates to him the truth, after which he apologizes to the Count. Albert has his mother's noble character, thus he renounces his fortune and name, and leaves to seek his own glory and fortune in the army.
Danglars is the mastermind behind the letter, which incriminates Dantes. He becomes captain of the Pharaon once Dantes is imprisoned. He becomes a banker with an incredible fortune and a Baron. He has one daughter, Eugenie. His wife and he are alienated, especially when his wife, as money hungry as he, ruins part of his fortune. Monte Cristo ruins the other half. He destroys Danglars by destroying his fortune.
Madame Danglars is the lover of many. She is currently usurping much of her husband's fortunes with her lover Monsieur Debray. Previously, she had been the lover of Monsieur de Villefort with whom she had a child. Monsieur de Villefort buried this child alive. Madame Danglars believed it to be dead upon its birth. This scandal destroys Villefort, and causes Madame Danglars to faint during a trial that revealed it all. She is also abandoned by Debray once her husband leaves and no longer has a fortune.
Debray is Madame Danglars' lover. They are involved in amassing a fortune from Danglars' earnings. Once Danglars abandons his wife, Debray no longer has any interest in Madame Danglars.
Originally Eugenie was to marry Albert de Morcerf. However, her father decided Andrea Calvacanti would be a more profitable match. Eugenie herself does not wish to marry at all. Thus she is anything but disappointed when Andrea, and escaped-convict is arrested. She herself, a willful girl, runs away with her best friend Louise d'Armilly using the Calvacanti episode as her excuse. Thus, Danglars loses his daughter.
Monsieur de Villefort
Monsieur de Villefort is the public prosecutor of Marseilles who was responsible for Dantes' incarceration. Much to Villefort's chagrin, Villefort's father was a known Bonapartist, thus his policy for Bonapartist conspirators was harsh. He sought to protect his own name. He succeeds in becoming the public prosecutor in Paris. His first marriage is one that is politically advantageous. He has one daughter by that marriage, Valentine. He also has a son by his second marriage. Monte Cristo ruins Villefort at Calvacanti's trial. Calvacanti reveals that his father, Villefort, buried him as a newborn baby. He was saved by Bertuccio who had been spying on Villefort waiting for an opportunity to seek revenge on him. Villefort had failed to seek out the man who had killed Bertuccio's brother. Villefort is thus ruined. His wife also poisons his daughter, son, and herself. He becomes crazy.
Madame Heloise de Villefort
Madame Heloise de Villefort is the public prosecutor's second wife. She is obsessed with attaining an inheritance for her son Edouard. Valentine, daughter of Villefort and his first wife, is to inherit her grandfather's fortune as well as her mother's parents' fortune. Thus Madame de Villefort poisons the Saint-Merans, Valentine's grandparents. She also poisons Valentine. Monte Cristo saves Valentine, however. When Monsieur de Villefort discovers her evil deeds he demands that she commit suicide. She thus poisons both herself and Edouard.
Valentine de Villefort
Valentine is an endearing creature who is much loved by her grandfather, the Bonapartist Noirtier and Maximilien Morrel. Her grandfather helps her out of a marriage contract with Franz d'Epinay. Noirtier reveals to d'Epinay that he had killed his father. D'Epinay thus no longer desires the marriage, and Valentine will be able to marry Maximilien. Valentine becomes ill, however. Monte Cristo saves her from the poisons of Her stepmother, however. He wishes happiness upon her and Maximilien.
Edouard de Villefort
Edouard is a mere nine-year old boy, who is poisoned by his own mother when she commits her own suicide. Monte Cristo realizes that he may have gone to far with his vengeance when this innocent boy dies. Monsieur de Villefort goes mad when he sees his son dead.
Marquis and Marquise de Saint-Meran
The Marquis and Marquise de Saint-Meran are the parents of Villefort's first wife. Heloise De Villefort poisons them in her efforts to secure their fortune for her son.
Noirtier is Monsieur de Villefort's Bonapartist father. It was to Noirtier that Napoleons' letter, which Dantes was to deliver before his arrest, was addressed. When Villefort noticed this, he quickly imprisoned Dantes, though he realized that Dantes was a mere pawn in the transaction. Twenty four years later, when Dantes returns as Monte Cristo,Noirtier has suffered from a stroke and can no longer speak. He lives with his son, and is extremely close to his granddaughter, Valentine. He saves her from marrying Franz d'Epinay by informing the Baron that it was he that was responsible for killing d'Epinays father. Noirtier will bless the marriage of Valentine with Maximilien.
This is the doctor who attends to the many "sicknesses" in the Villefort household. He is adamant that the deaths are due to poison, yet he does not reveals his suspicions to the public at Villefort's request.
Caderousse is originally Dantes' neighbor. He is incredibly jealous of Dantes. Caderousse's greed destroys him, for when Dantes returns as Abbe Busoni, Caderousse is given a diamond by the Abbe. Caderousse, however, kills the jeweler who buys the diamond. He also kills his wife. He himself is now incarcerated. A few years later Dantes visits his prison as Lord Wilmore and helps him escape. This is merely part of Dantes' punishment. Caderousse has not changed, he is still the same greedy man. Thus he dies in Monte Cristo's house murdered by his old friend Benedetto. The Count reveals his identity to Caderousse just as he is dying.
Benedetto is the son of Madame Danglars and Monsieur de Villefort. Villefort is destroyed when Benedetto returns as Andrea Calvacanti with the help of Monte Cristo to accuse Villefort of burying him alive as a newborn. Benedetto also had been a smuggler who had stayed at the inn run by Caderousse. Benedetto kills Caderousse as Caderousse flees from Monte Cristo's house after his attempted robbery.
Before Monte Cristo begins his revenge, he rewards M. Morrel and his family, for they were his true friends. M. Morrel was the shipowner of the Pharaon. He had invested efforts in saving Dantes from prison but to no avail. He had also paid for Dantes' father's burial. M. Morrel is about to commit suicide because he can no longer his word financially. Monte Cristo anonymously saves him from such a plight. On his deathbed M. Morrel reiterates his belief to his family that the savior was Edmond Dantes.
M. Morrel's son is in love with Valentine de Villefort. He becomes a good friend of the Count. He even agrees to be the Count's second man in a duel. The Count tests Maxilmilien's love by pretending that Valentine is dead for a month. He then rewards Maximilien's noble character with Valentine. He also gives them riches before he departs with Haydee.
Julie is the sister of Maximilien. She is married to Emmanuel Herbault. His marriage was made possible by the gift of Sinbad the Sailor (Monte Cristo). The count gave her a diamond as her dowry.
Haydee is Monte Cristo's new love. He had purchased her as a tool to strike down Count de Morcerf. Morcerf sold her into slavery. She was the daughter of Ali Pasha, Morcerf's benefactor in Greece. Haydee testifies against Morcerf and ruins his honor.
Bertuccio is now a servant of Monte Cristo. His past is key to Monte Cristo's revenge. Bertuccio had once attempted to stab Monsieur de Villefort. The moment he chose was while Villefort was burying a box in his garden at Auteuil. Bertuccio retrieves the box thinking it to be a treasure. He is shocked to find a newborn baby buried alive. He saves the baby, and his sister in law adopts it. This is Benedetto, who later is the Andrea Calvacanti who ruins Villefort by relating his relation to Villefort. Benedetto also is connected to Caderousse. He was in a smuggler's ring that stayed at Caderousse's inn. Caderousse asks Calvacanti for part of his allowance from Monte Cristo. Benedetto murders Caderousse as the greedy old man attempts an escape from Monte Cristo's house.
Dantes' father dies of hunger soon after Dantes is imprisoned. This is another one of Dantes' motive for revenge. He rewards those who were kind to his father, such as the Morrel family. Those who allowed is father to perish, such as Danglars, he strikes down. He destroys Danglars by charging him huge amounts of money for food in order to survive.
Luigi Vampa is the leader of a gang of Italian bandits who are indebted to Monte Cristo. Monte Cristo released Luigi Vampa after capturing him, and did not turn him in to the authorities. Luigi Vampa thus helps Monte Cristo win Albert de Morcerf's favor by "capturing" Albert and later "releasing" him at the Count's wishes. Vampa's gang also destroys Danglars.
Peppino is part of Vampa's gang. The Count had saved him from death. It is Peppino who starves Danglars until he pays a hundred thousand francs per food item.
Jacopo is the smuggler who saves Dantes from the sea right after he is thrown into the waves in the Abbe Faria's body bag. Dantes smuggles with Jacopo for a few months before recovering the Monte Cristo treasure. Jacopo later becomes the captain of Monte Cristo's yacht.
The Count of Monte Cristo Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Count of Monte Cristo is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
“Here is your chamber for tonight,” said he. “It is late, and the governor is asleep. Tomorrow, perhaps, he may change you. In the meantime there is bread, water, and fresh straw; and that is all a prisoner can wish...
“Alas, my boy,” said he, “human knowledge is confined within very narrow limits; and when I have taught you mathematics, physics, history, and the three or four modern languages with which I am acquainted, you will know as much as I...