[ Post a Response | Talk Literature ]
Re: Year-End Ranking
The Three Musketeers confounded my expectations. I always imagined that D'Artagnan was a romantic hero. He's not. He's an ambitious kid from the provinces trying to claw his way ahead. He's more a spiritual ancestor of Julian Sorel or Frédéric Moreau than Robin Hood or Zorro. I expected Richelieu to be the villain, but he's not. Not really. He is much more complex and subtle than that. Milady is the only one-dimensional villain in the story. I imagined that the Musketeers were paragons of virtue. They're most certainly not. Every time that they do something reprehensible of dishonorable, Dumas makes an unconvincing attempt to justify their behavior by saying that "those were different times." We live in a very different time from Dumas, but their behavior is still outrageous. I don't know. I expected a one-dimensional swashbuckling adventure. I got a curious novel that, while certainly filled with action, is morally highly ambiguous. It provided me with much more food for thought that I anticipated.