Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. How does d’Artagnan’s character change from the beginning of the novel to the end? What episodes reveal these changes?

2. At the beginning of The Three Musketeers, neither d’Artagnan nor the reader knows who Milady is, but she becomes the main villain of the story. Trace Milady’s development as the villain. When and how does Dumas reveal her as an evil character?

3. D’Artagnan falls in love with Constance Bonacieux, who is the heroine of the novel, but later he also becomes infatuated with Milady, who is the villain. Contrast the two women and the relationships d’Artagnan develops with them. How can he be attracted to both when they differ so completely?

4. The Three Musketeers is a historical novel, which means that it contains events that actually happened and uses as Characters people who actually lived. The most accurate historical events in The Three Musketeers are the siege of La Rochelle and the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham, but the affair of the queen’s diamond studs has some historical basis too. King Louis XIII, Anne of Austria, and Cardinal Richelieu were all real people. What is the effect of using historical events and people in a fictional story? Do they simply form the background of this novel, or do they play a more essential role in the plot?

5. Find some books in the library that tell you more about one of the historical events or Characters, and compare Dumas’s portrait with what the other writers say. What differences do you find? What has Dumas changed or left out? Why do you think he made changes, and what effect do they have on the story?

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