The Three Musketeers: Summary, Characters & Author

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  • 0:01 Characters
  • 1:23 Plot Summary
  • 4:57 The Author
  • 5:12 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is a story that has it all: dueling, courtly love, adventure, and a group of four friends who must try to save their world. This lesson will focus on the characters, plot, and author of The Three Musketeers.

Characters of The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers was written by Alexandre Dumas and was originally a series of stories written for a newspaper. It was published between March 14 and July 1, 1844, and has become one of the best-known stories of all time. Let's meet the cast of characters before going over their adventures.

First we have D'Artagnan, who is a poor gentleman who is good with a sword and has a lifelong dream to become a musketeer. Over the coming-of-age story, he changes from a boy into a musketeer.

Next, let's meet the three musketeers. Aramis is a good fighter and an accomplished ladies' man…but he vows he will give it all up soon and join the priesthood. Porthos is a loyal friend and a fierce fighter. He likes to brag about the women he has enjoyed over the years, but most of it is just talk. Athos, who is also the Comte de la Fère, is the oldest and most accomplished of the musketeers. His life was ruined by Milady, and he has had trust issues ever since.

Finally, we have Milady, who is a career criminal whose specialty is ruining the lives of the men she comes into contact with. Only D'Artagnan's pure heart can finally defeat her, and only at great personal loss. Constance Bonacieux is a young, beautiful woman who dies because D'Artagnan loves her. Her death marks the final moment of D'Artagnan's boyhood.

Plot Summary

Now, what is the plot of this story?

D'Artagnan, a young gentleman from Gascony, France, heads to Paris to find his fortune in life. He goes to see M. de Tréville, who is the Commander of the King's musketeers. D'Artagnan's goal in life is to become a musketeer. While in Paris, he meets Porthos, Athos, and Aramis, musketeers who quickly become his friends, and Constance Bonacieux, who steals his heart.

Events unfold around these characters. The Duke of Buckingham sets his sights on the married Queen Anne of France, but she sends him back to England. Feeling bad, she gives him a pair of diamond earrings she got from her husband, the King. The Cardinal, who was also spurned by the lovely Queen Anne, learns about the diamonds. So he tells the king to ask Anne to wear the diamonds to a party. Queen Anne dissolves into tears, terrified that her husband will realize the earrings are gone.

Constance promises the Queen she'll help her get the earrings back in time for the party. She corrals D'Artagnan, who worships the ground she walks on, into traveling to England with her. He grabs his new friends Porthos, Athos, and Aramis and brings them along. Each of them is stopped along the way, so D'Artagnan eventually sees the Duke alone. The Duke blocks all ships from leaving England (and declares war on France in the doing) and produces the diamonds. D'Artagnan hurries back to Paris, and the Queen wears the earrings to the party.

Constance makes a date to meet D'Artagnan that evening. However, she never shows up, and D'Artagnan realizes she was kidnapped. Knowing he needs help to get her back, he sets off with a man named Planchet to find out what happened to Aramis, Porthos, and Athos. He finds the first two wounded at inns, so he leaves them horses and goes in search of Athos. He finds Athos, who tells him the story of a man whose heart was broken by a woman who turned out to be a criminal.

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