The Idiot By Fyodor Dostoevsky Character List

Main Characters

Russian Names: The middle names of all male characters end in "vitch" and of all female characters in "ovna." This simply means "son of" or "daughter of" the father whose first name is converted into their middle names. For example, Varvara and Gavril's father is named Ardalion. Therefore, Varvara Ardalionovna means Varvara, daughter of Ardalion, and Gavril Ardalionovitch means Gavril, son of Ardalion.

Prince Lyov Nikolayevitch Myshkin Twenty-six years old; very thick, fair hair; slightly above medium height; large ice-blue eyes, hollow cheeks; thin, almost white, little beard. Myshkin lost his parents when he was a child and spent his life in the country; because of his epileptic attacks, he was sent to a Swiss clinic by his guardian Pavlishtchev.

Parfyon Semyonovitch Rogozhin About twenty-seven years old; short, stocky build; curly black hair; handsome, but has a deathly pallor; impulsive; believes that Myshkin is his rival for Nastasya Filippovna.

Nastasya Filippovna Barashkov Twenty-five years old; an extraordinarily beautiful woman; dark brown hair, worn in a simple style; dark, deep eyes; passionate, haughty expression; rather thin, pale face; her eyes reflect unusual suffering. Following her many years of liaison with Totsky, Nastasya is uncertain as to what she will now do with her life; she admires Myshkin but fears that her past and her passionate nature will disgrace the prince.

Afanasy Ivanovitch Totsky Wealthy lover of Nastasya; now wishes to be free to marry; plots with General Epanchin to arrange Nastasya's marriage to Ganya.

Epanchin Family

Ivan Fyodorovitch The father, a general, fifty-six years old; stocky, solid figure; a self-taught man; cleverly built his fortune from his wife's dowry.

Lizaveta Prokofyevna The mother; a distant relative of Prince Myshkin; when she married the general, she had neither education nor beauty, but she brought him a dowry of fifty serfs, which formed the basis of the Epanchin fortune.

Alexandra The eldest daughter; twenty-five years old; a musician; good-natured, sensible, yet strong-willed; very pretty, though not in a showy way. Unlike her parents, she is not fond of high life.

Adelaida Twenty-three years old; a painter; fiancée of a certain Prince S.

Aglaia The youngest Epanchin daughter; twenty years old; the idol of the Epanchin household; extremely beautiful.

Ivolgin Family

Ardalion Alexandrovitch The father; a retired general; drinks excessively; spends time in debtors' prison.

Nina Alexandrovna About fifty years old; thin, sunken face; a woman who has seen better days.

Kolya Ganya's young brother; admires Ippolit Terentyev and Prince Myshkin.

Gavril Ardalionovitch (Ganya) About twenty-eight years old; slender, fair-haired, very good looking; the secretary of General Epanchin; believes that Myshkin is his rival for Aglaia Epanchin.

Varvara Ardalionovna (Varya) Twenty-three years old; rather thin; possesses the secret of charm without beauty; vigorous and enterprising ambition to rise socially.

Other Characters

Lukyan Timofeyitch Lebedyev Civil servant; fortyish; heavily built, red-nosed, pimply-faced; a hypocrite.

Yevgeny Pavlovitch Radomsky Twenty-eight years old; witty, brilliant conversationalist; extremely handsome; admirer of Aglaia Epanchin.

Ippolit Terentyev Eighteen-year-old consumptive; fails in a dramatic suicide attempt

Madame Terentyev Mistress of General Ivolgin; mother of Ippolit.

Ferdyshtchenko Boarder of the Ivolgins; good friend of Nastasya Filippovna's.

Keller A boxer; friend of Rogozhin's; author of a satirical pamphlet attacking Prince Myshkin.

Ivan Petrovitch Ptitsyn Thirtyish; modest, elegant; makes money by lending money at a high rate of interest; marries Varya Epanchin

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Take the Quiz

At the end of Part III, Nastasya and Rogozhin each ask Myshkin the same question. What was it?




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