© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Idiot

The Idiot


by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot: Symbols True or False

1. Which famous painting does the novel refer to? -> Holbein's "Christ in the Tomb"
2. What is the significance of the reference to Myshkin as the "poor knight"? -> It is a reference to Don Quixote and it sheds new light on Myshkin's character.
3. What is the significance of the scene in which Myshkin keeps picking up Rogozhin's knife? -> It foreshadows the use of the knife as a murder weapon later in the novel.
4. How does the homeless girl (Marie) reveal the theme of compassion and love? -> She denies herself to meet another person's needs.