The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov


Fyodor Dostoevsky

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on The Brothers Karamazov makes teaching easy.

The Brothers Karamazov: Part 4: Book 12, Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Fetyukovich begins speaking. His voice is loud but attractive. His speech has two parts: bitter critique and a refutation of charges in the first half, and, in the second half, pathos that leaves the courtroom “trembling with rapture.” The defense attorney describes himself as a newcomer, and describes Dmitri as “a man of stormy and unbridled character.” He takes issue, however, with Ippolit Kirillovich’s claim that Dmitri couldn’t have been expressing sensitivity toward Grigory after striking him. He says that Dmitri was able to be piteous because his conscience was clear to begin with. He wasn’t focused on self-salvation, as a murderer would be.
Fetyukovich tries to ingratiate himself with the members of the small-town courtroom. He humbles himself as a newcomer, though everyone in the room knows that he’s a famous lawyer from St. Petersburg. He must do this because if the jury doesn’t like him, they’ll be more likely to find Dmitri guilty. He asserts that the unpredictable nature of Dmitri’s personality does make it possible for him to strike Grigory in one moment and to try to help him the next. At the same time, he lacks the true malice and foresight to actually commit murder.
Innocence and Guilt Theme Icon