Analysis of the novel "Crime and Punishment", quotes and description of characters

Characters from the novel "Crime and punishment" by Dostoevsky: the list of the main characters with description (list)

Dostoevsky's novel "Crime and punishment" gave many outstanding characters to the world of literature.

The most famous characters in the novel are:
  • poor but proud ex-student Rodion Raskolnikov 
  • kind and self giving Sonia Marmeladov (Sonechka)
  • drunkard ex-clerk Marmeladov 
  • mean-spirited and greedy lawyer Luzhin
  • extravagant and dissolute landowner Svidrigaolov and many others.

In this arcticle you can find the list of characters of the novel "Crime and punishment" of Dostoevsky. Each character has the description and information about it's role in the novel.

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov 

A young man 23 years old. An ex-student of a LawFaculty in a University. He came to Saint Petersburg for studying from aprovincial region 3 years ago. Since his mother stopped sending him money and he stopped giving private classes to kids. He gave up studying. He lived an isolated life for several months, hardly had money to eat something.

Raskolnikov had been planning the murder of an old pawnbroker, Alyona Ivanovna, for almost a month. He wanted to rob her and take her money and jewelry. This capital was supposed to help him provide a better future to his mother and his sister Dounia. This way he wanted in starting a new life without poverty and everyday humiliation.

He commits the crime and does not even use the money he robbed. He realizes that he cannot be happy after this crime. Raskolnikov realizes he is not a “Napoleon” who can step over murders and crimes in order to achieve his goals.

Alyona Ivanovna
(Old pawnbroker)

She is an old lady, a widow of a collegiate secretary. She is around 60 years old. She is working as a pawnbroker in her own apartment. People come to her place to pawn things and get money. She is paying not much and taking high interest, taking advantage of people in need.

Raskolnikov also pawns some things to her. After visiting her Raskolnokov starts to think over the possible murder. He kills her and her younger sister Lizaveta with an axe and robs money and jewelry.

Semyon Zaharovitch Marmeladov

This is one of the most popular characters of this novel. Marmeladov was a 50 years old man, a discharged government clerk, a titular counsellor. He became a drunkard after losing his job a couple of years ago.

Marmeladov meets Raskolnikov in a tavern. Marmeladov is the first who starts the conversation. Feeling that Raskolnikov is an intelligent man Marmeladov opens his heart to the young man and tells him the story of all his miserable and poor family of the Marmeladovs.

From this story Raskolnikov learns about clerk´s daughter – a kind Sonia Marmeladova. Raskolnikov learns that she had to become a pro**itute in order to earn money for all the family.

Sofya Semyonovna Marmeladov / Sonia 
(Marmeladov’s daughter)

Sonia Marmeladov - the only own daughter of Semyon Zaharovitch Marmeladov. She is around 18 years old. The family of Sonia was her father Mr. Marmeladov, her stepmother Katerina Ivanovna and three stepbrothers and stepsisters.

For their sake, Sonia became a pro**itute, so they could have money to buy food and survive. For the first time Sonia meets Raskolnikov in the Marmeladovs room. This happens when Raskolnikov brings Marmeladov to his place after an accident on the street. Marmeladov dies after the injury after several minutes. Sonia y Raskolnikov become close friends after this. He trust her so much though he knows her only few days. She is the only person whom he tells the truth about the crime.

Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov 
(Raskolnikov’s mother)

Pulcheria Alexandrovna is the mother of Raskolnikov. She is a beautiful, kind and quite smart woman, 43 years old. She is a widow already for several years. Her children are Rodion Raskolnikov and Dounia.

The mother of Ruaskolnikov lives in a provincial town with her daughter. They are quite poor and have to work for small money. Lately Pulcheria Alexandrovna did not have enough money to help her son. That is why Raskolnikov gives up studying in University.

She has not seen her son for 3 years. And now she finally comes to Saint Petersburg with Dounia because she is getting married in Petersburg.

Avdotya Romanovna Raskolnikov / Dounia 
(Raskolnikov’s younger sister)

Dounia (Avdotya Romanovna) is Raskolnikov’s younger sister. Raskolnikov and his sister have a very good and warm relationship, they are good friends. She is around 22 years old. Dounia is a beautiful, smart, educated, kind, generous, brave girl with a strong character.

She is poor and she has to work as a the family of the Svidrigailovs. She had hard times working inthire family.

Whilst working there, Dounia was slandered by Marfa Petrovna Svidrigailova, the house owner. Dounia was accused of an affair with Mr. Svidrigailov and her reputation was ruined in the whole town. After that excentric Marfa Petovna completely re-established Dounia's reputation and claimed her innocent.

After this incident a lawyer with his own capital, Mr. Luzhin proposes to poor Dounia. Dounia agrees to marry him in order to provide a better future for her brother Rodion Raskolnikov and mother Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikov. Dounia hopes that this marriage can take them all out of poverty.

Dounia’s brother, Rodion Raskolnikov, is against this marriage of convenience with materialistic and unpleasant Mr. Luzhin.

Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov
(Marmeladov’s wife)

Katerina Ivanovna is the second wife of Mr. Marmeladov and the stepmother of Sonia Marmeladov. Katerina Ivanovna is a 30 years old woman with a good education from a good family. Being a young girl she ran away from home to marry her first husband. Her parents and family refused to help her. She became a young widow with three children without money suffering from poverty.

4 years ago Katerina Ivanovna got married to Mr. Marmeladov She was 20 years younger than him. He proposed to her because of the pity he felt for her – she was alone with three children and without money.

Katerina Ivanovna was suffering from Mr. Marmeladov’s alcoholism. He drinks alcohol a lot and he sells cloths and other things to buy vodka. Katerina Ivanovna doesn’t get any help from her husband and on the contrary, she suffers from the poverty and humiliation. She is in consumption for some time and feels worse.

Pyotr Petrovitch Luzhin

Luzhin is one of the most famous villains among the characters of ¨Crime and punishment¨. He is 45 years old but he bears his age well. Luzhin is a greedy, hard-headed, villainous and slandering person. He is a counsellor and a businessman. He comes to Saint Petersburg to open his own legal bureau.

Luzhin proposed to Dounia (Raskolnikov’s younger sister) not because of love. His plan was to marry a poor but honest and obedient girl like Dounia. Suspecting this, Raskolnikov was against the possible marriage of Luzhin and Dounia.

In order to marry Dounia, Luzhin tries to put Dounia at odds with her brother Rodion Raskolnikov. For this Luzhin accuses Sonia Marmeladov (Raskolnikov’s friend) of robbing Luzhin’s money which was not true. Luzhin doesn’t succeed in slandering Sonia. After this Dounia breaks off her relationship with Luzhin and refuses to marry him.

Dmitri Prokofitch Vrazumihin 
(though called Razumihin)

Razumihin’s real surname is Vrazumihin but everyone calles him Razumihin (including the author of the novel). Razumihin is a young man, the only friend of Raskolnikov. He is also an ex-student. He temporarily stopped studying in the University. Razumihin is a kind, caring, open, generous but at the same time businesslike young man.

He cares about Raskolnikov and tries to help him, Razumihin offers some small jobs to Raskolnikov and supports him with getting work. He finds a doctor when Raskolnikov becomes sick after his crime.

Razumihin falls in love with Dounia when Dounia comes to Saint Petersburg to marry Luzhin. When Dounia breaks up relationship with Luzhin, a few months later Razumihin marries his beloved Dounia.

That was the list of main characters of the novel "Crime and punishment" by Dostoevsky.

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