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Archetypes In The Count Of Monte Cristo

1686 words - 7 pages

In modern times, phrases such as “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” are commonly used. Also, the mere word revenge holds negative connotations as it is seen as immature and unnecessary. The theme of revenge uses archetypes to develop ideas without having to reiterate their meaning. According to the creator of the term, Carl Jung, “archetypes are defined as being a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.” (Dictionary) The Count of Monte Cristo, one of the novels that pioneer this theme, tells the story of a man’s quest for revenge on those who betrayed him. This man spends 14 years of his life ...view middle of the document...

This highlights his manipulative and deceptive nature. The Count also believes that he is following God’s will by seeking vengeance and that he is superior to other human beings. He even states, “I am the angel of God.” (553) He truly believes that he is accomplishing this crusade for God and that he’s doing God’s bidding. According to him, his suffering gave him the ability to determine others fate. His arrogance is very prevalent throughout the novel.
His determination for revenge leads to the death of an innocent child. Once Villefort catches glimpse of the Count’s true identity, he shouts at him, “There! Look! Are you fully avenged!”, pointing at the body of his dead son. (1180) This revelation makes the Count question his journey. It causes him to analyse himself as an individual and the magnitude of his actions. Here is the first time that his objective wavers. “He realizes that he had exceeded his limits of vengeance, he realizes that he could no longer say: ‘God is for me and with me.’” (1180) After this incident, his journey comes to an end. He learns that getting comeuppance is wrong. He turns to God and he asks for his forgiveness. He becomes a better human being as a result. The Count of Monte Cristo finishes his circular quest by realizing the importance of forgiveness and faith.
The archetype of the betrayer is used to demonstrate that seeking revenge is not necessary because God punishes those who have sinned. The betrayer is the one who harms the protagonist for selfish reason. He is manipulative and uses his position of authority, often as a friend or consultant, to fool the protagonist. He inevitably suffers the consequences for his actions. Fernand, Danglars and Villefort are the betrayers. Their betrayal causes the Count to go on his quest. Fernand and Danglars write an incriminating letter about the Count out of sheer jealousy for the success that he is reaching. Then, Villefort knowingly imprisons the Count to protect is position in society as a crown prosecutor. He states “If he does know what’s in the letter, and if he should ever learn that Noirtier’s Villefort’s father, I am lost – lost utterly.” (70) Danglars’ greed, Fernand’s jealousy and Villefort’s need for status in society throughout their journeys, only leads to their demise.
Their betrayal goes beyond the Count and causes them to make additional enemies. For example, Haydée, an orphan that the Count was helping, has her father killed by Fernand, his subordinate. As a result, information of his treason is leaked. Once in court, Haydée denounces him as the culprit when she says “Assassin! Your master’s blood is still on your brow! Let it be seen by all.” (961) He is then rightfully convicted. Danglars and Villefort follow a similar route. Their manipulative tendencies cause them to make enemies everywhere they go. The number only seems to grow and things continuously get worse for them.
Their downfall is caused by their own actions. The Count is so consumed...

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