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Friends among enemies: Dumas's musketeers

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Birch, E 


The musketeers, we know, are very much the best of friends. Thanks to a remarkable number of adaptations, on stage and screen, this fact has come to be so firmly lodged in the public mind that almost any mention of Athos and company is bound to prompt images of idealised male friendship, of unstinting camaraderie. In the fictions of Alexandre Dumas père, the musketeers never tire of alluding to the bonds of friendship that bind them. Often, they speak of little else. Often, they seem to be quite incapable of addressing one another without the epithet, “mon ami” (or, in case this were somehow unclear, “mon cher ami”). So common are these protestations of friendship that it might even strike a casual reader as gratuitous that Dumas should chose to name one of his heroes Aramis. But still, the vision of amitié sketched in the novels of Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and, of course, d’Artagnan has endured, and, in the words of Marc Brodie and Barbara Caine, “the close friendship that underlies Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers probably remains the best-known nineteenth-century depiction of friendship” (232).



47 Language, Communication and Culture, 4703 Language Studies, 4705 Literary Studies

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Romanic Review

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Duke University Press