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The Idiot
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John Seymour 2C. Assess the character of Aglaya Ivanovna Epanchin.

John Seymour Aglaya was the main character that I thought I least understood. She appears to love Myshkin, but seems to delight in torturing him. Of course she is pretty young, and that does explain a lot of the misery in high school. The great denouement at the end is created apparently because she is unsure whether Myshkin really loves her or Nastasya and decides to put him to the test by bringing him to Nastasya's and forcing him to declare who he loves best. A serious tactical error that leads to all the misery that follows.

Kristel (kristelh) | 4116 comments Mod
Aglaya was one of two women, the other being Nastassya. Aglaya being of good family and reputation. Nastassya being orphaned and abused by Totsky. She is damaged goods.

I am not sure who these are to represent if we continue to follow the Christ figure theme. Is Nastassya, Mary, the young girl who is misunderstood by society as Mary would have been once she was found to be pregnant? Or is Aglaya the virgin as she is a virgin and Nastassya is not. I really found both women to be annoying because they seemed to be so cruel. I agree that Aglaya makes a very serious error because it really shows she did not understand the goodness of Myshkin to love and care for the poor and downtrodden.

Diane Zwang | 1248 comments Mod
Aglaya was not my favorite character. Her youth and lack of experience were touted as the reason for her fall but I couldn't excuse her behavior for innocence alone. She was cruel to the Prince throughout the story.

Book Wormy | 1989 comments Mod
I agree with Diane she was horrible from the start and seemed to be playing games.

Tracy (tstan) | 558 comments I think both women were two sides of the same coin, sent to the prince as a reminder that he should just avoid marriage. Aglaya was awful to him, and her mind games were like middle school behavior.

message 7: by Pip (new) - rated it 3 stars

Pip | 1411 comments What I couldn't understand was Nastasya's motivation in writing to Aglaya and telling her that she loved her. Why? I can understand that she thought that Aglaya would be better for Myshkin than herself, but why the protestation of love? Without those letters there would not have been a confrontation, so maybe it was a device of the plot, but not one I could by into.

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