Study Guide

The Brothers Karamazov Characters

Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov

Worthless. Depraved. Muddleheaded.This is how Dostoevsky introduces us to Fyodor Pavlovich...

Dmitri (Mitya) Karamazov

If the Karamazov brothers were a band, Dmitri would be the front man, the lead vocalist, the face...

Ivan Karamazov

Ivan is the brainiac of the three Karamazov brothers. Intellectual and bookish, he can argue...

Alexei (Alyosha) Karamazov

Alyosha is so good, so pure, that next to the other characters in the novel, he seems to have no...

Pavel Fyodorovich Smerdyakov

Smerdyakov has to be up there with the great villains of world literature. But like Ivan's devil,...

Zosima

The elder Zosima looms over the novel as its wise man, guru, and moral center.Well, maybe not...

Katerina Ivanovna Verkhovtsev

The daughter of a high-ranking general, Katerina is proud, wealthy, intelligent, and beautiful...

Agrafena (Grushenka) Alexandrovna Svetlov

Unlike Katerina, Grushenka is adept at manipulating men. After suffering heartbreak as a...

Captain Nikolai Ilyich Snegiryov

The impoverished Captain Snegiryov has the misfortune of getting into a fight with Dmitri at the...

Ilyusha Snegiryov

Ilyusha is the proud but frail young son of Captain Snegiryov. Despite his frailty, he gets into...

Nikolai (Kolya) Ivanov Krasotkin

Kolya is the ringleader of the schoolboys. He's brave and clever but a little arrogant, and he...

Madame Katerina Osipovna Khokhlakov

Madame Khokhlakov is a somewhat silly, meddlesome, wealthy widow who is also Katerina's...

Liza (Lise) Khokhlakov

Lise, the young daughter of Madame Khokhlakov, is confined to a wheelchair for much of the novel....

Grigory Vasilievich Kutuzov

Grigory is Fyodor Karamazov's morose, long-suffering servant, as morally strict and austere as...

Mikhail Osipovich Rakitin

Rakitin is a young seminarian and general gossip with a nose for scandal. Ambitious and cynical,...

Father Paissy

Father Paissy is a hieromonk (senior monk) who defends Zosima and believes in his teachings....

Father Ferapont

The aged Father Ferapont is the resident "holy fool" at the monastery. Respected for his austere...

Ippolit Kirillovich

Kirillovich is the prosecutor who makes the case against Dmitri. He's not stupid; he just...

Fetyukovich

Fetyukovich is a famous lawyer from Moscow who takes up Dmitri's defense. In contrast to the...

Herzenstube

Herzenstube is a mild-mannered, well-loved doctor who has been a fixture in the town for many...

Maximov

Maximov is a "sponger": a former landowner, now impoverished, who relies on the kindness of...

Pyotr Ilyich Perkhotin

Perkhotin is a young town official and a friend of Dmitri's. He lends Dmitri some money in...

Pyotr Alexandrovich Miusov

A cousin of Dmitri's mother, the wealthy Pyotr Miusov takes joint guardianship over Dmitri when...

Trifon Borisich

Trifon Borisich is the innkeeper at Mokroye. On the two occasions Dmitri parties at his inn,...

Kuzma Kuzmich Samsonov

Samsonov is a wily old businessman who becomes Grushenka's "patron" when she is dumped by her...

"Stinking Lizaveta" Smerdyashchaya

Stinking Lizaveta is the village idiot. Mentally ill and homeless, she is cared for by the...

Mussyalovich

A former Polish officer, Mussyalovich is Grushenka's former lover, who abandoned her when she was...