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Count Of Monte Cristo Essay

1379 words - 6 pages

The Count of Monte Cristo

1) Three ethical issues revealed in the film are vengeance, mercy and honesty. Each is interwoven throughout the film to develop characters and the plot. Once Edmond Dantes is innocently placed in prison, he believes his future consists of one action: vengeance. He must punish those who have hurt him such as Fernand Mondego and Monsieur De Villefort. As he suffers in prison, he rejects the idea of God and mercy inscribed on the prison wall, and lets his hatred and need for revenge overwhelm his soul. Once he is taken under the wing of Priest, this need for vengeance begins to slowly fade away, as evident in his decision not to kill Jacopo during the knife ...view middle of the document...

The other concept of power is one held by God, but available to us through knowledge, mercy and love. Most characters in the movie in positions of power use their power for evil. Villefort condemns innocent Dantes to prison, Mondego uses his wealth and connections to betray Dantes and take his fiancée. The warden of the prison uses his power to exact anniversary beatings on Dantes, for no reason other than his amusement. At one point, Mondego comments that “in life, we are all kings or pawns” as if to suggest that a person either has absolute power or none. And absolute power corrupts absolutely. Contrasting these evil earthly powers is the concept of heavenly and good power. Dantes first sees the power of God inscribed on the prison wall, pushing him to believe he will be saved. Priest teaches Dantes that power is found through knowledge, mercy and faith in God. Mercedes begs Dantes to forgive Mongedo as that’s what God would want and Dantes implores “Can I not escape him?!” Whereas the power man has on earth eventually disappears, as we see Mondego in the end, bankrupt and near arrest, the power of God cannot be contained, tarnished or corrupted.

3) Individual choices and actions influence relationships in both a negative and at times, a positive way throughout the movie. We continually see the main characters make choices that directly influence others, seemingly without remorse or concern. Mondego is not satisfied with his life despite having success and fortune. He drinks too much and he doesn’t respect boundaries or formalities. He makes the decision that he wants Dantes fiancée. His choice to betray his friend helps set in motion years of anguish and torment for both Dantes and Mercedes; Dantes in prison, planning revenge and Mercedes in an unhappy marriage. Villefort, in his quest for power and wealth, chooses to condemn an innocent man, a pawn, to a life in prison. Even Dantes himself makes the choice to plot his revenge; he goes to Paris, becomes the Count of Monte Cristo and comes very close to almost killing Mondego and his own son. Priest and Mercedes’ choices have a more positive impact. Priest chooses to take Dantes under his wing and transforms Dantes into a better man. Mercedes choice to stay loyal to her true love, Dantes, for many years, makes their reunification at the end more natural and pure. As with two of the major themes of the movies being good versus evil and manly power versus Godly power, the characters’ individual choices throughout the movie impact other characters in both beneficial and detrimental ways. There is little justification to the motives of Mondego or Villefort other than greed or lust or envy. There is certainly justification in the choices of Priest and Mercedes as their choices come from a place of love, sincerity and kindness. Dantes, as a main character should be, is the most complex; his choices come from a place of deep passion. His need for vengeance, his need to...

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