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The Idiot
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John Seymour 2B. Assess the character of Parfyon Semyonych Rogozhin.


John Seymour If Prince Myshkin is the Christ figure in The Idiot, is Rogozhin emblematic of Satan? Of evil? I wonder if this is a Russian Orthodox understanding of Satan - not the great ravenous evil roaming the land, but a tortured, fallen evil, luring people to their debasement, to their own rejection of good.

Assuming this understanding of Myshkin - Rogozhin is accurate (I am certainly not the first to see it), what is fascinating is the relationship D sees between Myshkin and Rogozhin. Not truly adversarial, but, on Myskin's part anyway, pitying and sorrowful. And even Rogozhin seems to understand at the end that Myshkin is trying to save Nastasya and Rogozhin seems to have some understanding, maybe even empathy, for Myshkin's loss.


message 3: by Kristel (last edited Feb 03, 2017 04:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristel (kristelh) | 4116 comments Mod
Rogoszhin is an emotional man who hangs with a rowdy crowd of drunks and rogues. He is the antagonist to the character of the Prince.

If Prince is Christ figure in literary terms then Rogoszhin would be Satan or evil. Satan as a fallen angel would be a character than Christ would have some familiarity, understanding and even empathy toward but they are also adversarial because the ultimate end result is in opposition.


Book Wormy | 1989 comments Mod
Agree with you both


Tracy (tstan) | 558 comments I agree, as well. John makes a good point. Which of those evils is worse?


message 6: by Pip (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pip | 1411 comments Was Rogoszhin mad? I really struggled to understand him as a character (along with many others in the book) which is why I kept putting it aside. Myshkin predicted that he would kill Nastasya and he did. Myshkin understood his passion and stayed with him after the murder. That is when Myshkin was at his most Christ-like.


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