The Role of Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" Term Paper

The Role of Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's "The Idiot"
An analysis of Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" from a psychological point of view, reading the text of the novel as an allegory for Dostoevsky's own life.
# 154040 | 5,553 words | 13 sources | 2014 | CA
Published by on Oct 23, 2014 in Literature (Russian)


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From the Paper:

"This paper argues that the traditional reading of Dostoevsky's The Idiot, in which Prince Myshkin is interpreted as a Christ-like or Messianic figure, a sort of Russian Christ come to save Russia, is mistaken. In its place, the paper suggests an interpretation that reads Prince Myshkin as Dostoevsky's alter ego. This interpretation is based on a psychological reading of the novel and draws upon biographical material from Dostovesky's life. According to this reading, the novel must be read as an allegory for Dostoevsky's life and for his deepest inner longings. Allegorically, Myshkin represents Dostoevsky's ego-ideal, Rogozhin his dark side (or "shadow"), and Natasya his persona as a writer and literary figure. Other allegorical correspondences are also explored. After first examining why the traditional interpretation is problematic, the paper outlines in detail the alternative reading. Following this, the paper presents the evidence on which the alternative reading is based. This evidence is examined in two sections: (1) extratextual evidence, that is, evidence that is external to the text of The Idiot; and (2) intratextual evidence, that is, evidence that is internal to The Idiot. The paper concludes that Dostoevsky himself was partly responsible for misleading people into thinking that the novel was about Christ, that he may not have been consciously aware that he was allegorizing his own life in writing the novel, and that in writing the novel he was perhaps unconsciously undertaking to do psychotherapy on himself."

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The Role of Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's "The Idiot" (2014, October 23) Retrieved October 20, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/the-role-of-prince-myshkin-in-dostoevsky-the-idiot-154040/

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"The Role of Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's "The Idiot"" 23 October 2014. Web. 20 October. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/the-role-of-prince-myshkin-in-dostoevsky-the-idiot-154040/>

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