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Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, the hero of the novel is on his way back to St. Petersburg in Russia having spent four years in a Swiss sanatorium. Prince who has been away for many years is a stranger in his own country and decides to contact his only relative- Lizaveta Prokofyevna Yepanchin.
On his journey to St.Petersburg, he comes across Parfyon Semyonovich Rogozhin who enlightens Myshkin about the beautiful Nastassya Filippovna. This journey thus begins the complex relationships in 'The Idiot's' life.
Prince meets the Yepanchins and their three daughters and the youngest daughter Aglaya falls in love with Myshkin. Myshkin seems to reciprocate the love but wants to be noble and marry Nastassya Filippovna.
Nastassya on the other hand feels unworthy of Myshkin and chooses to be with Rogozhin. Rogozhin and Myshkin get entangled in a web of jealousy and Nastassya has to make the difficult choice between the two.
The innocent and naive protagonist is trapped in a complex web of power and money. The author explores a variety of feelings from greed, patriotism, suicide, crime, love and friendship.
Was Prince Lev Myshkin a Russian savior? Does Myshkin's simplicity and kindness make him an "idiot"? The novel brims with philosophical inquiry into the society, life and culture of the people.
A highly thought-provoking novel, The Idiot was originally written in Russian. It was published in the year 1869 and has remained popular ever since.