The Three Musketeers | Study Guide

Alexandre Dumas

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The Three Musketeers | Chapter 33 | Summary

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Summary

Against the advice of his friends, d'Artagnan falls in love with Milady. When he arrives to visit Milady, Kitty intercepts him with a secret: Milady does not love d'Artagnan. She shows him a letter from Milady to the Comte de Wardes. D'Artagnan wants revenge.

Realizing Kitty's affection for him, d'Artagnan passes the evening with her instead of Milady, but instead of leaving, he hides in Milady's closet to get proof. He overhears Milady saying she wants revenge on d'Artagnan because he got her in trouble with the cardinal and because he did not kill Lord de Winter when he had the chance. Milady only tolerates d'Artagnan because the cardinal had asked her to do so.

For his first act of revenge, d'Artagnan stays with Kitty after Milady locks herself in her room for the night. He asks Kitty what happened to Mme. Bonacieux, but she does not know. D'Artagnan asks why Milady was in trouble with the cardinal, but he already suspects it had to do with the diamonds.

The next day, Milady is in a bad mood because the Comte de Wardes has not responded to her letters. She has Kitty take a third letter to the Comte de Wardes, but d'Artagnan persuades Kitty to bring it to him instead. The letter reveals Milady's love for the Comte de Wardes. D'Artagnan writes back in the name of the Comte de Wardes and invites himself over at 11 p.m. the next day. Kitty is heartbroken at seeing d'Artagnan so passionate about Milady. Kitty's consolation is knowing d'Artagnan will end his visit with Milady early that evening so he can spend the rest of the night with her.

Analysis

The theme of revenge intensifies in Chapter 33 as the plot thickens. D'Artagnan wants revenge against Milady for not returning his love (and maybe a little bit against the Comte de Wardes for being the object of her love). Milady already wants revenge on d'Artagnan because he made her look bad with the cardinal, and he did not kill Lord de Winter. When he overhears this information, d'Artagnan wants revenge even more, so he stays in Kitty's room instead of visiting Milady. Then a perfect opening for revenge appears when d'Artagnan intercepts Milady's love letter to the Comte de Wardes. Escalating his revenge, d'Artagnan forges a letter and plans to pose as the Comte de Wardes. Kitty, who loves d'Artagnan and is used as his instrument of revenge, has no such plans of revenge herself.

While the revenge theme pushes the plot forward, further complications arise from the intersection of love and power. D'Artagnan loves Milady, so he cannot walk away. This gives her a degree of power over d'Artagnan. Milady loves the Comte de Wardes, and d'Artagnan uses this information to gain power over Milady and make her feel rejected like he does. Love also gives d'Artagnan power over Kitty. She offers information, carries letters, and sneaks him into the rooms, all for the reward of d'Artagnan's time and attention.

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