The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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The local doctor of German descent who treats Ilyusha for tuberculosis by “[stuffing] him full of medications,” which doesn’t improve the boy’s condition. He is “an old man of seventy, gray-haired and bald, of medium height and sturdy build.” He is “kind and philanthropic,” known for treating poor patients for free. Everyone in town respects him very much, as he is conscientious and pious. He is a lifelong bachelor but views women “as exalted and ideal beings.” However, he is stubborn and is the sort of man who never gives up an idea once he espouses it. Though he speaks perfect Russian, he exhibits an absentmindedness for ordinary words. Dr. Varvinsky is critical of Dr. Herzenstube’s skill in medicine.
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Herzenstube Character Timeline in The Brothers Karamazov

The timeline below shows where the character Herzenstube appears in The Brothers Karamazov. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: Book 4, Chapter 4: At the Khokhlakovs’
Suffering Theme Icon
...it’s her mother and not her who’s in hysterics. Madame Khokhlakov says that she had Herzenstube come in to check on Lise. As usual, he could make nothing of her reactions.... (full context)
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...Frightened, she demands that they quickly wash the wound. Madame Khokhlakov offers to send for Herzenstube. Alexei assures them that he’s fine. Lise sends her mother away to get some antiseptic... (full context)
Part 2: Book 5, Chapter 1: A Betrothal
Jealousy and Envy Theme Icon
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...have arrived, but they do nothing but put on airs in front of Madame Khokhlakov. Herzenstube came but became so frightened and useless that Madame Khokhlakov thought to send for another... (full context)
Part 2: Book 5, Chapter 7: “It’s Always Interesting to Talk with an Intelligent Man”
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...bones, but he doesn’t regain consciousness and he suffers recurring fits. Fyodor sends for Dr. Herzenstube, who examines Smerdyakov and concludes that he suffered an extraordinary fit. Smerdyakov is put to... (full context)
Part 4: Book 10, Chapter 3: A Schoolboy
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...how Ilyusha is doing. Smurov reports that he probably has consumption. He says that Dr. Herzenstube keeps going to the house. Kolya curses all doctors as “medical scum.” He says that... (full context)
Part 4: Book 11, Chapter 6: The First Meeting with Smerdyakov
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
...train back from Moscow, he thought often about his last conversation with Smerdyakov. Ivan questioned Herzenstube and Varvinsky about Smerdyakov’s “falling sickness” and asked them if he may have been “shamming”... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 3: Medical Expertise and One Pound of Nuts
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Jealousy and Envy Theme Icon
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Drs. Varvinsky and Herzenstube, as well as the Moscow doctor, are called as expert witnesses. Herzenstube declares that “the... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 13: An Adulterer of Thought
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
Jealousy and Envy Theme Icon
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...acquit the defendant. Fetyukovich then discourses on the nature of fatherhood, and recalls how Dr. Herzenstube testified that Fyodor left Dmitri running around barefoot and in tattered clothes when he was... (full context)
Epilogue, Chapter 1: Plans to Save Mitya
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...Ivan lies in the next room, feverish and unconscious. He’s being treated by Varvinksy and Herzenstube, both of whom are unable to give any hope that Ivan will recover. Katerina says... (full context)