Publication details

Kníže Myškin je Sókratés

Title in English Prince Myshkin is Socrates


Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Revitalizace hodnot : umění a literatura V
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Dostoevsky; prince Myshkin; Socrates; literary character; The Idiot
Description The central analysis of this paper is focused on the comparison of two literary characters: Prince Myshkin from the Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot and philosopher Socrates known mainly from Plato’s dialogues. I argue that those two characters have more in common than is obvious at first sight. Both Prince Myshkin and Socrates are highly moral individuals sacrificed by society which does not share their moral standards yet. Moreover, both are accused from corrupting the youth. Despite the differences between them, there is a rationale for the comparison. The characteristic feature of Dostoevsky period was searching for Godman and ideal of morally perfect man. Dostoevsky attempted to find such ideal several times (e.g., Prince Myshkin, Alyosha). Importantly, the ideal of perfect man has been often linked to the Christ, but also to the Socrates. This paper compares the structural features of Socrates as portrayed mainly in Apology of Socrates with the Prince Myshkin and concludes with argument for more attention paid to interconnectedness of the 19th century Russian literature with Ancient Greek philosophy.
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