Raskolnikov A Tragic Hero Essay

854 words - 4 pages

Crime & Punishment EssayThe character Rodion Romanovna Raskolnikov from Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel, Crime and Punishment, is a classic example of a tragic hero. His life as a man of many redeeming qualities takes a turn for the worst as his desires to improve his existence lead him to surrender to temptations that inevitably ruin his life. Fortunately, Raskolnikov's life does not end in tragedy, for he is able to find comfort and peace of mind through the unconditional love of his friends and family. Through Raskolnikov, author Dostoevsky implies that criminals want to be punished and that love is the greatest remedy for even the biggest of problems.Raskolnikov is the type of person least ...view middle of the document...

In the novel Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov's tragic flaw is his mother and sister. He realizes the bad economic situation they are in as well as his own poverty stricken life. He knows that they cannot afford to send him money for his expenses and feels completely responsible for his sister Dounia's engagement to Luzhin, a rich man. Raskolnikov believes that Dounia is sacrificing her life in order to provide for her family. Taking these circumstances into account, Raskolnikov takes it upon himself to prevent his sister from what he feels is a mistake, and also to improve his own life. One of his major weaknesses is that he does not always weigh the consequences of an action before he acts. Thus, after he murders the pawnbroker and her sister, he is appalled by his own inability to deal with what he has done. "I ought to have known it...And how dared I, knowing myself, knowing how I should be, take up an axe and shed blood! I ought to have known beforehand....Ah, but I did know!" (Dostoevsky, 238) Raskolnikov knows that murdering people for any reason is wrong, but he chose to ignore his beliefs because his only concern was of getting...

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