Analysis of "The Man in the Iron Mask"

Essay by shandly29High School, 10th gradeA+, November 2007

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Conflicted ThemesDifferences in human characteristics can often cause conflicts between individuals. Dumas’s use of loyalty and greed in The Man in the Iron Mask exemplifies the conflict that D’Artagnan and other characters experience throughout the book in several different scenarios.

Dumas expresses loyalty throughout the book in numerous ways, but mainly through the protagonist, D’Artagnan. In the past, D’Artagnan became acquainted with a group of three of the finest swordsmen named Aramis, Porthos, and Athos. These men are referred to as the Three Musketeers. D’Artagnan fought alongside them, became one of them, and remained loyal to them for the rest of his life. D’Artagnan’s loyalty to King Louis XIV is what causes an issue. King Louis is causing utter chaos throughout France, yet D’Artagnan remains loyal to him with the hope that he will change.

The antagonist in the story is King Louis XIV because he is the source of much of the greed demonstrated throughout the book.

The only thing that could damage King Louis’ reign is his twin brother, Phillipe, but Louis will stop at nothing to prevent Phillipe from ruining his kingdom. In order to stop Phillipe, Louis puts him in an iron mask and locks him away in the dungeon. Also, during this time historically, the king was considered to be ordained by God. This allowed King Louis XIV to do as he pleased without dispute from the citizens of France. Another showing of King Louis’ greed is when he is taking a walk one day and a couple crosses his path. It is Christine and Raoul, the son of Athos. Louis takes a particular fancy to Christine and he feels she would make a wonderful mistress (King Louis XIV, Man in the Iron Mask). Louis then sends Raoul away to a horrific battle...