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Character Role Analysis


Raskolnikov antagonizes Svidrigaïlov and Luzhin. He certainly acts as an antagonist toward Alyona the pawnbroker and Lizavetathough, in the case of Lizaveta, he wants to help her but ends up hurting her. He's mean and scary, but he's not a character that inspires hatred in us. He's trying too hard to do the right thing, although in a very misguided way, and is nice to many people. In that way, he's rather weak as an antagonist.


Svidrigaïlov is a better antagonist than Raskolnikov. He seems to delight in hurting other people, especially young women and children. Plus, he's been doing it for a very long time. He has no scruples, principles, or shame. Yet, he's tormented by nightmares, ghosts, and even mice. So, he must have a conscience, right? He also does good by Sonia before he kills himself, and he lets Dounia go, even though he finally has her trapped. Like all really excellent villains, there is just enough good in him, or a shadow of good, to make us think.