The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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A practical, “educated and humane man” with “the most modern ideas.” He is vain but not overly concerned with career advancement, due to being wealthy and having connections. What is most important to him is to be progressive. He is passionate about the Karamazov case, in regard to its social significance, but he takes little interest in “the personal character of the case” or in the fate of the defendant, toward whom he is indifferent. The narrator views the judge’s ability to regard the participants of a case in an abstract manner as the ideal attitude for a judge.

The Presiding Judge Quotes in The Brothers Karamazov

The The Brothers Karamazov quotes below are all either spoken by The Presiding Judge or refer to The Presiding Judge . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Faith vs. Reason Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of The Brothers Karamazov published in 1990.
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 5 Quotes

“‘The thing is that I am precisely in my right mind...my vile mind, the same as you, and all these m-mugs!’ he suddenly turned to the public. ‘A murdered father, and they pretend to be frightened,’ he growled with fierce contempt. ‘They pull faces to each other. Liars! Everyone wants his father dead. Viper devours viper…If there were no parricide, they’d all get angry and go home in a foul temper…Circuses! ‘Bread and circuses!’ […] Calm yourselves, I’m not mad, I’m simply a murderer! […] I have no witnesses. That dog Smerdyakov won’t send you evidence from the other world…in an envelope. You keep asking for envelopes, as if one wasn’t enough. I have no witnesses…except one, perhaps [….] He’s got a tail, Your Honor, you’d find him inadmissible! Le diable n’existe point!

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The Presiding Judge Character Timeline in The Brothers Karamazov

The timeline below shows where the character The Presiding Judge appears in The Brothers Karamazov. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 1: The Fatal Day
Morality and Modernization Theme Icon
...who may cause the prosecutor to lose the case that could save “his flagging career.” The presiding judge is “an educated and humane man.” He’s vain but concerned with social progress. (full context)
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
...The twelve jurors consist of four officials, two merchants, and six local peasants and tradesmen. The presiding judge announces the start of the hearing, and a marshal brings out Dmitri. The tall, bird-like... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 4: Fortune Smiles on Mitya
Suffering Theme Icon
Katerina Ivanovna is next. The presiding judge speaks to her “with extreme respect,” afraid of causing her pain. She says that she... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 5: A Sudden Catastrophe
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
The presiding judge tells Ivan that he’s not under oath and should provide testimony “in good conscience.” Ivan... (full context)
Faith vs. Reason Theme Icon
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
Morality and Modernization Theme Icon
Suffering Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
...one believes him. Alexei jumps up and says that he’s delirious and shouldn’t be believed. The presiding judge tells Ivan that his testimony is “incomprehensible.” If he actually has something to say, he... (full context)
Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 14: Our Peasants Stood Up for Themselves
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon
...He says that he’s not guilty of killing his father. He begs to be spared. The presiding judge is very tired. He weakly instructs the jury to be “impartial.” The jury retires, allowing... (full context)