Narcissism in "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Alexandre Dumas

Essay by coasterphilHigh School, 10th gradeA+, October 2006

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In Alexandre Dumas' novel, "The Count of Monte Cristo", Edmond Dantes exhibits many different personality traits throughout the course of the story. He starts the novel as Edmond Dantes, a young man known for his loyalty and innocence. After spending 14 years in the Chateau d'If he emerges a new man. The identity he uses for the majority of the rest of his life is The Count of Monte Cristo. Edmond Dantes is extremely narcissistic, believing himself to be without weakness. He feels that he has been given powers second only to those of God himself in order to exact revenge on his enemies. He ultimately realizes that he is not without fault, and that he is plagued by problems shared by all men.

The Count shows his narcissism early on in his plot for revenge. On his first meeting with Monsieur Villefort he speaks of how he has been placed above the position granted to a king or minister because God has given him, ".

. . a mission to fulfill, rather than a position to occupy" (Dumas 211). That stunning revelation catches Villefort off guard. Villefort is a very pompous, arrogant man himself and even he can not believe that one could be so sure of himself. The Count goes on to reassure Villefort that he is not limited by anyone thanks to powers bestowed upon him by God. The Count's only obstacle is his own mortality, as God cannot allow for a man to live forever. Only a man with a severe narcissistic or god complex believes that no mortal can challenge him. Most people understand that no man is without fault, and a weakness in each can be exploited. Dantes' believes that every man other than him has a fault which will ruin him. Martha Nussbaum...