The Diary of a Madman


Nikolai Gogol

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Diary of a Madman can help.

Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin

Poprishchin, the protagonist of “Diary of a Madman,” is a low-level civil servant with an uninspiring career who is obsessed with social class and status. He is resentful and envious of his superiors, and dismissive… read analysis of Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin


Sophie, an upper-class woman, is the daughter of Poprishchin’s boss and is Poprishchin’s love interest. Poprishchin is infatuated with Sophie, and often writes poetic phrases and verses in his diary about her looks despite… read analysis of Sophie

Medji and Fidèle

Medji and Fidèle are two dogs in Poprishchin’s neighborhood. Medji is the lapdog of Sophie, who is the daughter of Poprishchin’s boss. Fidèle’s owner lives in a building owned by a man called… read analysis of Medji and Fidèle

The Section Chief

The section chief is one of Poprishchin’s managers. The section chief is critical of Poprishchin’s behavior and professionalism, pointing out Poprishchin’s lack of career advancement despite being forty years old. The section chief is… read analysis of The Section Chief

The Director

The director is Poprishchin’s boss and the father of Sophie, Poprishchin’s love interest. Poprishchin believes the director is a very educated man because his office contains many books with foreign titles. The director… read analysis of The Director
Get the entire The Diary of a Madman LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Diary of a Madman PDF


The love interest of Sophie, the director’s daughter. Teplov is only described through the letters of Medji and Fidèle, so it unclear whether his existence is real, or only part of Poprishchinread analysis of Teplov
Minor Characters
Lord Chancellor/Grand Inquisitor
One of the staff members at the insane asylum, who physically tortures Poprishchin.