Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is the wealthy patriarch of the Karamazov family and the known father of the three Karamazov brothers Dmitri, Ivan, and Alyosha. Dmitri is the result of Fyodor’s marriage to Adelaida Ivanovna, who dies of an illness in St. Petersburg after abandoning Fyodor. Ivan and Alyosha are the sons of Sofia Ivanovna, Fyodor’s second wife. Soon after giving birth to Alyosha, Sofia dies of a nervous disorder, largely incited by Fyodor’s mistreatment of her. Fyodor is a man of great self-indulgence. His sole interest in life is to experience pleasure without considering the impact of his actions on others. Although this disposition largely contributes to Fyodor’s wealth, it is also the reason Fyodor is considered by many to be a promiscuous drunk, due to his drinking habits and the many orgies he hosts in his home. Fyodor’s proclivity for women also leads to a sexual encounter with Lizaveta Smerdyashchaya. The novel suggests, while not explicitly stating, that Fyodor’s servant, Smerdyakov, is the result of this encounter. 

Fyodor is characterized by a lack of care and consideration for others, and this trait extends, perhaps to an even greater degree, to his three known sons. Dmitri, Ivan, and Alyosha are all raised separate from their father, and it’s not until the three brothers are adults that they all reunite with him. Fyodor perceives his sons to be unfortunate casualties of his relationships with their mothers. In fact, Fyodor often can’t recall which son belongs to which of his late wives. His relationship with Dmitri is especially fraught, as both Fyodor and Dmitri are in love with a woman named Grushenka and see the other as their competition. 

Midway through the novel, Fyodor is murdered in his home by Smerdyakov due to the intense hatred the servant has for Fyodor. However, because Smerdyakov was not the only one who hated Fyodor, and because of the romantic rivalry between Fyodor and Dmitri, the murder is initially pinned on Dmitri, who often expressed a wish for his father’s death. After Fyodor’s murder, due to his cruel and selfish reputation, very few show grief or remorse. Additionally, it is only after Fyodor’s death that the reader and the other characters come to understand just how rich Fyodor was, as he leaves a shockingly large sum of money to his sons.