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The Idiot

The Idiot

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot Characters

Meet the Cast


Prince Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin

An epileptic young man—an example of a perfectly good person. Myshkin travels from a Swiss clinic to Petersburg to find a place for himself in Russia. Instead, he stumbles into a series of love t...

Nastasya Philipovna Barashkov

After spending her youth as the mostly unwilling mistress of a rich aristocrat, Nastasya chafes under her status as a fallen woman and wrestles with the decision of whether to marry Ganya, Rogozhin...

Aglaya Ivanovna Epanchin

The most beautiful daughter of a high-society family, Aglaya is spoiled, intelligent, and unhappy with the idea that she must marry for social status. She spends the novel trying to understand her...

Parfyon Semyonovich Rogozhin

A somewhat mysterious, but clearly violent and unstable young man, Rogozhin wants desperately to marry Nastasya—but it clear that he will harm her in some way once he does so.You know what would...

Gavril Ardalyonovich Ivolgin (Ganya)

Ganya is an overly vain and ambitious functionary in General Epanchin's office. After a failed attempt to marry Nastasya for money although he actually despises her, Ganya makes a failed attempt to...

Nikolai Ardalyonovich Ivolgin (Kolya)

Despite being much younger, Ganya's younger brother Kolya turns into Myshkin's BFF because he is so idealistic that Myshkin's perfection can't help but inspire him. Sure, you're asking, if Mys...

Ippolit Terentyev

While dying of tuberculosis, Ippolit first tries to extort money from and then comes to live with Myshkin. Young, nihilistic, and mostly just very depressed because of his terminal illness, Ippolit...

Varvara Ardalyonovna Ivolgin (Varya)

Ganya's younger sister Varya tries to help her brother marry Aglaya, and then ends up marrying the moneylender Ptitsyn.Varya is basically the loving family-fixer. She is as patient, practical, and...

Lukian Timofyevich Lebedev

You've earned it, so we're going to let you in on a little secret of novel writing. Ready? Sometimes characters exist just to propel the plot along. When you have a lot of central characters with b...

General Ardalyon Ivolgin

A completely delusional drunk, General Ivolgin is the embarrassing, unacceptable dad of Ganya, Varya, and Kolya, who ends up suffering a stroke in the middle of the street after a foiled attempt to...

Lizaveta Prokofyevna Epanchin

The doting and concerned mother of the three Epanchin sisters, Mrs. Epanchin worries both about her daughters' need to get married, and also about the fact that their family seems to always be a li...

General Ivan Fyodorovich Epanchin

Father to the Epanchin girls, General Epanchin is a loving father who mostly just goes along to get along in his otherwise rather histrionic family.Granted, this novel isn't a fine-fingered dissect...

Afanassy Ivanovich Totsky

An aristocrat who raised and kept Nastasya as a mistress, Totsky now wants to marry her off to Ganya in order to protect himself.You know what's strange? How Totsky totally disappears from this nov...

Evgeny Pavlovich Radomsky

As Myshkin's competitor for Aglaya's hand in marriage, Radomsky is a far more socially appropriate suitor, although she does not actually love him.Radomsky is another character who kind of seems—...

Ivan Petrovitch Ptitsyn

A moneylender with a head for business, Ptitsyn marries Varya Ivolgin and supports the Ivolgin family.There is an amazing section in the novel that is basically just a very long narratorial aside a...
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