The Idiot Characters

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Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myskin

Myshkin is the main character and the "Idiot" of the title. The main reason they call the Prince an idiot is that he suffers from epilepsy, and the time he spent in a mental hospital has given him little knowledge of the outside world. From the beginning, he displays such openness with people, it prompts laughter in disbelief. In the opening chapter when he makes his way to St. Petersburg, he tells his new acquaintance, Rogozhin, his business in Russia and the problems he has had recovering from his illness without once wondering if Rogozhin is trustworthy.

The Prince's trust of people and his ability to forgive, even when they break his trust, paints him as a Christ-like figure. Dostoevsky further emphasizes this characteristic when the Prince moves to Pavlovsk. While he is recovering from a seizure, a variety of people visit him asking for...

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This section contains 1,828 words
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Buy The Idiot Study Guide
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