The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo

by

Alexandre Dumas

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The Count of Monte Cristo: Chapter 103 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Maximilien flies into a hysterical rage on hearing the news that his intended, Valentine, is dead. He does this in the presence of Villefort, the doctor, and Noirtier. When Villefort and the doctor ask who Morrel is, and why he has been admitted to the house in which the murder has taken place, Morrel asks Noirtier to confirm that he, Morrel, was engaged to Valentine before her death, and that he loved her dearly.
Young Morrel is finally able to reveal to Villefort that he has been in love with Valentine all along, and that the two were to be married. Although Young Morrel believes that Valentine has already died, this admission of their love feels like a victory for him, a confirmation that their love, while it lasted, was real.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
Maximilien tells Villefort that he must find and prosecute the murderer to the fullest extent of the law. At first Villefort wonders if he will have the strength to do this—for this is the fourth person murdered by poisoning in his house over the last four months. But Morrel demands that he do so, for the sake of his daughter whom he loved, and Villefort agrees. At this, Noirtier indicates that Morrel and the doctor should leave the room, that Noirtier would like to tell Villefort who the murderer is. Villefort agrees, and after fifteen minutes he joins the other two outside, asking that he be permitted three days to deal with the murderer in a manner he sees fit. The men agree.
The reader understands at this point that Noirtier has told his son that his own wife is the supposed murderer of Valentine (for everyone in the book except for the Count and Valentine believes her to be dead). The reader then knows what Villefort knows, even though this has not been acknowledged openly, and what remains to be seen is the manner by which Villefort will address the criminal. Will he seek revenge against her? Will he try her publicly, in open court, and for all to see?
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Villefort asks the doctor to fetch the closest abbe who can stand by and bless the body, and the doctor finds the next-door neighbor Abbe Busoni, who, when everyone else leaves, kneels down beside the bed of Valentine. Everyone else in the home, including the doctor, concludes that she is no longer living, although Abbe Busoni knows otherwise.
The identity of the Abbe Busoni is thus an immensely useful one for the Count, as it allows him to remain present at Valentine’s side while others might take on different duties regarding the funeral. This identity has proved invaluable to the Count, as it has also encouraged characters to confess some of their innermost and darkest secrets.
Themes
Justice, Revenge, and God’s Will Theme Icon
Changes of Identity and Station Theme Icon
Love, Devotion, and Redemption Theme Icon
Debt and Gratitude Theme Icon