The Count of Monte Cristo Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

Is your class reading the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas? Once they have finished, use this lesson plan to review the novel as a whole, focusing on important plot points and key characters. Students will round out their understanding by analyzing characters' successes and failures. Related lessons and extensions are available, as well.

Lesson Objectives

With this lesson, your students will learn to:

  • summarize The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • analyze the motivations and morality of main characters and how they lead to their ultimate downfall or reward


  • 60-80 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.


Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).


NOTE: This lesson assumes that students have read the book The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Alterations to the lesson plan as written will be needed to accommodate classes that have not read the book.

  • Before starting this lesson, ask your class the following question as a general warm-up: How far would you go to get revenge on someone? Discuss as a class and steer the conversation toward comparing what lengths your students might go to with the lengths that Dante went to in the novel.
  • Provide printed copies of the text lesson The Count of Monte Cristo: Summary & Characters to students. After they have read the summary, ask the following questions to evaluate their understanding:
    • Who are the four different men out to get Dantes, and why are they trying to destroy him?
    • What is done to Dantes?
    • How does Dantes escape from Chateau d'If?
    • How does Dantes seek his revenge on each of the four men?
    • In the end, what becomes of Dantes, and why does he feel he has gone too far?

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