Three Musketeers Essay, Research Paper
D’Artagnan is a young, impoverished man from the rural area of France called Gascony. He goes to Paris in hopes of becoming one of the king’s musketeers. He has few assets and relies on his wit and charm to guide him. Despite his lack of juvenility, he still deeply believes in the idea of chivalry. It is that ideal that earns him the respect and friendship of his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. D’Artagnan is also a very passionate man. He pursues both his enemies and love interests with reckless abandon. An example would be D’Artagnan’s pursuit of his “evil-guiness,” Rochefort. Also, his passion is exhibited in his quest to aid the queen. Such deeds also prove D’Artagnan’s bravery. And, it is D’Artagnan’s bravery that earns him the trust of the queen and allows him to pursue his love interest, Madame Bonacieux. D’Artagnan’s bravery also allows him to become a soldier, and later, a musketeer. It also gives D’Artagnan the courage to battle against the cardinal, despite his power. Thus, his bravery also gets him into trouble. D’Artagnan is constantly at battle against the cardinal and his agents. However, D’Artagnan is not alone in his battles. His friends support him throughout the book. And, D’Artagnan is equally allegiant to his friends. He supports his friends whenever the need arises. An example would be D’Artagnan’s choice to fight with his friends in their first melee with Rochefort. D’Artagnan is indubitably loyal to his friends, as they are to him.
Loyalty is a prominent theme in the book. It is the very essence of the characters, “All for one and one for all.” The four friends are devoted to each other and prove it throughout the book. The friends all nobly stand by each other in their battle against the cardinal. On several occasions D’Artangnan calls upon his comrades to help him in his quests. D’Artangnan tells them nothing of the details simply that they are likely to perish on the journey. Yet, all the friends immediately and without query agree to assist D’Artangnan. Another example is D’Artangnan’s extreme loyalty to the queen and his love Madame Bonacieux. D’Artagnan accepts several dangerous missions from the queen. He risks life and limb to help save the queen from scandal. And again endangers himself in an attempt to rescue his beloved Madame Bonacieux. It is D’Artagnan’s loyalty that actually makes him a musketeer. The Cardinal, D’Artagnan’s archenemy, is so impressed by the Gascon, that he makes him a musketeer and later makes him an officer. Another example of loyalty displayed in the book is the fidelity the servants have for their masters. They travel along with the four brave musketeers and share in the same danger that their masters endure.
The setting plays a crucial role in The Three Musketeers. The time period represented in the book differs from modern times. It is an age of chivalry and gentlemen. There are certain societal expectations, especially on a young nobleman like D’Artagnan. These pressures are why D’Artagnan is so eager to fight and uphold his honor. The laws of chivalry also create the paradox of the cardinal being D’Artagnan’s archrival and yet still act as his friend at times. Also, it was an age of Aristocracy. But, the cardinal also possessed great power, due to the mainly catholic nature of France at that time. Another significant element is the hostile state between France and England. This is meaningful during the trysts between the queen and the Duke of Buckingham. Also, since the book occurs before the advent cars or airplanes, transportation was limited to ships or horse-powered transportation. Also, communication was limited to messengers. This allows for events such as the love affair between the queen and the duke to occur. It also increases the importance of having contacts, such as the cardinal’s ring of spies.
The Three Musketeers