Study Guide

The Three Musketeers Mortality

By Alexandre Dumas


In The Three Musketeers, life is given a very casual treatment. It’s definitely not a good thing when someone dies, but the survivors sure don’t spend much time crying about it. Glory, honor, and love are all presented as being more important than life, and as ideals worth dying for. The Three Musketeers is a work of historical fiction in which the main characters’ lives are frequently influenced by sweeping historic events. The contextualization might indicate that an individual life is not valuable outside of higher and grander ideals. That’s not to say that the main characters don’t enjoy life. On the contrary, they do, but they willingly and frequently risk their lives throughout the course of the novel.

Questions About Mortality

  1. When do the four heroes risk their lives? Is there ever a time when they refuse to risk their lives?
  2. If dueling is illegal, why does everyone do it anyway?
  3. How do historical events coincide or effect individual characters’ lives in the novel?

Chew on This

Life is treated as secondary to love, honor, and glory in The Three Musketeers.

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