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Symbolism and Imagery in The Three Musketeers Essay

Symbolism and imagery is used throughout “The Three Musketeers” frequently. Another thing I would like to focus on though is the history of this novel. The tone of the novel can also be nightmarish at times. With all the things that D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis encounter throughout their journey.

Swords are used as symbols in many novels, including this one. At the beginning of this novel, D’Artagnan attempts to draw his sword at the Jolly Miller Inn. This was right after he had been beaten by the inns servants. To draw ones sword with another man is honor in D’Artagnan’s world (Shmoop Editorial Team). This novel is about young manhood, in which youth is tested and youthful ideas protect against political ideas. An example of imagery is when D’Artagnan says ‘it is useless to struggle any longer; I may as well blow my brains out, and put an end to the matter at once.” “That’s the last folly to be committed,” said Athos, “seeing that that is the only one for which there is no remedy” (Dumas 392). Here, D’Artagnan and Athos are saying, what is the point of going on when there’s nothing more we can do, they are actually suggesting suicide here.

Another example of symbolism is, when D’Artagnan and Porthos get into an argument and are angry at one another and they run into each other, when that happens, D’Artagnan gets tangled in Porthos’ cloak. When he runs into him, D’Artagnan realizes that Porthos’ gold shoulder-belt is only gold in the front. Beneath his cloak where it is not visible, it is only plain fabric. Showing that Porthos is a show off and likes others to think he has more than he really does (Winters).

In the novel, Aramis is always clothed in black and ends up entering a monetary. This is an example of imagery because the color black represents evil and night. It can also represent mourning, power, wealth, mystery, and more. Also, it mentions that she is entering monastery, therefore, the color black is used here to symbolize going into a place of high religion (Literature Resource Center). The quote “All for one, and One for All” was D’Artagnans’ motto, it symbolizes to stand all as one as a nation against any other forces, and to sacrifice all for the nobility of your country (Adamson).

This novel also uses a fleur-de-lis to represent religious, political, and symbolic meaning. Because in the novel they used the fleur-de-lid to brand people as a criminal. They used this on Milady, the symbol was burned into her shoulder when her and a priest were caught stealing. Even the title of this book can be an example of symbolism, “The Three Musketeers” can mean many different things, depending on how you think about it. It can mean, comrade, friendship, and the ability to overcome obstacles when you work together (Goldberger). The name Athos in the novel symbolizes the mountain Athos which was the home of monastery, which was occupied with only men, no nuns (Chesterton).

An example of imagery is all of the duels throughout the book. For example, when D’Artagnan and Porthos schedule a duel, but what ends up happening is the three musketeers and D’Artagnan fight against the Cardinals guards. The fight starts and D’Artagnan saves the day again by defeating the Cardinals guard troop and rescues the wounded Athos. Then when the king hears of this he wants to see the three musketeers and D’Artagnan, so the next day they go to meet the king and they play tennis at first, while playing tennis D’Artagnan gets into another fight, this time with the greatest guard of all. Yet again D’Artagnan defeats the guard, when they finally go to meet the king he commends them for their loyalty, D’Artagnan in particular, and gives them a large sum of money to show his gratitude (Dumas 31-48)

These are some examples of symbolism and imagery used throughout this extraordinary novel. And how four people become great friends and never back down from what they believe is right.


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