Analysis of Dostoevsky’s Idiot

Dostoevsky is a Russian writer known for his penetrating insight into character and espousing the philosophy of existentialism. His famous books are the Karamazov Brothers: Crime and Punishment and the Idiot.
In the idiot he portrays characters with ironic stoicism. There is a rich pageantry of literary thought. The idiot aims to bring out the fetish of cathartic psychology. The novel portrays the life of the bourgeoisie. Class consciousness is an epic of psychological narcissism. Life for Dostoevsky is an evanescent dream, a fleeting and ephemeral. The novel Idiot is intensely and literary and philosophical.
The protagonist of the novel Idiot is Prince Myshkin. He has been going through bouts of mental insanity. He was in Switzerland and he has come to Russia. He maintains a relationship with the daughters of the Evanich family. Myshkin’s characterization is one of extreme bathos. He behaves ridiculously and clownishly.
Through the character of Prince Myshkin, Dostoevsky wants to bring out a Christian allusion being that of the mad man from Gadarene. Dostoevsky is caught up with a conflict of Christian philosophy and secularism. The novel idiot uses a lot of allusions. The philosophical texture of the novel hints of traces of existentialism. Myshkin is kind hearted, devoted and loyal. There are no traces of narcissism in Myshkin’s character.
Myshkin suffers from oedipal trauma. Dostoevsky also uses Nietzsche’s philosophy of tragedy that is the harmony created by the Dionysian and the Apollonian. The Dionysian elements of rhythm and beat and the Apollonian elements of melody are a recurring leitmotif in his novel. The Novel—Idiot is marked by the poignant Christian philosophy of suffering. Myshkin is a wounded soul.
The literary quality of Dostoevsky’s Idiot is a rich tapestry of philosophical thoughts. We are all Myshkin’s with a wounded existential angst. There is an aura of mystery in the novel Idiot. The novel is also inclusive of Christian mysticism. The idiot is akin to Cervantes’s Don Quixote. The metaphors used in the novel are unique and evoke pathos of feeling. There are many passages in the novel which are allegorical. The literary depth of the novel is so stupendous. Philosophy has broken through the novel. Is the novel a portrayal of Dostoevsky’s own battered psyche? There are times when Dostoevsky went into dementia.
I would rate the novel as a magnum opus deserving high literary credit. The novel questions the values, purpose and meaning of life. The novel reveals the contemporary existential dilemma of angst that individuals are facing in society. The novel is like Camus’ Myth of the Sisyphus. Sisyphus is condemned by the Gods to roll a boulder uphill only to his consternation that it rolls down gain. The novel portrays the endless monotony and agony of life. The novel is set on the breakdown of the Russian aristocracy. Dostoevsky mastery and eloquence requires special credit. The novel is a dialogic structure and adopts inter-textual devices. Dostoevsky is to be lauded for his incising psychological penetration. The novel deserves to be praised for its magniloquence.

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