DOSTOYEVSKY: THE IDIOT
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Prince Lef Nicolaievitch Muishkin is one of the great characters in Russian literature. Is he a saint or just naïve? Is he an idealist or, as many in General Epanchin’s society feel, an ‘idiot’? Certainly his return to St Petersburg after years in a Swiss clinic has a dramatic effect on the beautiful Aglaya, youngest of the Epanchin daughters, and on the charismatic but wilful Nastasia Philipovna. As he paints a vivid picture of Russian society, Dostoyevsky shows how principles conflict with emotions – with tragic results.