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There are a ton of characters in the novel but here are the ones the story centers on:

Edmond Dantes: Our protagonist. He is a sympathetic character in the beginning. He slowly changes into a colder more cruel man with a warped sense of justice. One might even say that he scoffs at the very idea...

His treatment of the villains may be justified in a way but along the way there are the innocents who are affected by his actions. At times he seems to be cold and calculating while at other times he does great acts of kindness. He takes on many disguises and identities and slowly he starts to lose his identity as Edmond Dantes.

He becomes:
-Abbe Faria
-Sinbad the Sailor
and finally the title character, the Count of Monte Cristo.


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The Antagonists:

Villefort : the crown prosecutor who refuses to release the charges placed on Dantes when he discovers that doing so may incriminate himself. He is responsible for destroying the evidence that would've proved Dantes' innocence.

Danglars: at the start of the story he is one of the Dantes crew mates he then becomes a powerful and rich banker in Paris. He is the ring leader of the plot against Dantes. He is responsible for forging the actual evidence against him and convincing the other crew mates to help incriminate Dantes.

Morcerf/Mondego: a childhood friend of Mercedes who is jealous of her relationship with Dantes and is persuaded by Danglars to turn in the incriminating evidence against Dantes to the authorities. He becomes a prominent member of the Parisian high society and is determined to secure his position in politics.

Criticism: characters in the beginning become are hardly recognizable towards the later half. For example there is no resemblance at all between Edmond Dantes and the count of Monte Cristo. I suppose that this may be his purpose but there is no indication in the count that he was once Edmond Dantes... Same thing with the other three villains. A minor gripe but I would've liked more consistency because at times it felt like I was reading several different books at once which was a bit jarring. Also the second half of the story which I refer to as the "post-prison arc/Parisian high society arc" was a bit slower in some parts, when the characters get into long conversations about the legal system and banking and politics...was tedious at times to read.