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The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Character Analysis Parfyon Rogozhin

In this novel, Rogozhin's presence is very much like that of a dark angel of death. He lives in a grave-like, gloomy house that is filled with tiny rooms and winding corridors. He slinks about, watching Myshkin's activities, sure that the fair-haired, blue-eyed prince is deviously trying to win Nastasya's affections. He even tries to murder Myshkin in order to do away with his rival and possess Nastasya. Finally, it is only by murdering Nastasya that he is able to possess her. But even then he does violence to Myshkin and takes him to Nastasya's death scene; somehow, this uneducated man (and in the most recent translations, Rogozhin's bad grammar reflects his crude, elemental nature) senses that Myshkin and Nastasya were able to share feelings he was incapable of. He is, basically, the antithesis of Prince Myshkin: He is pride, Myshkin humility; he is lust, Myshkin compassion; he is animal-like, Myshkin saintly.