Herald of

Platoʼs Eros and Dostoyevskyʼs Smerdyakov: comparative analysis

Gadzhikurbanov A.G.


The author shows that Plato's Eros and Dostoyevsky's Smerdyakov can be considered as replica of that image of world literature and mythology, which is defined as a trickster. Typological relations are established between them, characterizing different aspects of this phenomenon. By their origin, they are both beings of a dual nature, which later determines the very way of their existence. The trickster is the mediator between the two worlds. For all their similarities, Smerdyakov, as a “werewolf”, while remaining substantially and functionally close to Eros, turns out to be a mediator of a different direction: he does not lead from death to life, but, on the contrary, from life to death. The cultural hero that the trickster (Smerdyakov) needs is Ivan Karamazov, who inspired him with the idea that “everything is permitted”. As a parodying double of Ivan, Smerdyakov transcends his original in that he actually carries out the most radical act of this moral philosophy.


Eros; Plato; Smerdyakov; Dostoevsky; trickster; dual nature; mediator; two worlds; werewolf; life and death; Ivan Karamazov; “everything is permitted”; parody double; radical act; moral philosophy.

DOI: 10.31249/hoc/2023.01.05

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