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|“||No, no, no...no my love. You will burn in hell. I will not. For I am King...ordained by God!||„|
|~ King Louis XIV intimidating Christine|
King Louis XIV is the main antagonist in Alexandre Dumas' novel The Man in the Iron Mask and its 1998 film adaptation.
After 6 years of being in power, France is at war with the Dutch and Louis is letting his own people starve and does not care about them at all. The now retired Three Musketeers devise a plan to replace the king with his kind twin brother Phillippe who spent 6 years in prison wearing an iron mask.
In 1662, the three musketeers have retired. Aramis is now a Jesuit priest, Porthos runs a brothel, and Athos lives at home with his son, Raoul. The fourth musketeer, D'Artagnan is now the captain of the guard. While fighting a war, Louis selfishly sends all the food to his army and while the citizens of Paris starve and eat rotten food. The Jesuits have taken action and have attempted to assassinate the king but with no luck. Louis appoints Aramis to find the general of the Order of Jesuits and to kill him, unbeknownst to him that Aramis is the general. During the party, Raoul brings his fiancee Christine, to whom the King falls in love with. While flirting with her, a Jesuit disguised as a musketeer attempts to kill Louis but is slain by D'Artagnan.
Days later, citizens riot together to the palace complaining they have been given rotten food. D'Artagnan understands their cause and promises them to change Louis' mind. D'Artagnan tells Louis who agrees but tells his advisors to shoot the rioters instead. Against D'Artagnan's wishes, Louis drafts Raoul to the front in order to have him killed so he could have a chance with Christine. Raoul is killed in battle and Athos arrives at the palace intended on killing Louis but is stopped by D'Artagnan. With Christine unaware of Louis sending Raoul to the front on purpose, she is invited to the palace where Louis seduces her and claims her as his mistress. Aramis calls a secret meeting of the 4 musketeers and devise a plan to replace the king to which D'Artagnan refuses, saying he will protect the king for unknown personal reasons. The three musketeers sneak into a prison and free a man in an iron mask who is revealed to be Phillippe, Louis' twin brother. Louis imprisoned him so no one could take his place. Aramis sends a replica of the mask to Louis, making him think his brother was now dead and Christine begins having second thoughts about her affair with Louis.
To lift his spirits, Louis throws a masquerade ball the next night to which the musketeers plan to make the switch under the guise of the masks. The musketeers attend the ball, wearing replicas of Phillippe's mask which make Louis delusional and has him retire to his chambers. The three grab Louis and make the switch. Phillippe does quite well but a distraught Christine, unaware of the switch causes a scene and condemns him for what Louis did with Raoul. Phillippe calms her down which makes D'Artagnan realize that Phillippe is not Louis. The musketeers try to sneak out through the river but are surrounded by D'Artagnan and his men. They are forced to make the switch again but the guards capture Phillippe while the others escape. D'Artagnan learns that Phillippe is Louis' brother and Louis learns that their mother agreed to the switch. D'Artagnan begs Louis to spare Phillippe's life but the king refuses and has Phillippe brought back to the bastille and remain in the mask forever. No longer trusting D'Artagnan, Louis has the second in command alert him when D'Artagnan goes somewhere.
Around midnight, the four musketeers break into the bastille and free Phillippe but become trapped by Louis and the guards. D'Artagnan reveals to the others that he is Phillippe and Louis' birthfather and they should charge one last stand and go out fighting. As they charge, Louis orders his men to shoot them down but they fail to aim and they miss. Louis, now frustrated, grabs a dagger, and attempts to stab Phillippe, but D'Artagnan sacrifices himself and is stabbed in the back. An enraged Phillippe jumps Louis and tries to kill him but D'Artagnan stops him and reminds him that they are brothers. D'Artagnan then dies and his second in command corners Louis, enraged that he killed his idol and helps the musketeers make the switch. When the rest of the guards barricade the back door, the switch is made and Louis, now in the mask, tries to explain but is silenced. Phillippe orders to have him be fed by a deaf-mute so no one can hear him scream and Louis is taken away while making muffled bellows. At the end of the film, Aramis, narrating the story, explains that Louis was given a full pardon and lived in solitude in the countryside for the rest of his life but was still kept in the mask and was never found and never returned. Phillippe became a better Louis XIV and would be remembered as one of France's greatest kings.
Louis XIV displays many pathological personality traits that include extreme cruelty, greed, arrogance, megalomania, lack of empathy and contempt towards others. He meets criteria for narcissistic personality disorder, making him a psychopath. He was shown to be very vengeful and short-tempered, completely disregard human lives, willing to kill even his own father and his loyal men.
- The role of King Louis XIV was Leonardo DiCaprio's first villainous role. His later villainous roles were Calvin Candie in Django Unchained, Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, and Jay Gatsby in the 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
- He is one of the most evil portrayals of the real-life King Louis XIV.