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The Man in the Iron Mask

The Man in the Iron Mask


by Alexandre Dumas

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Tragedy

Anticipation Stage

D'Artagnan can tell that his friend, Aramis, is plotting something dastardly.

D'Artagnan can see that something is up with his friend, Aramis, but isn't let in on the secret. .

Dream Stage

None for D'Artagnan; Aramis has a short-lived Dream Stage when he successfully installs Philippe as the King.

Since D'Artagnan is not involved in the plot at all, it is Aramis who reaps the short-lived rewards of having pulled a switcheroo on his royal highness. He experiences a few brief minutes of glory as King Philippe's most trusted adviser before having the rug yanked out from under him by Fouquet.

Frustration Stage

D'Artagnan is ordered to act contrary to his nature.

D'Artagnan admires and respects Philippe, but has to lock him up anyway per order of the King. D'Artagnan really likes Fouquet, but has to arrest him anyway per order of the King. He becomes increasingly frustrated by the King's demands.

Nightmare Stage

King Louis orders D'Artagnan to capture Aramis and Porthos. The King thwarts D'Artagnan's attempts to allow them time to escape.

D'Artagnan's worst fears are realized when King Louis sends him to capture Belle-Isle and its defenders. What makes this a nightmare is that, despite his best efforts, D'Artagnan cannot prevent the army from firing on Belle-Isle. The King has anticipated his every move.

Destruction or Death Wish Stage

D'Artagnan has bowed to the Sun King's will and is waging war. Then a cannonball hits him and he dies.

If you want, you can read D'Artagnan's death as partly self-inflicted. He has bowed to the supremacy of King Louis and is waging war on his behalf when he is killed.

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