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Free Study Guide-The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas-Summary
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES

CHAPTER 33 - Roman Bandits

Summary

The following day, Albert and Franz take the carriage that they are able to hire for the first four days of their trip and spend the day at Saint Peter’s Cathedral. Intending to visit the Colosseum in the evening, the two are warned by Signor Pastrini that visiting the Colosseum at night is dangerous as they may be robbed or kidnapped by the famous bandit, Luigi Vampa. As Albert is unwilling to believe in the existence of Italian bandits, Signor Pastrini tells them the story of Luigi Vampa:

As a child, Luigi Vampa was a shepherd who learned to read and write and shoot at an early age, and who loved a young girl named Teresa, also a shepherd. The two grew and agreed to marry, and Luigi one day helped a man named Sinbad the Sailor (Franz is shaken by this name and story) who was lost in the forest. Upon discovering Teresa kidnapped one day, Vampa immediately shot and killed her abductor, who turned out to be the leader of the nearby troupe of bandits. Luigi and Teresa proceeded to find the group of bandits, and Luigi became its new leader. At the end of the story, Albert remains unconvinced of Vampa’s existence, and he and Albert proceed to the Colosseum.

Notes

Dumas introduces us to Albert in this chapter, who is exceedingly arrogant and spoiled. This character will undergo tremendous growth over the course of the novel through the tutelage of the Count, and will be a humbled and moral man at the end, surprising the Count who believes, at this juncture, that "the sins of the fathers are passed down two generations". Albert and Franz hear the story of Vampa, an obviously dangerous man, but Albert’s cockiness prevents them from fearing the bandit. Franz learns that Vampa has a connection to Sinbad the Sailor.


CHAPTER 34 - The Colosseum

Arriving at the Colosseum, Albert and Franz split up and Franz overhears a private conversation between two men. The two men discuss the impending execution of a man named Peppino who, as his crime, had helped the first man’s "Band" by supplying them with provisions. The second man, well dressed, states he will pay a large sum for Peppino’s reprieve or provide a means of helping him to escape prison. The second man tells the first that he will know whether he has succeeded in helping Peppino by displaying yellow cloth on the windows of a café overlooking the Carnival streets on the day of the execution. The first man professes his devotion to the second man and appreciates the promise, promising in return to grant him absolute obedience should the second man succeed. When the two men part, Franz recognizes the second and well-dressed man to be Sinbad the Sailor.

The next evening, Franz and Albert go to the opera where the two meet a Countess friend of Franz’. The three remark on the beauty of a woman sitting in the audience with a man only Franz recognizes as Sinbad the Sailor, although he does not tell the others. Having an unnatural fear of Sinbad’s appearance, the Countess asks Franz to escort her home. Albert sees "Sinbad" and his companion speaking in a Romaic dialect, confirming Franz’ suspicion that Sinbad is also the man that he met at the Island of Monte Cristo and the man that he overheard at the Colosseum. Albert and Franz are informed by Signor Pastrini that another guest at the hotel, the Count of Monte Cristo, has offered them a carriage to use and two windows overlooking the Carnival the next day. The next day, Franz notes without surprise Peppino’s name on a list of men to be executed, his crime being an accomplice to the bandit Luigi Vampa. The two men go to see the Count to thank him for his offers and Franz is surprised to learn that the Count of Monte Cristo is the man he knows as Sinbad the Sailor.

Notes

Dumas continues the suspense surrounding the identity of the Count and Edmond Dantès in this chapter, always tempting the reader to guess whether or not mysterious characters are, in fact, Dantès. In this chapter, for example, Dumas finds two strange men speaking in Tuscan: "‘Pardieu’! exclaimed the man in the cloak, suddenly expressing himself in French." It is also apparent in this chapter that the Count/Dantès’ riches now afford him the best of everything, and he has all necessary resources at his fingertips. Albert’s vanity and arrogance is further showcased in this chapter, and Franz becomes more and more disturbed by the identity of the Count/Sinbad, and will actually be one of only two people (Mercédès being the other) throughout the course of the novel that realize the Count is affecting several aliases.

CHAPTER 35 - La Mazzolata
(Mazzolata is a method of execution involving being beaten to death)

Summary

Neither the Count nor Franz show any signs of recognizing each other. The men discuss the two scheduled executions of the day, and the Count says he understands that the one named Peppino has been spared. After a conversation during which the Count expresses a great deal of knowledge regarding methods of execution, the three leave to witness the executions from the Count’s windows. Franz sees the yellow cloth mentioned between the two men at the Colosseum hanging on the Count’s windows. Peppino is pardoned just before his execution is to take place.

Notes

The Count is friendly with Albert and Franz with the intention of using them at a later date: "‘But my dear count,’ said Albert, ‘we shall abuse your kindness.’ ‘Not at all; on the contrary, you will give me great pleasure. You will, one or other of you, perhaps both, return it to me at Paris.’" In this sense, the Count is likely repulsed by Albert given his identity, but intends to use him in his plans. The occasion of the execution lends itself to the Count’s intense feelings on punishment: "..in return for a slow, profound, eternal torture, I would give back the same, were it possible; and eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, as the Orientalists say." The Count thus favours the Oriental style of behaviour as regards his enemies, which will be shown throughout the novel. The Count’s pleasure and peace in the face of the horrible execution speaks further to his desire for revenge and interest in torture, the reader is being prepared for horrible revenge on Dantès’ enemies.

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