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The Idiot

The Idiot Summary


Here you will find a The Idiot summary (Fyodor Dostoevsky's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

The Idiot Summary Overview

A noble-born young man with light hair, in his late twenties, returns to St. Petersburg after spending four years in a Swiss clinic due to his "idiotic" behavior and epileptic condition. He becomes acquainted with his distant relative, Madame Yepanchin, wife of the highly regarded General Yepanchin, and their three daughters. During his visit, he meets Gavril Ardalyonovich Ivolgin, an ambitious assistant to the general who, despite being in love with the youngest Yepanchin daughter, is attempting to wed Anastassya Filippovna Barashkov, a stunningly beautiful woman with a tainted past. The young man rents a room in the Ivolgin residence and witnesses Anastassya's attempt to insult Ganya's family, which he successfully prevents. A party is later held where she is to announce whether she will marry Ganya or not, but the noble man, having recently discovered he is due to receive a large inheritance, offers to marry her himself. Despite his generous proposal, she chooses to leave with Rogozhin, a passionate man deeply in love with her. The young man spends the next half year following her as she bounces between him and Rogozhin, in the process depleting his inheritance by paying off numerous fraudulent demands from supposed relatives and creditors. After a near-fatal encounter with Rogozhin, the prince retreats to the nearby town of Pavlovsk, renting rooms from a rogue functionary named Lebedev, where most of the story's characters spend their summer. There, he falls in love with Aglaya Yepanchin, who reciprocates his feelings, but due to his erratic behavior and disease, their relationship is not well received. Despite this, Aglaya arranges a meeting between herself, the prince, and Anastassya, forcing him to choose between them. The prince hesitates, causing Aglaya to sever any hopes of an engagement. Anastassya decides to run away with Rogozhin, who ends up killing her. The prince follows them, discovering the murder and staying with Rogozhin until the authorities arrive. As a result, Rogozhin is sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor, while the prince returns to the Swiss clinic, having lost his sanity. Aglaya, on the other hand, elopes with a deceitful Polish count who soon abandons her.

part 1 chapter 1

A late November morning sees a Warsaw to St. Petersburg train come in through the mist. It carries two men in third class, fair-haired Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin with a white beard and blue eyes, and Parfyon Rogozhin, a short figure with dark hair and small gray eyes. They soon engage in conversation, later joined by a short, stocky man with a red nose, a civil servant named Lebedev, well-informed about the St. Petersburg locals, who Rogozhin treats with some disdain. Prince Myshkin, dressed unusually for a Russian and with all his possessions in a small bundle, is coming back to Russia after spending four years in Switzerland. He was there due to an illness, described as "idiocy" and a form of epilepsy. A man named Mr. Nikolai Andreeyevich Pavlishev took care of his treatment until he passed away two years ago. Afterward, his doctor, Dr. Schneider, oversaw his time in a Swiss clinic. In St. Petersburg, Myshkin aims to meet his distant relative, Madame Yepanchin, whom he had written to but got no response. She is the wife of General Yepanchin and the last princess of the Myshkin line, just like Myshkin is the last prince. Rogozhin, in a voluminous sheepskin-lined coat, is travelling back from Pskov to St. Petersburg to gain his inheritance, a substantial sum of two and half million rubles, after his father's death. He left St. Petersburg following a disagreement with his father over an incident involving Anastassya Filippovna Barashkov, the mistress of a wealthy, older nobleman named Afanassy Ivanovich Totsky. Rogozhin developed a strong affection for her after seeing her once. He sold family bonds meant for paying debts to buy her diamond earrings, which led to his departure to an aunt's home in Pskov after a fallout with his father. As the train reaches its destination, Rogozhin invites the Prince to visit Nastassya Filippovna with him and offers to provide new clothes for him, which Myshkin gratefully accepts. In response to Rogozhin's query about women, Myshkin reveals his lack of female acquaintances due to his illness. From the train station, Myshkin heads to General Yepanchin’s house. Despite being a soldier's son, the General rose to power by building connections with influential people. He is a wealthy 56-year-old man with a wife and three daughters, Alexandra, Adelaida, and Aglaya, who are 25, 23, and 20 years old respectively. The daughters are well-educated, arts-loving, and beautiful, with Aglaya being particularly so.

part 1 chapter 2

Myshkin is greeted with suspicion by a servant and a secretary upon his arrival at the General's place. They suspect him of seeking money or favor from the Yepanchin, but Myshkin insists he only wants to meet the General. During his wait, Myshkin recounts an incident where he saw a man being executed publicly in France. He discusses his conviction about the extreme brutality of the death penalty. He argues that the torment of a sentenced man surpasses that of a sudden death due to the absence of hope. Out of nowhere, a gentleman named Gavril Ardalyonovitch, otherwise known as Ganya, shows up. A fair-haired man of average height with a refined grin, Ganya promptly ushers Myshkin to meet the General.

part 1 chapter 3

General Yepanchin initially doubts Prince Myshkin's motives upon meeting him, suspecting the prince wants something. Myshkin clarifies he only wants to meet his relatives, the general and Madame Yepanchin, putting the general at ease. The prince explains that Mr. Pavlishev and Dr. Schneider funded his stay at a Swiss clinic for 'idiocy.' General Yepanchin questions Myshkin about his qualifications for administrative work. Despite Myshkin's irregular education and lack of skills, his excellent penmanship surprised everyone, leading Yepanchin to offer him a job. The general also suggests the prince rent a room at Ganya's place. Ganya presents a picture of Nastassya Filippovna to the general. As Myshkin writes, he overhears a private conversation between Yepanchin and Ganya. Nastassya Filippovna is to announce her decision to marry Ganya at her upcoming birthday party. Ganya is unsure, as his family disapproves of the match due to Nastassya Filippovna's 'fallen' status— she had sexual relationships before marriage. Spotting Nastassya Filippovna's photograph, Myshkin comments on her stunning beauty, surprising both Yepanchin and Ganya as he'd already heard about her from Rogozhin. Ganya's reaction to Myshkin's account of Rogozhin's intentions towards Nastassya Filippovna is ambiguous. Myshkin, looking at her photograph again, suggests she must have endured a lot. Responding to Ganya's query about Rogozhin's intentions, Myshkin says Rogozhin would indeed marry her, but might kill her shortly afterwards.

part 1 chapter 4

Myshkin is called to meet the General's wife, where he encounters the Yepanchin daughters, who are eligible for marriage. The parents, though, refuse to force their daughters into unwanted unions. But with the eldest, Alexandra, reaching 25, they feel it's time she got married. A wealthy aristocrat and the general's friend, Afanassy Totsky, has shown interest in matrimony. Since he cannot aspire to marry the most attractive daughter, Aglaya, the possibility of him wedding Alexandra is discussed. Totsky's marriage plans have been hindered by Nastassya Filippovna. She is the daughter of an impoverished nobleman who lost his sanity when his wife died in a house fire. Totsky supported Nastassya and facilitated her upbringing and education. He was drawn to her beauty and presumably shared an intimate relationship with her in Consolation, the village where she resided. However, when he decided to marry and returned to St. Petersburg, Nastassya arrived there too, causing a scandal that led to the collapse of his marriage plans. Nastassya transformed from a timid country girl to a vengeful woman, ready to act out of spite, without thinking about the aftermath. Totsky tried to mollify her with money and a luxurious lifestyle, which she didn't embrace, opting for a modest life instead. Totsky lived in fear, only seeing relief if she married. Gavril Ardalyonovich, a young man smitten by Nastassya, seemed like a solution to Totsky. Teaming up with General Yepanchin, who also harbored feelings for Nastassya and had bought her a pearl necklace, they proposed a marriage with Ganya. Nastassya agreed, provided the engagement wasn't binding. This seemed like a ray of hope for Totsky, but he was scared that she might discover Ganya's ulterior motive of revenge and his desire for her wealth.

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General Yepanchin is pleased to present Prince Myshkin to his wife and daughters, inviting him to dine with them. He's particularly keen to distract Madame Yepanchin from the topic of the recent pearl purchase he made for Nastassya Filippovna. He implores his wife to meet the prince, describing him as innocent and naive. During the meal, the ladies find Myshkin captivating and develop an interest in him. Post-lunch, the prince shares a story of his overseas trip where his melancholy was lifted by the sight of a donkey in Switzerland. The anecdote amuses the Yepanchin girls, causing them to laugh, with the prince joining in, unfazed by being the subject of their laughter.

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Myshkin shares with the Yepanchin women a tale of a man spared from death just before his execution. He is intrigued by the man's thoughts in the final five minutes before his scheduled demise. He also shares an account of witnessing a public execution in Lyons, France, proposing the condemned man's face as a theme for Adelaida's upcoming artwork. When the ladies press him about personal love experiences, Myshkin denies ever being in love. He goes on to narrate the tragic story of Marie, a girl from his Swiss village. Lured and forsaken by a wandering trader, she faced scorn from her village, including her mother and the local priest. Myshkin comforted Marie, gave her money, and kissed her out of sympathy. This led to a friendship with the village children who misunderstood his sympathy for romantic love. The village turned against Myshkin, blaming him for misguiding the children. Marie later succumbed to consumption, and the children continued to tend to her grave. Myshkin concludes his stories by confessing his preference for children's company over adults, due to his awkwardness around the latter.

part 1 chapter 7

Myshkin surprises everyone by exhibiting his talent of reading faces, accurately representing Madame Yepanchin's appearance as childlike. This earns him her admiration. When prompted to describe Aglaya, he praises her beauty but finds Nastassya Filippovna, whose portrait he had seen earlier, more captivating. On the girls' insistence, he departs to request Ganya for the portrait. During his visit, Ganya hands him a secret note to deliver to Aglaya while expressing anger at Myshkin for sharing too much with the ladies. Myshkin then takes another look at Nastassya Filippovna's portrait, which leaves him awestruck and filled with compassion, leading him to kiss the image. Upon being summoned by Madame Yepanchin, Ganya is questioned about his marriage plans. He denies any such intentions while appearing visibly disturbed and throwing occasional glances at Aglaya. Afterwards, Aglaya asks Myshkin to read Ganya's note, which pledges to terminate his engagement with Nastassya Filippovna if Aglaya disapproves. Disgusted by Ganya's frailty and his attempt to make her decide his fate, Aglaya instructs Myshkin to return the note to Ganya, cautioning him about the inevitable grudge Ganya would bear towards him after such an encounter. Ganya is infuriated when Myshkin tells him everything. He blames the prince for sharing too much of their morning conversation with the women and insults him by labeling him an idiot. In response, the unflustered prince simply mentions his dislike for the derogatory remarks and recommends they part ways. Ganya, however, suddenly pleads for forgiveness and invites Myshkin to visit his apartment.

part 1 chapter 8

The Ivolgin family, composed of General Ivolgin, his wife Nina Alexandrovna, their son Ganya and children Varya and Kolya, live in an apartment that strains Ganya's finances, forcing him to take in boarders like Ferdyshchenko. Prince Myshkin, on General Yepanchin's recommendation, rents a room in the Ivolgin apartment. He meets the family and finds Ganya's mother and sister to be simply dressed but dignified, and Kolya to be amiable. In his room, he's visited by Ferdyshchenko who requests that Myshkin not lend him money. General Ivolgin drops by Myshkin's room and vaguely recalls his past involvement with Myshkin's parents. He shares his concern about the strained state of his family due to financial hardship and Ganya's impending marriage to a woman of questionable character, Nastassya Filippovna. He opposes the match, causing a rift between him and Ganya. Ganya's friend Ptitsyn informs Nina Alexandrovna and Varya in the drawing room that the decision about Ganya's marriage will be made that night. Ganya enters, upset by the discussion of his wedding, and accuses Prince Myshkin of being overly talkative. Ptitsyn admits to alerting the family of the impending decision, causing Ganya to cease his attacks on the prince. Nina Alexandrovna questions Ganya about his love for Nastassya Filippovna, implying that he's been dishonest with her. As the argument escalates, Ganya loses control of his temper. To avoid the rising tension, Myshkin leaves the room.

part 1 chapter 9

The bell rings, and Prince Myshkin sees Nastassya Filippovna, who mistakenly identifies him as a servant. Her unexpected visit to the Ivolgin household startles everyone, especially Ganya, who fears she might gather enough information about his family to ridicule him in front of the upper class. Despite the Ivolgin family's clear resentment towards her, Nastassya Filippovna lightens the tense atmosphere with humor and feigned ignorance. The prince is introduced to her, leading to her realization of her earlier misjudgment. General Ivolgin makes an appearance and meets Nastassya Filippovna. His arrival shakes Ganya, who is acutely conscious of his father's compulsive lying, which he sees as a threat to his social aspirations. Despite his family's pleas for him to exit, the general stays and shares fabricated tales from his history. One such tale involves him throwing a woman's dog out of a train window in retaliation for her casting his cigar away. Nastassya Filippovna exposes his deception, revealing she read the same story in a newspaper, which further distresses an already agitated Ganya.

part 1 chapter 10

A new group of men, slightly inebriated and led by Rogozhin, arrive. Rogozhin is taken aback at seeing Nastassya Filippovna and Myshkin. With a look reminiscent of a man on death row, he declares his intentions to negotiate with Ganya. Querying Nastassya Filippovna about her marriage plans with Ganya, she responds with a negative. Rogozhin then proceeds to negotiate with Ganya for Nastassya Filippovna, offering 18,000 rubles initially, then upping his proposal to 40,000 and finally 100,000. Varya labels Nastassya Filippovna a "shameless woman" and urges someone to remove her from the flat. Angered by the slur against Nastassya Filippovna, Ganya seizes Varya, earning him a spit in his face. On the verge of retaliating against his sister, Myshkin intervenes, leading Ganya to slap the prince. Myshkin warns Ganya of his impending shame, prompting reproachful glares from the others. Rogozhin accuses Ganya of injuring the "sheep", referring to the prince. Suddenly, Myshkin admonishes Nastassya Filippovna for her conduct, stating it doesn't reflect her true self. Nastassya Filippovna, agreeing with Myshkin, whispers this to Ganya's mother. The group then departs from the flat.

part 1 chapter 11

Prince Myshkin and Kolya have a private chat in his room. Kolya reassures him that not demanding a duel after Ganya slapped him was the right decision. Kolya is puzzled about Nastassya Filippovna's visit and her treatment of Ganya's mother. When Kolya leaves, Varya thanks the prince and inquires if he knows Nastassya Filippovna, noticing she paid attention to him. Myshkin denies any previous acquaintance with Nastassya. Ganya storms in, apologizes to Myshkin for calling him an idiot and slapping him, but won't apologize to his sister, Varya. Nonetheless, Varya forgives him and pleads with him not to visit Nastassya that evening. She worries that the potential scandal isn't worth the 75,000 rubles Ganya has been promised in marriage. Varya departs in distress. Alone with Ganya, Prince Myshkin probes into his motives for wedding Nastassya Filippovna. Myshkin is uncertain the marriage and the promised money will materialize. Ganya, however, is confident, believing Nastassya is sure of his love for her and that her rude behavior is just a result of her vanity. Ganya also mentions that he'll abandon Nastassya if she disrespects him post-marriage. Ganya questions if Myshkin sees him as a scoundrel. Myshkin responds that Ganya is a man like any other, with a typical set of strengths and weaknesses. Ganya, dissatisfied with being viewed as ordinary, diverts the discussion to his father's infidelity. He amusingly shares stories of his father's deceitful behavior. Myshkin tells Ganya that his laughter is childlike. Ganya admits that he's somewhat immature, but he's motivated by his desire for wealth and the social status it brings. He then asks Myshkin if he's attracted to Nastassya Filippovna. Myshkin hesitates before denying it. Ganya doesn’t completely trust Myshkin's answer and asserts that contrary to popular belief, Nastassya Filippovna has moral integrity and hasn't been involved with Totsky recently. Ganya departs, seemingly pleased.

part 1 chapter 12

Kolya hands Myshkin a letter from General Ivolgin, who is strapped for cash. The prince agrees to accompany Kolya to the general. Upon reaching the café, the prince finds the general drinking and hands over twenty-five rubles that General Yepanchin had recently lent him, asking for fifteen in return. Myshkin then requests General Ivolgin to guide him to Nastassya Filippovna's place. The general consents, but initially escorts the prince to Captain Terentyev's widow's home, who is also the general's lover. Upon reaching there, Madame Terentyev insists on receiving the money that the general had promised her. He complies by giving her the twenty-five rubles that the prince had just handed him. In the widow's residence, the prince encounters Kolya, who had been visiting Hippolite, the widow's sickly son. Kolya had informed Hippolite of the happenings at the Ivolgin residence; Hippolite, unlike Kolya, views Myshkin as a reprobate for not accepting Ganya's duel challenge. The prince, realizing that it's unlikely for General Ivolgin to escort him to Nastassya Filippovna's, asks Kolya to lead him there instead. Kolya, although taken aback by Myshkin's audacity to attend a dinner party uninvited and in casual attire, obliges. Kolya then expresses his sympathy for his parents, who extend financial and material aid to Hippolite.

part 1 chapter 13

Prince Myshkin climbs Nastassya Filippovna's apartment stairs, pondering his uninvited presence at her party. He surmises his sole motive is to dissuade her from marrying Ganya, who is seemingly after her wealth. His unkempt appearance doesn't surprise the maid who greets him. Nastassya Filippovna's compact flat is lavishly furnished, a left-over from Totsky's attempts to woo her with opulence when she relocated to St. Petersburg. Despite indulging in the affluence, she never allowed it to ensnare her and often emphasized her indifference to such luxuries. While her independence intrigued Totsky, he disliked her social circle and her nonchalance towards his lavish gifts. Before Myshkin's arrival, a crowd gathers in Nastassya Filippovna's sitting room, including Totsky, General Yepanchin, Ganya, Ptitsyn, Ferdyshchenko, an old teacher, a young man, a forty-year-old actress, and a stunning young woman. Most of them stay quiet, with only Ferdyshchenko showing a happy disposition. As Myshkin makes his entry, Nastassya Filippovna welcomes him, apologizing for her earlier oversight in not inviting him. She praises his audacity for showing up nevertheless. While she escorts him into the sitting room, he nervously compliments her on her flawless beauty. She disputes his compliment, asserting that her party behavior will reveal her imperfections. The gathering becomes lively, with many suggesting that Myshkin's attendance is due to his fondness for Nastassya Filippovna.

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Out of the blue, Ferdyshchenko proposes a game where each person must share their worst deed. Despite most guests being against the idea, they agree to participate to entertain Nastassya Filippovna, who appears intrigued. The men draw lots to decide who speaks first: Ferdyshchenko, then Ptitsyn, the general, and finally, Totsky. As the game progresses, Nastassya Filippovna becomes increasingly unsettled. Ferdyshchenko confesses to thieving three rubles at a social gathering and letting the maid take the fall, leading to her dismissal. The group is repulsed by his actions, not just the theft but his willingness to let the maid suffer the consequences. Ptitsyn opts out of the game, passing the turn to General Yepanchin. The general's worst deed involves uttering a curse at a dying elderly woman, though he didn't know she was on her deathbed at the time. Despite the uncertainty surrounding his blame, guilt led him to provide for two ailing women. Ferdyshchenko then accuses the general of twisting his tale into a self-praising narrative, leaving Nastassya Filippovna displeased. Next, Totsky shares a story about a young married couple and another man, infatuated with the wife. On her birthday, she desired red camelias from Dumas-fils's novel La Dame Aux Camelias, which were hard to find. However, the infatuated man knew of a source, which Totsky used to present the lady with the flowers before the other man could. This event led the man to enlist in the Crimea war, where he eventually died. Upon hearing Totsky's tale, Nastassya Filippovna appears incensed. She queries Myshkin about whether she should accept Ganya's proposal, vowing to abide by his answer. Myshkin advises her against it, causing an uproar from Totsky and the general. Unmoved, Nastassya Filippovna gives back the pearls to the general and announces her departure. Just then, the doorbell rings, assumed by Ptitsyn to be Rogozhin with the promised 100,000 rubles.

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Nastassya Filippovna asks her maid to usher Rogozhin and his companions into the parlor. The attendees stare at each other, bewildered. When General Yepanchin attempts to depart, Nastassya Filippovna convinces him to stay. The general and Totsky briefly suspect Nastassya Filippovna is losing her sanity. Rogozhin’s uncouth entourage includes a pugilist, a former newspaper editor, and a sub-lieutenant mocked as a beggar. Rogozhin, profoundly fascinated by Nastassya Filippovna since entering her residence, puts a hefty pack on the table, proclaiming it to have 100,000 rubles. Nastassya Filippovna initiates an intense, emotional monologue. She questions Ganya's desire for her despite having accepted the general's pearls and being Rogozhin's bargaining chip. She regrets thinking she could become part of a reputable family like Ganya's, who only accepted her because of his greed. She tells Totsky she harbors anger and resentment towards him, recalling how he used her and left when she was younger. She admits she could have married him, but didn't think he deserved her anger. She concludes she belongs on the streets. She proclaims no one would want her now. Ferdyshchenko suggests Prince Myshkin would accept her, and the latter concurs. Myshkin proposes to her, considering her honest and undeserving of the criticism she has endured. He announces he can provide for her due to a recent large inheritance, leaving the guests astonished.

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Following Ptitsyn's confirmation of the letter's authenticity, the group is left stunned, momentarily forgetting about Nastassya Filippovna. This pushes her into a state of hysteria. She accepts Myshkin's proposal but insists he should marry a woman of higher standing, like Aglaya Yepanchin, and declares her intention to go with Rogozhin. She admits she had always envisioned a man like Myshkin, but doesn't see herself with him. Before departing, Nastassya Filippovna decides to settle scores with Ganya. She tosses a bundle of 100,000 rubles into the fireplace, stating Ganya can retrieve it if he dares. Ganya passes out. Nastassya Filippovna saves the money, commenting on Ganya's vanity overshadowing his greed. Ganya recovers, claims the package, and exits. The prince chases after them. In the aftermath, Totsky and Ptitsyn briefly reflect on the episode. Ptitsyn draws a parallel to an ancient Japanese custom where the aggrieved commits suicide before the offender. Totsky laments the waste of Nastassya Filippovna's beauty and unique personality.

part 2 chapter 1

Half a year post Nastassya Filippovna's party, Prince Myshkin departed to Moscow from St. Petersburg. He had supposedly secured his inheritance, albeit lesser than anticipated due to a sudden emergence of creditors, whom the prince paid off. Simultaneously, Nastassya Filippovna along with Rogozhin left for Yekaterinhof, but after indulging in a week's revelry there, Nastassya ran off to Moscow. Rogozhin followed suit. Post party, Ganya fell sick; he refused the money Nastassya had left for him, requesting Myshkin to return it. When Myshkin left, both parted on good terms. The Yepanchins got wind of Myshkin's activities through Princess Belokonskaya's letters and rumors. Despite the prince's evident impression on the Yepanchin household, his name was avoided until Belokonskaya's letters warranted a discussion about him again. It was also uncovered that Rogozhin discovered Nastassya in Moscow. Nonetheless, she fled again, returned promising to wed him, then absconded a third time, right before the nuptials.

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The Yepanchins had intended to spend their summer overseas, but a change in Alexandra's relationship status and the sudden interest of Prince S. in Adelaida interfered with their plans. Adelaida and the prince ended up fixing their wedding for the following spring. Yevgeny Pavlovich Radomsky, a handsome 28-year-old, began courting Aglaya, pushing the family's trip plans even further back. The Ivolgin family saw notable changes over six months. Varya wed Ptitsyn and along with her mother, Nina Alexandrovna, and brother Ganya, moved to Ptitsyn's residence. Their father, General Ivolgin, was imprisoned for debt, largely due to his mistress's machinations. Nina clandestinely visited him. The Yepanchins befriended Kolya, excluding Aglaya who received a letter from Myshkin through Kolya, wishing her well. The Yepanchins then relocated to their summer home in Pavlovsk. After being away for six months, Myshkin returned to St. Petersburg, feeling someone's gaze on him at the train station, but unable to identify the person. He lodged at a hotel then visited Lebedev's house to inquire about Nastassya Filippovna. He found the Lebedev family in mourning following Lebedev's wife's death. Myshkin met Lebedev's nephew, who he immediately disliked. He also discovered that Lebedev had a habit of lying. When they were finally alone, Myshkin told Lebedev that he was there due to a recent letter from the latter. He then asked about Nastassya Filippovna, learning that she had left Rogozhin before their wedding and was now in St. Petersburg. Despite being scared of Rogozhin, she was more terrified of Myshkin, according to Lebedev. He also proposed that Myshkin spend some time in the country and offered him accommodation at his house.

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Once departing from Lebedev's residence, Prince Myshkin makes his way to Rogozhin's place, which is strikingly gloomy and bleak. Welcomed by Rogozhin, the prince steps inside. The dreariness of the house reminds him of Rogozhin's way of living. Myshkin assures Rogozhin that he won't meddle in his affairs with Nastassya Filippovna. He promises to provide her refuge if she chooses to abandon Rogozhin, something she had done earlier in Moscow. Myshkin openly expresses his belief that a union between Rogozhin and Nastassya Filippovna could spell devastation for both. He harbors affection for both, carrying a sense of pity for Nastassya Filippovna. Rogozhin reveals to Myshkin that Nastassya Filippovna was unfaithful, leading to him assaulting her. He then abstained from food and drink until she forgave him. Myshkin warns Rogozhin that his feelings for Nastassya Filippovna border on hatred, believing that a marriage between the two would result in Rogozhin's inability to forgive her past wrongs. Myshkin fails to comprehend why she is considering marrying Rogozhin. In response, Rogozhin suggests she is doing it out of a twisted sense of love — she is aware he might kill her. However, she is truly in love with Myshkin and doesn't want to wreck his life by marrying him.

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Myshkin spots a hidden garden knife in one of Rogozhin's books before his departure. On their way out, they view a Holbein painting depicting Christ freshly removed from the cross. The prince is transfixed by the painting, prompting Rogozhin to inquire about his faith in God. The prince narrates four tales, the final one clarifying his perception of religion. He relates it to a joyful mother admiring her newborn, suggesting this is how God might feel about his creations. Subsequently, Myshkin and Rogozhin exchange crosses. Finally, Rogozhin introduces the prince to his mother, who gives him her blessing.

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Myshkin exits Rogozhin's residence and sets off for the Yepanchins' house. However, arriving to an empty home, he opts to leave his card. His next stop is Kolya's hotel, but with Kolya absent, he finds himself waiting for hours. Deciding to explore the city, he purchases a ticket for Pavlovsk intending to visit Aglaya, only to abruptly change his plans, leaving the station. Overwhelmed with anxiety and agitation, his thoughts flitter from topic to topic, including his epileptic fits which he describes as a brief instance of total lucidity before a plunge into obscurity. Suddenly feeling a strong pull to Nastassya Filippovna, Myshkin breaks his promise to Rogozhin and heads to her St. Petersburg residence. Discovering she isn't home, he leaves his name with the maid. As he departs, he spots Rogozhin across the street, but chooses to ignore him. Upon returning to his hotel, Myshkin's symptoms of an impending epileptic fit intensify. As he ascends the hotel stairs, he encounters Rogozhin, poised to attack him. However, Myshkin's seizure strikes before any harm is done. After Rogozhin flees, Myshkin collapses and tumbles down the stairs. Fortunately, Kolya arrives, having got the message left by Myshkin, and ensures he's safely returned to his room. A doctor is called, and after some time, Myshkin and Kolya head to Lebedev's house. Within three days, they all converge in Pavlovsk.

part 2 chapter 6

Prince Myshkin is comfortably living in Lebedev's summer home in Pavlovsk, with Lebedev diligently restricting his number of visitors. However, numerous other characters such as Varya, Ptitsyn, General Ivolgin, Ganya, and the Yepanchins are also residing in Pavlovsk. On Myshkin's third day, Madame Yepanchin, assuming the prince is gravely ill, pays him a visit with her three daughters and Prince S., who recalls being an old friend of Myshkin's. The arrival of these guests is heralded by Kolya. Coincidentally, the Ptitsyns, Ganya, and General Ivolgin also decide to pay a visit at the same time. All the visitors congregate on the large veranda of Lebedev's summer cottage.

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Suddenly, everyone starts making jests about the "poor knight," leading to Madame Yepanchin's slight annoyance as she suspects they're referring to Myshkin. Kolya notes that Aglaya once admired a poor knight while reading Don Quixote. Aglaya's suitor, Yevgeny Pavlovich Radomsky, and General Yepanchin join the discussion. Aglaya then cites Pushkin's "The Poor Knight" poem centered on a knight who reveres Mary, Jesus Christ's mother. She substitutes A.M.D., which signifies Ave, Mater Dei, ("Hail, mother of God") with N.F.B.—Nastassya Filippovna Barashkov. This suggests she believes Myshkin has selected Nastassya Filippovna as his idol. Aglaya starts off with a mocking tone, but soon becomes sincere and passionate. Everyone, except for General and Madame Yepanchin, realizes the switch.

part 2 chapter 8

Five visitors come to see Myshkin: General Ivolgin, Keller the "boxer", Antip Burdosvky, Hippolite Terentyev, and Mr. Dokrorenko. The visitors are quite impolite. Lebedev hands a newspaper to Madame Yepanchin that features an article about Myshkin and the visitors. Myshkin asked Ganya to handle the situation, and at Madame Yepanchin's request, Kolya reads the article. Penned by Keller, the article is an offensive takedown of Myshkin's family lineage and the prince's own life. It further suggests that Burdovsky, who alleges to be the illegitimate son of Myshkin's benefactor Pavlishchev, is owed money by Myshkin. Everyone present is appalled by the article. Myshkin dismisses the article as false. He reveals that Ganya found out from Burdovsky's mother that he is not Pavlishchev's son. The prince believes that Burdovsky was misled by his lawyer into thinking he was Pavlishchev's son for monetary gain. Despite this, Myshkin offers to give Burdovsky 10,000 rubles in memory of Pavlishchev. He asks Ganya to elaborate on his discovery.

part 2 chapter 9

Ganya asserts that Burdovsky isn't Pavlishchev's offspring since Pavlishchev had left Russia 18 months prior to Burdovsky's birth. Although Pavlishchev did assist Burdovsky and his mother, stemming from his past love for Burdovsky's serf aunt. Burdovsky quickly abandons his claim to the 10,000 rubles, expressing his desire to depart. Before exiting, he hands back an envelope containing the 250 rubles that the prince had sent him. Kolya points out that the reported amount was 50 rubles, not 250. Upon inspection, Ganya realizes only 150 rubles are in the envelope. Burdovsky's companions indict Myshkin of giving the money as charity. They vow to recompense the absent 100 rubles, explaining it was utilized for legal fees. The group continues their insolent behavior, hurling arrogant slurs at Myshkin. Madame Yepanchin abruptly rises to her feet, fiercely condemning Burdovsky and his allies. She criticizes the prince for his readiness to financially aid Burdovsky and extend his friendship, despite Burdovsky's defamatory actions. Madame Yepanchin requests to depart, but Hippolite persuades her and everyone else to stay for tea. Despite the late hour, everyone agrees to fulfill the dying man's request and remain.

part 2 chapter 10

Hippolite, despite bouts of severe coughing, holds a conversation with Madame Yepanchin post-tea, informing her that Lebedev was the one who amended Keller's article. Unimpressed, she criticizes Lebedev and his family strongly. Hippolite then shares his thoughts about his impending death in two weeks, expressing regret about not having left a mark on the world or a lasting memory. As the clock strikes twelve, the gathering starts to disband. Prince Myshkin extends an invitation for Hippolite to stay over, but he departs with his friends instead. Before exiting, Hippolite boldly declares his animosity towards the prince. Concurrently, the Yepanchins and Radomsky depart down the veranda steps just as a carriage containing two females passes by. One of the women engages Radomsky in an informal conversation, claiming she managed his I.O.U.s. Radomsky, however, denies any familiarity with her or the matter she refers to.

part 2 chapter 11

The Yepanchins remain upset with Myshkin for several days following the embarrassing incident. Adelaida and Prince S. pay a visit to Myshkin, during which Prince S. inquires about the woman in the carriage. Myshkin identifies her as Nastassya Filippovna, which Prince S. disputes, claiming Radomsky's lack of familiarity with her and his wealth make the existence of any I.O.U.s improbable. Alone again, Myshkin is troubled, unable to comprehend Nastassya's motivations for tarnishing Radomsky's image. Ganya stops by to see Myshkin and reveals that Nastassya has only known Radomsky for a brief period, suggesting that the I.O.U. allegations may hold some truth. He also informs Myshkin of Aglaya's falling out with her family, news that disturbs the prince. Shortly after Ganya departs, Keller turns up, confesses to theft, and asks for financial help. Myshkin obliges him with twenty-five rubles. Later, Lebedev shows up and disparages Keller. He also admits to informing Nastassya of the identities of Myshkin's guests. The prince expresses his confusion about Nastassya's actions towards Radomsky, but his attempt to get an explanation from Lebedev is cut short. Kolya arrives later with news about a scandal involving Ganya at the Yepanchin house, leading to Varya's banishment from the premises. He also suspects Myshkin to be jealous of Ganya. The prince travels to St. Petersburg the following day. On his return journey, he encounters General Yepanchin, who remains convinced of Radomsky's innocence. The general accuses Nastassya of concocting the I.O.U. story as an act of retaliation for past events.

part 2 chapter 12

Three days post the uproar, the prince receives a visit from Madame Yepanchin. She questions his motives for writing a letter to Aglaya, and further inquires if he harbors feelings for her. Myshkin admits to having no reason for penning the letter, simply stating he did so in the capacity of a brother. Madame Yepanchin stands firm in her refusal to sanction a union between Aglaya and the prince, attributing it to Aglaya's capricious nature and her refusal to marry Radomsky. She also reveals Ganya's ploy to win Aglaya's heart, aided by Varya, and mentions that one of them connected Aglaya with Nastassya Filippovna. The prince's nonchalant attitude towards the deceitful behavior of the Ivolgins puzzles Madame Yepanchin. She finds it hard to comprehend why he tolerates being tricked by everyone. Myshkin shares a letter from Burdovsky, in which he admits his mistake. Moreover, he discloses to Madame Yepanchin that Aglaya sent him a note asking him to refrain from visiting their home. This revelation leaves Madame Yepanchin seething with anger.

part 3 chapter 1

The start of the third part deals with the concept of "practical" individuals and the noticeable shortage of them. The storyteller points out that the so-called practical person is devoid of uniqueness or the ability to take the lead. Therefore, in Russia, being a general signifies a safe and calm life, making it more desirable than being an intellectual or an inventor. The Yepanchin family is not a typical one, possibly due to Lizaveta Prokofyevna, Madame Yepanchin’s oddness. Aware of her distinctiveness, Madame Yepanchin feels insecure, though she is widely respected in society, much like General Yepanchin. The impending marriages of her daughters, especially Adelaida to Prince S. and Aglaya to Radomsky, have eased some of the anxiety she feels over their marriage prospects, which often causes her irritability and moodiness. However, peace in the Yepanchin household has been disrupted lately. Aglaya's emotional outbursts over the last three days have caused chaos. An anonymous letter claiming Aglaya’s contact with Nastassya Filippovna has added to Madame Yepanchin's concerns. In hindsight, she regrets involving Prince Myshkin and discussing the matter with him.

part 3 chapter 2

On the veranda of the Yepanchin house, Madame Yepanchin, Myshkin, the Yepanchin sisters, Prince S., and Radomsky are gathered. Prince S. humorously disapproves of Russian liberalism's perceived self-destruction, prompting Myshkin to share his views about the moral degradation among the youth. Radomsky, however, finds a discrepancy in Myshkin's argument, questioning why Myshkin hasn't recognized the same moral decline in Burdovsky and his companions. Kolya arrives and reveals Hippolite is now living in Lebedev's cottage and that he kissed Myshkin's hand the previous day. The group decides to head to the park, but before they leave, Myshkin begins to apologize to Radomsky for trivializing important ideas. Suddenly, Aglaya asserts that Myshkin is superior to everyone there and doesn't need to apologize. Kolya labels him "poor knight," hinting at Aglaya's fascination with Myshkin. She fervently declares she won't marry Myshkin, to which he responds that he wasn't planning to propose. This triggers laughter among the group, and they proceed to the park.

part 3 chapter 3

Strolling through the park, Myshkin and his companions encounter a boisterous group led by three women, including Nastassya Filippovna. She ends up in conversation with Radomsky and after a thoughtless insult from one of his friends, strikes the man with a whip. Myshkin intervenes to prevent further violence. Returning to the Yepanchin household, Madame Yepanchin speculates about Radomsky's ties to Nastassya Filippovna. Myshkin converses with Aglaya on the veranda, who enlightens him about the preparation of duel pistols. Later, General Yepanchin shares with Myshkin disturbing news about Radomsky's uncle's suicide and missing state funds, leaving everyone stunned. It's also revealed that Aglaya had rejected Radomsky’s proposal a month ago, and insists Nastassya Filippovna aims to marry her off to the Prince. Alone in the park, Myshkin reads a note from Aglaya inviting him for a meeting the following morning. Then, Keller appears, offering his aid in a potential duel, making Myshkin chuckle considering Aglaya's earlier discussion on dueling. Unexpectedly, Rogozhin turns up, conveying Nastassya Filippovna's wish to see Myshkin and her belief that he harbors feelings for Aglaya, dreaming of their eventual matrimony.

part 3 chapter 4

Prince Myshkin and Rogozhin come back from the park to a crowd on Myshkin's veranda, enjoying champagne. The prince is taken aback; although he had informed Keller about his birthday and the champagne at home, he didn't anticipate a gathering. He is particularly surprised to see guests like Burdovsky and Radomsky. Radomsky expresses his desire to be friends with Myshkin and alludes to a significant matter he wants to discuss post-party. The mood is jovial all around. Lebedev engages in lengthy discussions about railways and moral degradation. Everyone else treats his speeches with humor, but only Myshkin gives him a serious ear.

part 3 chapter 5

Suddenly, Hippolite shares his written thoughts from last evening with the group. He reads from a large envelope, his "Essential Statement." The statement reveals his deep hatred towards Myshkin for the last five months, although it has waned recently. Hippolite experiences recurring nightmares; in one, a monstrous creature threatened him but was killed by his dog, who succumbed to the creature's sting. Upon discovering he was suffering from consumption, Hippolite was overwhelmed with the desire to live. He chose to live vicariously through others by learning about their lives, mainly through Kolya. Hippolite was perplexed by the poverty and unhappiness of healthy individuals and openly ridiculed them. He particularly despised his neighbor Surikov, whose child died due to their extreme poverty.

part 3 chapter 6

Hippolite continues his recount, sharing an incident when he saw a man drop his wallet on the street. He discovered this man was a fallen doctor with a family, who had faced rejection in St. Petersburg. Hippolite decided to assist, leveraging his schoolmate Bakhmutov's uncle's influential position. Their collective intervention helped the doctor, leading Hippolite to believe that personal actions can impact the world. Hippolite cites an "old General" who helped prisoners to such a degree that he became renowned among them. He likened good deeds to seeds growing in unpredictable ways. He also mentions a visit from Rogozhin and a counter visit he made. He was deeply affected by Holbein's painting of Christ post-crucifixion, leading him to perceive nature as an unfeeling and formidable beast. This perspective pushed him to conclude that suicide at sunrise in Pavlovsk was his last act of free will. While Hippolite believes in the afterlife, he refuses to worship God or nature, feeling alienated from their joy and beauty.

part 3 chapter 7

Once Hippolite wraps up, his speech doesn't make a notable impact on the others, making them disperse. Lebedev insists that Hippolite relinquish his firearm, leading the lad to hand the pistol box keys to Kolya. With no eyes on him anymore, Hippolite steps outside, attempting suicide. However, his endeavor is in vain due to a forgotten firing-cap on his gun. By the time the clock strikes three, all the guests have exited. Myshkin ambles towards the green bench, his rendezvous point with Aglaya. Overcome by fatigue, he dozes off, dreaming about Nastassya Filippovna.

part 3 chapter 8

Aglaya discovers Prince Myshkin napping in the park. He shares the recent incidents with her, including Hippolite's desire for respect and sympathy as he faces death. Aglaya extends friendship towards the prince, recognizing his superior intellect, a trait she feels only her mother understands. She also reveals her plan to leave home, soliciting Myshkin's assistance. Faced with his dismissive response, she confronts him about a "love" letter he had written to her. He insists it was not a love letter, but a note to a beacon of light. Aglaya confesses her love for Ganya to Myshkin, claiming she agreed to wed him at a recent rendezvous by this park bench. To prove his love, she insists Ganya injured his finger intentionally, a fact Myshkin refutes having seen Ganya's unharmed hands just the previous day. Acknowledging her deceit, Aglaya reveals her intentions behind reading the poor knight's poem. She aimed to display her understanding of the complex relationship between Myshkin and Nastassya Filippovna.

part 3 chapter 9

The conversation turns to Nastassya Filippovna. Myshkin clarifies that his feelings for her aren't of love, despite her being his reason for his visit to Pavlovsk. Aglaya mentions receiving letters from Nastassya Filippovna and hands them to Myshkin. The letters reveal Nastassya Filippovna's wish to see Aglaya and Myshkin wed, upon which she plans to immediately marry Rogozhin. Suddenly, they're discovered by Madame Yepanchin. Aglaya hastily departs and is pursued by Madame Yepanchin and Myshkin. They follow her back to the Yepanchin residence where Myshkin stays briefly before heading to Lebedev's house. Upon reaching Lebedev's, Myshkin appears to be in high spirits. Kolya shows up and cautions the prince about Ferdyshchenko, who left the house early that day. As Kolya departs, Lebedev makes his entrance, fuming over the theft of 400 rubles from his coat the night before. He points to General Ivolgin, Keller, and Ferdyshchenko as possible culprits, with his suspicions leaning heavily towards Ferdyshchenko. Myshkin, however, tries to deflect suspicion away from the general and hints at Ferdyshchenko being the likely thief.

part 3 chapter 10

The prince peruses the three notes Nastassya Filippovna sent to Aglaya. Nastassya Filippovna praises Aglaya in her letters, placing her on a pedestal above herself, and expresses her desire to see Aglaya wedded to Myshkin. That night, the prince goes to the Yepanchins'. However, his visit is untimely as most of them are either asleep or about to retire. Myshkin opts to wander through the park and stumbles upon Nastassya Filippovna, who has arrived to see him one last time. She inquires if he is joyful, but bolts before he can respond. Rogozhin, who has been accompanying her, reveals to the prince that they intend to depart the next day. Myshkin confides in Rogozhin that he is quite miserable, answering Nastassya Filippovna's earlier question.

part 4 chapter 1

The story tells us about the existence of two types of common people in the world: those intelligent enough to accept their normality and those too dull to realize it. Characters like Ganya, Varya, and Ptitsyn fall into this category. Ganya, aware of his own ordinariness, relentlessly tries to be original, always held back by his honesty or caution. Varya, too, yearns for uniqueness, taking methodical steps to achieve it, like befriending the Yepanchins to boost her brother's chances with Aglaya. A week after Prince Myshkin and Aglaya's encounter near the park, Varya arrives home at the house she shares with her husband, Ptitsyn, and other family members including Ganya, General Ivolgin, Nina Alexandrovna, Kolya, and Hippolite. She's upset and tells her brother that Aglaya and Myshkin are officially engaged, a news to be shared at a dinner party that evening. Varya believes there's genuine affection between Myshkin and Aglaya, though she suspects Aglaya's choice of the prince was to provoke her family. General Ivolgin is revealed as the thief of the 400 rubles. Despite Varya and Ganya's efforts to hide this from their mother, she discovers the truth, which Ganya blames on Hippolite. Furthermore, Hippolite has been writing to Aglaya, leading Ganya to suspect he's in love with her and to admit his hatred for Hippolite.

part 4 chapter 2

Hippolite infuriates General Ivolgin by doubting a story he tells five days after moving into Ptitsyn's house. The general asks the family to pick sides between him and Hippolite. When Ganya sides with Hippolite, an intense argument ensues leading the general to declare he's leaving the house. Ganya berates Hippolite for provoking the general and insults him by bringing up his failed suicide. Hippolite retorts, criticizing Ganya for his mediocrity and states that Ganya has no shot with Aglaya. He announces his plan to leave Ptitsyn's home and move to an apartment his mother has found for him. Ganya takes pride in showing Varya a note he received from Aglaya proposing a meeting between the three of them the following morning at a park bench.

part 4 chapter 3

General Ivolgin exits the residence, and his departure is peculiar, even for him. The general has been behaving oddly for several days now, showing rapid shifts in mood and overall appearing very agitated and tense. The storyteller chooses to share the details of the events as they occurred due to the complexity of human intentions. Upon meeting with Myshkin, the general reveals he has crucial matters to discuss. He requests an hour-long meeting with the prince, which Myshkin sets for the following day. Concurrently, Lebedev pays a visit to Myshkin, revealing he discovered the missing wallet with 400 rubles underneath a chair, feigning ignorance of its presence. After a day, the wallet mysteriously shows up in his coat pocket, having slipped in through a tear. Lebedev continues to deny any knowledge of it. Myshkin implores him to show some compassion towards the general, who is clearly seeking Lebedev's mercy, and to treat him with kindness. Lebedev commits to doing his utmost.

part 4 chapter 4

Arriving tardily for his meeting with General Ivolgin, Prince Myshkin learns that the general has severed all ties with Lebedev. This drastic measure is taken due to a ludicrous tale Lebedev tells about owning a wooden leg, a result of the War of 1812. General Ivolgin interprets this fib as an inferred allegation about his own dishonesty, viewing it as a mockery. Despite Myshkin's attempts to diffuse the situation by suggesting Lebedev's statement was jesting, the general remains adamant. He fabricates another tale, this time about being Napoleon's page during the French invasion of Moscow. Myshkin indulges the general's lie to maintain his contentment, succeeding in lifting the general's mood. However, after realizing Myshkin's disbelief in his tale, the general feels disgraced. Post confrontation with Ganya, he abandons his family, with Kolya chasing after him in an effort to prompt his return. Suddenly, the general begins to regurgitate a falsehood from his Napoleonic tale in an uncontrollable manner, indicative of a stroke.

part 4 chapter 5

The veracity of Varya's claim of an impending engagement between the Prince and Aglaya was a significant exaggeration. The mere speculation of such a union was only hinted at by the Yepanchin sisters. The family's understanding of Aglaya's sentiments remains unclear, albeit the consensus is her affection for the Prince that may soon transition into an engagement. Lizaveta Prokofyevna, Madame Yepanchin, disapproves of this union with the "sickly idiot," without concrete reasoning behind her disapproval. In a particular encounter, Myshkin bests Aglaya in a card game, which prompts her ridicule and his subsequent departure. Following this, an emotionally distressed Aglaya sends the Prince a hedgehog, purchased from Kolya. The Prince interprets this as a peace offering and is overjoyed. Later that evening, Aglaya, in the presence of her family, questions Myshkin about his marital intentions. He confirms his love for her and his proposal of marriage. Following this, she inquires about his wealth and career prospects, leading to laughter from her sisters and herself. The Prince interprets this as mockery, and Aglaya, in tears, excuses herself. Her family believes her actions indicate her love for the Prince. However, upon their return to the drawing room, they find Aglaya apologizing to Myshkin while mentioning the impossibility of a marriage between them. This pattern of quarreling, insulting, and asking for forgiveness from the Prince continues for several days. Myshkin has a brief interaction with Hippolite, who had recently left Ptitsyn's home. The Prince advises him that the noblest way to die is by forgiving others' happiness.

part 4 chapter 6

Varya was indeed correct about a dinner gathering at the Yepanchins that features Princess Belokonskaya and other notable figures. The Yepanchins, Aglaya included, are anxious about how Myshkin will conduct himself, making the prince rather edgy. Upon returning home, Myshkin gets a visit from Lebedev who confesses to sending anonymous notes to Madame Yepanchin about Nastassya Filippovna's actions. His latest letter contained a note from Aglaya to Ganya, passed through Vera, Lebedev's daughter. This leads to Lebedev’s expulsion by Madame Yepanchin. Myshkin then forwards the note to Ganya, its original recipient, via Kolya. Later that night, Myshkin attends the dinner at the Yepanchins’. He converses minimally, yet leaves a pleasing impression on the attendees. Despite the guests being pretentious individuals who believe they are doing the Yepanchins a favor by mixing with them, Myshkin views them as the most genuine people, considering them close friends of each other and the Yepanchins.

part 4 chapter 7

Prince Myshkin doesn't speak much initially, leaving a good impression on everyone until the topic of Pavlishchev and Catholicism arises. Myshkin passionately opposes Catholicism, recounting his childhood and speaking fervently. In his animated discourse, he unintentionally shatters an exquisite Chinese vase. Though shocked, he is relieved to find the others comforting him rather than being upset. Myshkin feels incredibly grateful and expresses his changed views about people of high society. He had thought they were shallow, conceited, and poorly educated, but he sees now that he was mistaken. He continues in his passionate state to talk about his appreciation of beauty, nature, and divine creation. Suddenly, Myshkin suffers an epileptic seizure. The guests depart quickly, pointing out the impracticality of an engagement between Aglaya and the ailing man. Madame Yepanchin firmly resolves to prevent such a union.

part 4 chapter 8

Myshkin's fit doesn't debilitate him, and he's almost back to normal the following day. He receives visitors including Lebedev, Vera Lebedev, Kolya, and the Yepanchins. Madame Yepanchin invites Myshkin to visit their house in the evening if he feels up to it. After they leave, Vera delivers a message from Aglaya: Myshkin should stay put until seven or nine that night. Half an hour later, Hippolite drops by to bid Myshkin farewell, sharing that he saw Aglaya and Ganya's meeting, but nothing transpired. Aglaya has since set up a meeting with Nastassya Filippovna, scheduled for the evening. After Hippolite leaves, Aglaya requests Myshkin to accompany her to Nastassya Filippovna's residence in Pavlovsk, where they encounter Nastassya Filippovna and Rogozhin. The two women regard each other as competitors, their conversation quickly devolving into open hostility. Aglaya berates Nastassya Filippovna for her vanity and dishonor, accusing her of meddling in Aglaya and Myshkin's relationship through letter writing. Nastassya Filippovna retorts, expressing disappointment in Aglaya and asserting that if she asked Myshkin to stay with her, he'd leave Aglaya in a heartbeat. After this exchange, both women expect a reaction from Myshkin. Caught off guard, he hesitates. Aglaya flees and as Myshkin attempts to follow her, Nastassya Filippovna collapses into his arms by the entrance, preventing him. He stays to care for her as if she were a child. Aglaya, too embarrassed to return home, seeks refuge at Ptitsyn's house. There, Ganya seizes the chance to profess his love for her, only to be laughed off. Upon hearing of the incident from Varya, Madame Yepanchin, accompanied by the two elder daughters, goes to Ptitsyn's house to bring Aglaya back home.

part 4 chapter 9

A fortnight goes by. Myshkin spends considerable time with Nastassya Filippovna, and despite being consistently denied, also attempts to visit the Yepanchins. The Yepanchins depart from Pavlovsk, a town buzzing with speculation about recent events. Myshkin and Nastassya Filippovna are betrothed and making wedding plans. Radomsky pays Myshkin a visit, accusing him of causing Aglaya's ruin. Aglaya, a woman who loved Myshkin, couldn't stand him being with another. Myshkin remains adamant that if he could only speak to Aglaya, she would understand; he pleads with Radomsky to accompany him to Aglaya. However, Radomsky dismisses this notion as impossible, and departs thinking Myshkin has lost his sanity.

part 4 chapter 10

Prince Myshkin's marriage to Nastassya Filippovna is planned for a week after Radomsky's stopover. Eight days following his first stroke, General Ivolgin suffers another and dies. During the funeral, Myshkin believes he glimpses Rogozhin. Amid wedding arrangements, Myshkin spends considerable time with the Ivolgin family and Hippolite, who cautions him about Rogozhin. Simultaneously, Lebedev plots to commit the prince to an asylum, even calling a doctor who, however, evaluates Myshkin as mentally stable. Close to the wedding day, Myshkin discovers Nastassya Filippovna in a state of high distress, and stays with her to provide comfort. On their wedding day, she presents herself beautifully. A throng gathers at the church, near her residence, and Lebedev's home. As she steps downstairs, Nastassya Filippovna locks eyes with Rogozhin in the crowd. Suddenly, she rushes to him, pleading him to whisk her away. They hastily head to the railway station and depart for St. Petersburg.

part 4 chapter 11

Myshkin boards the earliest train to St. Petersburg the following day. He initially visits Rogozhin's residence, only to learn he's not in. He then heads to a place often visited by Nastassya Filippovna, where he's also informed she's absent. Myshkin persists, moving between Rogozhin's and Nastassya's friends' homes, but to no avail. Eventually, as dusk sets in, Myshkin decides to settle at the same hotel where he previously stayed and experienced his seizure. He surmises that Rogozhin might seek him there if needed, and his intuition proves correct. Rogozhin encounters him outside the hotel that evening and invites him to his place, while maintaining separate sides of the road. They arrive at Rogozhin's dark, window-sealed house where Myshkin finds Nastassya Filippovna on a couch, concealed by a sheet, having been stabbed by Rogozhin the night prior. Rogozhin gestures for Myshkin to lie beside her on the floor. Subsequently, when others enter the room, they discover Rogozhin in a feverish state, comforted by Myshkin's soothing touch.

part 4 chapter 12

Rogozhin receives a fifteen-year sentence to Siberia's rigorous labor camps. Nastassya Filippovna's death is followed by Hippolite's demise in a fortnight. Myshkin's health deteriorates and he is taken back to Dr. Schneider's Swiss clinic, which he had previously visited. His illness intensifies to a point where he doesn't seem to remember the Yepanchins or Radomsky, who occasionally drop by. Aglaya Yepanchin elopes with a man claiming to be a wealthy Polish count, but his claims about his noble status and wealth are fraudulent. Radomsky continues to correspond with the Yepanchins and updates them about his encounters with the prince. He also maintains contact with Kolya and Vera Lebedev, and there are subtle indications of a budding romantic connection with Vera.

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