Raskolnikov a tragic hero

Essay by JSheets44High School, 12th gradeA+, April 2004

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Crime & Punishment Essay

The 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 likely to be suspected of committing a crime. He comes from an educated family and is always the first to help people in need, even if it means giving them his last dollar.

For instance, early in the novel, Raskolnikov observes a young girl staggering down the street, followed by a strange looking man. "I don't know that dandy...he is very eager to get hold of her to get her away somewhere while she is in this state...Think how can we keep her out of his hands, and how are we to get her home?" (Dostoevsky, 43) Raskolnikov is so concerned with the safety and well being of the young girl that he is compelled to give the last of his money to an officer for a cab to take her home.

Another example showing his generosity is the time he takes the drunken Marmeladov home and leaves money on the windowsill on his way out. "As he went out, Raskolnikov had time to put his hand into his pocket, to snatch up the coppers he had received in exchange for his rouble...