Study Guide

The King in The Three Musketeers

By Alexandre Dumas

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The King

Dumas was being as snarky as an E! exclusive when he wrote the character of the King. His royal highness is modeled on the real-life King Louis XIII... this is the 19th Century equivalent of naming a character "the President" and then modeling him on a president from two hundred years ago. Ooh: wouldn't a saucy novel about James Madison be awesome?! (Don't burst our bubble: we're history nerds as well as lit nerds here at Shmoop.)

Although an important political figure in France, we don’t see much of the King in the novel. While Cardinal Richelieu oversees the Kingdom, the King pays attention to petty issues, like whether or not the Musketeers beat up the Cardinal’s Guards. During the siege of La Rochelle, he gets bored and requests permission from the Cardinal to take a vacation.

Historically, the King was known for being a very weak ruler. He was forced to marry Anne at the age of 14, which probably explains why their marriage wasn’t that great.

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