Loyalty in The Count of Monte Cristo
In the world of Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo self-sacrificing loyalty is the greatest attribute of the "good" characters. Conversely, the most despicable disloyalty is the chief characteristic of the "villains" like Danglars and Fernand. The "good" characters take risks to help DantÃÂ©s when he is in trouble, as in the case of Morrel the ship-owner, or when they believe that he is in trouble, as in the case of Jacopo the fellow smuggler. Other loyal characters include CoclÃÂ¨s, the one-eyed cashier; Emmanuel Herbaut, an employee of Morrel; Penelon, the old sailor; and Maximilien, the son of Morrel. The Italian priest, AbbÃÂ© Faria, rewards DantÃÂ¨s' loyalty to him by telling him the location of the Spada's treasure and DantÃÂ¨s uses this treasure to reward the "good." The characters who switch their loyalties to the winning side are the "villains" and this category includes: Villefort, the public prosecutor, Danglars, the purser turned rich banker; Fernand, the lowly fisherman turned prestigious retired army captain; Caderousse, the tailor/smuggler/innkeeper; and Benedetto, the criminal.
With the aid of his fortune and new identity Edmond DantÃÂ¨s, now known as the Count of Monte Cristo, punishes those who are disloyal by taking away what they prize most.
The actions of the loyal in this novel are all done with little or no regard for the doers own wellbeing or happiness. When DantÃÂ¨s is imprisoned on false charges of being a Bonapartist, Monsieur Morrel, who is DantÃÂ¨s' employer, repeatedly attempts to clear his name and risks imprisonment himself on suspicions of being a Bonapartist. When DantÃÂ¨s pretends to have serious injuries on the Isle of Monte Cristo, Jacopo, the smuggler who saves DantÃÂ¨s when he pulls him up into the boat by his hair, decides to stay behind and care...