Topics for Discussion

1. The title of the book is The Three Musketeers, but the story seems to be mostly about d’Artagnan, who does not become a musketeer until late in the story. What point is Dumas making with the title?

2. Which of the three musketeers is your favorite? Why?

3. Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d’Artagnan each keep a servant. How does each servant suit his master?

4. When he arrives in Paris, d’Artagnan unintentionally picks a fight with each of the three musketeers. What do the reasons for each quarrel tell you about the personality of each of the musketeers?

5. D’Artagnan’s duel with Athos is interrupted by the cardinal’s guards, who have a long-standing rivalry with the musketeers. Why does d’Artagnan side with the musketeers when the guards challenge them? This episode sets up the antagonism between the cardinal and the musketeers that runs through the rest of the book. Why do the musketeers oppose the cardinal?

6. D’Artagnan takes revenge on Milady partly because of her role in kidnapping the woman he loves, Constance Bonacieux, and partly because she has pretended to love him. He avenges these wrongs by doing what she has done to him: he pretends to be the man she loves, the Count de Wardes, and in this guise he insults her by telling her that he is not serious about her. Later he reveals his deception to her, thus increasing her hatred of him. Do you think d’Artagnan is justified in what he does?

7. One of the many deceptions in the novel is that d’Artagnan pretends to love Kitty in order to get at Milady. Why are deceptions essential to develop plot? In the context of romantic literature, is deception the same as dishonesty?

8. The book concludes with Constance Bonacieux’s death, Milady’s execution, d’Artagnan’s promotion to lieutenant, and the breakup of the four musketeers. Is this an appropriate ending to the story? Why or why not?

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