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The Idiot

Characters

Parfyon Semyonovich Rogozhin

Characters Parfyon Semyonovich Rogozhin

The dark-haired, dark-eyed Rogozhin represents all of the darkness of the novel's world that contrasts with the light that Prince Myshkin brings. Rogozhin's passionate love for Nastassya Filippovna leads to extreme obsession and is characterized by jealousy and violence. He beats her and ultimately stabs her to death. Rogozhin is descended from a long line of merchants, and in keeping with this heritage he tries to woo Nastassya by offering her money. His connection with money is a further sign of the degradation and moral corruption his character represents. If Prince Myshkin is a Russian Christ, Rogozhin is a version of the Russian devil. Indeed, his last name contains the word "rog," which means "horn" in Russian. Dostoevsky contrasts Rogozhin's devouring passion with Myshkin's compassion. Although the Prince's pity is stronger than Rogozhin's all-consuming love, it is ultimately unable to save Nastassya Filippovna from death.