The Man in the Iron Mask | Sunday Observer

The Man in the Iron Mask

The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas is set in France in the mid seventeenth century. The plot of the novel revolves around the life of a prisoner who is made to wear a mask and whose identity remains a mystery. According to Dumas the prisoner was the legitimate brother of King Louis XIV of France and was imprisoned because of speculation of a dispute over which brother should reign. But according to other theories the masked prisoner was the illegitimate half brother of King Louis XIV of France and was imprisoned because he could try to usurp the throne.

The novel begins with an encounter between the masked prisoner named Philippe and Aramis who is planning a coup to replace King Louis XIV with Philippe. The three musketeers in Dumas’s novel of the same name play a prominent part in this novel.

Dumas highlights the suffering and injustice faced by the masked prisoner because whether he is a legitimate or an illegitimate child he has not committed a crime. He is imprisoned because he is perceived as a threat which is wrong and unjust. In modern times his imprisonment would be unacceptable because it is a serious violation of an individual’s human rights.

Reviewed by Hannah George 

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