In France during the eighteenth century, Edmond Dantes along with his close friend Fernand Mondego stop in a strange land in search of rescue help for their captain, who has just attained brain fever. They meet Napoleon and ask for medical attention for their captain. Napoleon allows them to stay in his quarters. On the first night of their stay, Napoleon asks Edmond a favor. He requests he deliver a “harmless, personal letter to a friend” back in Marseilles where Edmond resides. However, because of Napoleon’s great admiration for Edmond’s loyalty to his captain, he entrusts Edmond not to speak of the letter to anyone. Sadly their captain passes on overnight leaving Edmond, Fernand and crew to continue on their way home.
Once Edmond arrives home he has a nice dinner with his soon-to-be wife and father celebrating the marriage and his new job as captain of the ship. Edmond gets arrested in the middle of dinner for treason and brought to a man named J.F. Villefort for questioning. Apparently the letter Edmond hadn’t the chance to deliver contained Napoleon’s army beach patrol times and locations. To Dantes’ most painful surprise, Mondego was the one who had in fact reported Dantes for delivering the letter. The night Dantes was speaking with Napoleon, Mondego had seen the happenings. Along with the help of two accomplices, J.F. Villefort and Phillipe Danglar, Mondego was able to frame Dantes for treason.
When Dantes asks why he did it, Mondego responds, “You’re the son of a clerk; I’m not supposed to want to be you,” (Mondego is the son of a Count). He is then taken to a horrible prison called the Chateau d’If, where he is barely fed, bored to the point of wanting suicide and whipped on every anniversary of his arrival. After a few years of torture, an elder man, Abbe Faria (a priest), digs his way into Edmond’s cell. They make a deal that if Edmond helps Faria to dig an escape he will in return, educate Edmond.
Eventually, when Dantes makes his way back to Marseilles, he is burdened by the horrible news of his father’s suicide and his ex-fiancee’s marriage to Mondego (she had been wrongly informed that Dantes was executed) a month after his “death”. After 13 years of his life taken away from him, the only thought on Edmond’s mind is revenge. He unfolds the Treasure of Sparta and buys a huge mansion. He then holds a house party to reintroduce himself to the world as the Count of Monte Cristo. Once social with his enemies again, he is able to have Danglar fall off a dock and hung.
Then he tricks Villefort into confessing to a murder conspiracy so he’s taken away to prison for the same suffering he had to endure. Next he wins everything he once had, back from Mondego. Mercedes rediscovers Dantes and confesses her son to be with Dantes instead of Mondego. After this confession, Dantes has the pleasure of killing Mondego in a sword fight. In beautiful conclusion, Dantes buys the Chateau d’If with his fortune and holds a proper farewell to his wise priest mentor.