Classics: “The Count of Monte Cristo”

“Moral wounds have this peculiarity – they may be hidden, but they never heal; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”[1]


I kept this classic waiting for three years . There in the bookstores , sometimes I approached it , I thumbed through , I read a few sentences and put it back . I was not ready , it wasn’t the right time .
As I said , a book , a great classic in particular , requires proper attention , the urgent desire by the reader to jump in its pages and not the need to say ” I read it , I was clever .”
It is not a competition to see who is smarter , there are no prizes for those who pretend to be intellectualist. A good book, like a fine wine , should be taken with the right timing , decanted , and tasted , only if it is right to the palate , you can drink it all in one breath or sip it to appreciate it better.
This is why I left this book on hold for three years . Then I lived a very special period in my life , tumultuous , unfair , in which I was tempted to make plans similar to the ones from Edmond Dantés to overcome it , and then I realized that the time was propitious : I could finally read “ The Count of Monte Cristo ” by Alexandre Dumas[2].


“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, to be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”[3]


Dantes is a clever man , honest and loyal, who becomes pungent and vengeful after being framed for a crime he did not commit. When Dantés finds himself free and enormously wealthy , he takes it upon himself to act as an agent of Providence , rewarding those who helped him in this situation and punish those responsible for his years of agony . And to do that he takes different identities : the most famous , the Count of Monte Cristo , the mask he uses to accomplish his revenge ; Mr. Wilmore , the good version that deals with helping the less fortunate and the oppressed ; Abbe Busoni , a religious manipulative  figure that Dantés uses with the most fragile minds .

 giphy10“It’s necessary to have wished for death in order to know how good it is to live.”[4]

I have always been fascinated by  novels in which the character’s identity is masked , perhaps because of my proximity to the theatre, I get passionate in understanding who and when and how someone will discover the trick .
In this particular case, the idea that the parties to interpret serve to get justice was the final push which made me closer to the novel . At the beginning of the story the enemies are presented very well : Danglars , Caderousse , Fernand , and Villefort , for various reasons , and any are coalesced to frame Dantès . And Dantès for their fault is forced to endure fourteen years of imprisonment in one of the scariest fortresses .

Innocent .
We are all on his side when he decides to take revenge .
It’s right!


“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”[5]


Actually I soon found that in this fascinating story of vengeance and revenge there is much more , and that’s why it manages to straddle every generation and to resonate with every  reader ( and viewers impressive given the number of adaptations in other media ) and every age and time period[6].
This novel is not about revenge, but forgiveness and growth. The difficulties that life make us to face  and how we decide to deal with them, whether as a Monte Cristo , with coldness and calculation , or Mr. Wilmore , giving to others what we haven’t had . We are all a little the one a little the other , I believe that’s the reason why we like this story so much!
As I said , I started it at a time when I would have given everything in fire and flames . But the more I move forward with the book , the more I realized that Dantès was the only enemy of himself . Too many victims , too much collateral damage , in the right path of redemption . And if you become like a rival in what are you better than him ?
I have not suffered fourteen years in prison , or anything equally serious , God forbid , in his place I would have done even worse ! Anyone affected by something so atrocious who see the molesters benefit of that, should take example and manoeuvre a vengeance worthy of Monte Cristo ! But in my shoes , I decided to leave my need for revenge, or rather , I decided to follow a more difficult path from which I would have had more benefits : I choose to feel good .
The scars of that period are deep , I do not think they will never go away completely , unfortunately or fortunately . But just as Dantès , once I got rid of the weight of myself , I was free .
Now I read again, occasionally, the poetic description of this gruesome adventure with a new spirit , I savor the narrative passages more than the machinations of the characters , I admire the linguistic subtlety .
At first I thought to accompany Dantès in his revenge path, now I know that he escorted me in my journey towards peace .


“[U]ntil the day when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words,—‘Wait and hope.’”[7]


[1] From the novel.
[2] .
[3] From the novel.
[4] From the novel.
[5] Confucio’s aphorism.
c-1922: Monte Cristo, directed by Emmett J. Flynn
-1940: The Son of Monte Cristo, directed by Rowland V. Lee
-1950: The Prince of Revenge, Egyptian movie, directed by Henry Barkat
-1954: El Conde de Montecristo, directed by León Klimovsky and starred by Jorge Mistral
-1956: The Count of Monte Cristo, TV series based on further adventures of Edmond Dantès after the end of the novel
-1964: The Count of Monte Cristo, BBC television serial starring Alan Badel and Natasha Parry
-1964: The Prince of Astuteness (أمير الدهاء), Egyptian Movie directed by Henry Barkat, Starring Farid Shawky
-1966: Il conte di Montecristo, RAI Italian television serial directed by Edmo Fenoglio. starring Andrea Giordana
-1968: Sous le signe de Monte Cristo, French movie starring Paul Barge, Claude Jade and Anny Duperey, directed by André Hunebelle
-1973: The Count of Monte Cristo, animated short produced by Hanna-Barbera.
-1975: The Count of Monte Cristo, starring Richard Chamberlain, directed by David Greene
-1977: The Great Vendetta (大報復), Hong Kong television serial starring Adam Cheng, in which the background of the story is changed to Southern China during the Republican Era.
-1979: Nihon Gankutsuou (日本巌窟王), Japanese television serial set in Edo period, starring Masao Kusakari.
-1979: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (1979 TV series), French TV series starring Jacques Weber.
-1984: La Dueña a 1984 Venezuelan telenovela with a female version of Edmond Dantès.
-1986: Veta, Telugu film adaptation.
-1988: The Prisoner of Castle If, Soviet miniseries starring Viktor Avilov (Count of Monte Cristo) and Aleksei -Petrenko (Abbé Faria), with music and songs of Alexander Gradsky
-1998: The Count of Monte Cristo, television serial starring Gérard Depardieu
-1999: Forever Mine, film starring Joseph Fiennes, Ray Liotta and Gretchen Mol, loosely but clearly based upon The Count of Monte Cristo, directed/written by Paul Schrader
-2002: The Count of Monte Cristo, directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Jim Caviezel, Dagmara Domińczyk, Richard Harris and Guy Pearce
-2004: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (巌窟王 Gankutsuoo, literally The King of the Cave), Japanese animation adaptation. Produced by Gonzo, directed by Mahiro Maeda
-2006: Vingança, telenovela directed by Rodrigo Riccó and Paulo Rosa, SIC Portugal
-2006: Montecristo, Argentine telenovela starring Pablo Echarri and Paola Krum
-2010: Ezel, a Turkish television series billed as an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo.
-2011: Revenge, a television series billed as an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo.
-2016: Goodbye Mr. Black, a TV series loosely based on The count of Monte Cristo”
[7] From the novel.

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