Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment

Themes and Colors
Criminality, Morality, and Guilt Theme Icon
Madness and Intoxication Theme Icon
Coincidence and Free Will Theme Icon
Money and Poverty Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Crime and Punishment, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Madness and Intoxication Theme Icon

What does it mean “to be in one’s right mind”? Raskolnikov is presented, from the beginning, as a character on the brink of mental collapse. He talks to himself in public, lies in bed all day in his small apartment, and barely eats. He walks aimlessly around Petersburg, and he often does not remember where he goes or what he does. Razumikhin, Pulcheria, and Dunya fear for Raskolnikov’s mental state, eroded not only by his poverty but, later, by his guilt and paranoia over the murder.

Many other characters are also touched by mental illness or drunkenness. Marmeladov’s alcoholism prevents him from holding down a job and supporting his family. He is eventually crushed under a wagon. Katerina, his wife, succumbs to madness prompted by her grief over her husband’s death and the weight of their family’s poverty. Razumikhin is a notable drinker who first arranges for Pulcheria’s and Dunya’s comfort in Petersburg while deeply intoxicated. Svidrigailov is so broken by Dunya’s unwillingness to elope with him that he decides to kill himself. Pulcheria’s grief over Raskolnikov’s condition and exile drives her illness and death. Her grief, like Katerina's, is essentially indistinguishable from madness.

Although questions of madness and sanity dominate the novel, Raskolnikov never admits that his crime was caused by temporary insanity—although this, more or less, is the verdict rendered after his confession. Raskolnikov cannot find any one reason for killing the two women. Indeed, it becomes clear that his madness derives more from the crime than it does prompt the crime.

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Madness and Intoxication Quotes in Crime and Punishment

Below you will find the important quotes in Crime and Punishment related to the theme of Madness and Intoxication.
Part 1, Chapter 1 Quotes

Details, details above all! . . . It’s these details that ruin everything always . . .

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker)
Page Number: 5
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Part 1, Chapter 2 Quotes

It is necessary that every man have at least somewhere to go.

Related Characters: Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov (speaker)
Page Number: 14
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Part 1, Chapter 4 Quotes

This marriage will not take place as long as I live, and to the devil with Mr. Luzhin!

Page Number: 40
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Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

God . . . but can it be, can it be that I will really take an axe and hit her on the head and smash her skull . . . ?

Page Number: 59
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Part 1, Chapter 6 Quotes

If he had ever once managed to analyze and finally decide everything down to the last detail . . . at that point he would most likely have renounced it all as absurd, monstrous, and impossible.

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 69
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Part 1, Chapter 7 Quotes

But a sort of absentmindedness, even something like reverie, began gradually to take possession of him: as if he forgot himself at moments . . . and clung to trifles.

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 80
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Part 2, Chapter 2 Quotes

If indeed this whole thing was done consciously and not foolheadedly . . . then how is it that so far you have not even looked into the purse and do not know what you’ve actually gained?

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker)
Page Number: 110
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Part 2, Chapter 6 Quotes

"And what if it was I who killed the old woman and Lizaveta?"

"But can it be?"

"Admit that you believed it! Right? Am I right?"

Page Number: 165
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Part 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

He finally got it!

Page Number: 178
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Part 3, Chapter 3 Quotes

What I’m driving at . . . is that your complete recovery now depends chiefly on you yourself. . . . I should like to impress upon you that it is necessary to eliminate the original, so to speak, radical causes that influenced the onset of your ill condition.

Related Characters: Dr. Zossimov (speaker), Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Related Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 223
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Part 3, Chapter 4 Quotes

Despite her eighteen years, she looked almost like a little girl, much younger than her age . . . and this sometimes even appeared comically in some of her movements.

Related Characters: Sonya Semyonovna Marmeladov
Page Number: 238
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Part 3, Chapter 6 Quotes

. . . only peasants or the most inexperienced novices deny everything outright and all down the line. A man with even a bit of development . . . will certainly try to admit as far as possible all the external and unavoidable facts.

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker)
Page Number: 269
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Part 4, Chapter 2 Quotes

You’ve all been saying that I was mad . . . and just now I imagined that perhaps I really am mad and was only seeing a ghost!

Page Number: 295
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Part 4, Chapter 4 Quotes

Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave . . . . Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. . . . Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me, . . . and he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth.

Related Characters: Sonya Semyonovna Marmeladov (speaker)
Related Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 327
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Part 4, Chapter 6 Quotes

One little word, Rodion Romanovich, sir; concerning everything else, it’s as God wills, but all the same we’ll have to ask you a thing or two formally, sir . . . so we’ll be seeing each other right enough, sir.

Related Characters: Porfiry Petrovich (speaker), Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 353
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Part 5, Chapter 4 Quotes

Nonsense! I simply killed—killed for myself, for myself alone . . . and it was not money above all that I wanted when I killed . . . .

Related Characters: Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (speaker)
Page Number: 419
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Part 5, Chapter 5 Quotes

Dunya! This Razumikhin, Dmitri Prokofych, is a very good man . . . He is a practical man, hard-working, honest, and capable of deep love . . . .

Page Number: 425
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Part 6, Chapter 1 Quotes

He’s a political conspirator, he is, for sure, for sure!

Page Number: 446
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Part 6, Chapter 2 Quotes

You’d run away, and come back on your own. It’s impossible for you to do without us.

Related Characters: Porfiry Petrovich (speaker), Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov
Page Number: 461
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Part 6, Chapter 6 Quotes

"Well, never mind, brother. It’s a good place. If they start asking you, just tell them he went to America."

"Oi, dat’s not allowed, it’s de wrong place!"

Related Characters: Arkady Ivanovich Svidrigailov (speaker)
Page Number: 511
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Part 6, Chapter 7 Quotes

I’m wicked, I see that . . . but why do they love me so, when I’m unworthy of it!

Related Symbols: Lazarus
Page Number: 520
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