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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Characters

Meet the Cast

Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov

Worthless. Depraved. Muddleheaded.This is how Dostoevsky introduces us to Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov, the father of the Karamazov brothers. How could he possibly live down such an introduction? And...

Dmitri (Mitya) Karamazov

If the Karamazov brothers were a band, Dmitri would be the front man, the lead vocalist, the face of the group. The one who writes all the songs and gets all the girls. The one who could break out...

Ivan Karamazov

Ivan is the brainiac of the three Karamazov brothers. Intellectual and bookish, he can argue circles around everyone in town. No one, it seems, can outwit him in an argument, whether the topic be l...

Alexei (Alyosha) Karamazov

Alyosha is so good, so pure, that next to the other characters in the novel, he seems to have no personality at all. All the other characters – from Fyodor and the other Karamazov brothers, down...

Pavel Fyodorovich Smerdyakov

Smerdyakov has to be up there with the great villains of world literature. But like Ivan's devil, Smerdyakov isn't all that intimidating a figure. He does, however, seem to have a Mt.-Everest-sized...

Zosima

The elder Zosima looms over the novel as its wise man, guru, and moral center.Well, maybe not exactly "looms." Just like Yoda in Star Wars or Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, Zosima is a modest figu...

Katerina Ivanovna Verkhovtsev

The daughter of a high-ranking general, Katerina is proud, wealthy, intelligent, and beautiful – but terrible with men. She is engaged to Dmitri, who lent her the money to redeem her father's goo...

Agrafena (Grushenka) Alexandrovna Svetlov

Unlike Katerina, Grushenka is adept at manipulating men. After suffering heartbreak as a teenager, she falls under the patronage of Samsonov, a wealthy businessman who helps her set up her own lend...

Captain Nikolai Ilyich Snegiryov

The impoverished Captain Snegiryov has the misfortune of getting into a fight with Dmitri at the town pub. Dmitri pulls him out of the pub and into the street by his beard. Even worse, Snegiryov's...

Ilyusha Snegiryov

Ilyusha is the proud but frail young son of Captain Snegiryov. Despite his frailty, he gets into frequent fights with his schoolmates, who mock his father. Ilyusha's life changes when he throws a s...

Nikolai (Kolya) Ivanov Krasotkin

Kolya is the ringleader of the schoolboys. He's brave and clever but a little arrogant, and he thinks he's much more worldly than he really is. He sprinkles his conversation with philosophical-soun...

Madame Katerina Osipovna Khokhlakov

Madame Khokhlakov is a somewhat silly, meddlesome, wealthy widow who is also Katerina's confidante. Like Katerina, Khokhlakov often has hysterical fits when she becomes frustrated or confused, whic...

Liza (Lise) Khokhlakov

Lise, the young daughter of Madame Khokhlakov, is confined to a wheelchair for much of the novel. Headstrong and mischievous, she and Alyosha form a close bond and eventually become engaged. But th...

Grigory Vasilievich Kutuzov

Grigory is Fyodor Karamazov's morose, long-suffering servant, as morally strict and austere as Fyodor is corrupt. Grigory becomes a foster father to the Karamazov brothers when their mothers die, b...

Mikhail Osipovich Rakitin

Rakitin is a young seminarian and general gossip with a nose for scandal. Ambitious and cynical, he's eager to make his mark on the world as a critic and espouses numerous fashionable modern ideas...

Father Paissy

Father Paissy is a hieromonk (senior monk) who defends Zosima and believes in his teachings. After Zosima dies, Father Paissy serves as a kind of alternative father figure for Alyosha.

Father Ferapont

The aged Father Ferapont is the resident "holy fool" at the monastery. Respected for his austere lifestyle, Ferapont speaks through cryptic phrases and hallucinatory images, usually involving devil...

Ippolit Kirillovich

Kirillovich is the prosecutor who makes the case against Dmitri. He's not stupid; he just overestimates his talents. The narrator mocks his "artistic pretensions – for example, to psychologism, t...

Fetyukovich

Fetyukovich is a famous lawyer from Moscow who takes up Dmitri's defense. In contrast to the prosecutor, Fetyukovich doesn't use any fancy phrases or inflammatory language, nor does he appeal to "m...

Herzenstube

Herzenstube is a mild-mannered, well-loved doctor who has been a fixture in the town for many years. At the trial he tells the story of how he took pity on Dmitri when he was a young, starving chil...

Maximov

Maximov is a "sponger": a former landowner, now impoverished, who relies on the kindness of others to get by. He's a silly old man who loves to drink, party, and tell stories, usually about his own...

Pyotr Ilyich Perkhotin

Perkhotin is a young town official and a friend of Dmitri's. He lends Dmitri some money in exchange for Dmitri's pistols as collateral. A few days later Dmitri returns, seemingly swimming in cash,...

Pyotr Alexandrovich Miusov

A cousin of Dmitri's mother, the wealthy Pyotr Miusov takes joint guardianship over Dmitri when his mother dies. Miusov spends most of his time in Europe and is consequently the most Europeanized o...

Trifon Borisich

Trifon Borisich is the innkeeper at Mokroye. On the two occasions Dmitri parties at his inn, Borisich does his utmost to bilk as much money as he can out of him. As a witness at Dmitri's trial, Bor...

Kuzma Kuzmich Samsonov

Samsonov is a wily old businessman who becomes Grushenka's "patron" when she is dumped by her Polish boyfriend. By the time the novel begins, Grushenka is relatively independent of Samsonov, althou...

"Stinking Lizaveta" Smerdyashchaya

Stinking Lizaveta is the village idiot. Mentally ill and homeless, she is cared for by the villagers, who pity her. Despite their efforts to clothe, feed, and shelter her, Stinking Lizaveta always...

Mussyalovich

A former Polish officer, Mussyalovich is Grushenka's former lover, who abandoned her when she was 17. He attempts to reconnect with her in Mokroye, but Dmitri interrupts their meeting. Short, stout...
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