The Grand Inquisitor The Grand Inquisitor

The Grand Inquisitor

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Publisher Description

Whoever says Dostoyevsky, immediately thinks of his last masterpiece, "The Brothers Karamazov," considered to be one of the most powerful literary works of all times, that Sigmund Freud called "the most magnificent novel ever written". Through the personalities of the three brothers, Dostoyevsky presents three ways of living and of experiencing or denying the presence of God among mortals. Dmitri, the eldest, is a philanderer given to earthly pleasures. Ivan is the sceptical rationalist, tortured by doubts. And Alyosha, the youngest, is the faithful novice who wants to become a monk, under the guidance of the saintly figure of father Zosima.  

Debating such matters as God, free will and morality, "The Grand Inquisitor" is the novel’s best known and most controversial passage, in which Ivan tells his brother the story of the second coming of Christ, in Seville during the Inquisition’s time. The Grand Inquisitor arrests Christ in order to protect humanity from the burden of the free will, and Ivan tells this story to his brother, under the form of a poem that mirrors the two attitudes towards faith and religion, embodied by Ivan and Alyosha. A powerful, mind-twisting and thorough parable in which Dostoyevsky proved his almighty artistic vigour, the passage is best remembered for its strong yet subtle comment upon those who profess reason as the supreme value and tend towards trading the moral authenticity and personal freedom for the comfort of material well-being, freed from the burden of the free will.

The Grand Inquisitor represents the rational world in which Christ has no place anymore, as his gift, freedom—from material things, from superstition, power and control—is a weight too heavy on the lazy morality of humans.  

Throughout the whole scene, the old and bitter inquisitor trials Christ again, not allowing him to speak. 

"And his prisoner, does He never reply? Does He keep silent, looking at him, without saying a word?" an increasingly astonished Alyosha asks.


"Of course; and it could not well be otherwise," again retorted Ivan.


"Man is born a rebel, and can rebels be ever happy?"...the Inquisitor argues against freedom of choice, adding that "never was there anything more unbearable to the human race than personal freedom!" By secretly endorsing the works of Satan, not because he is evil, but because he seeks the most secure order for humans, the Inquisitor tells Christ that he must keep Him a prisoner or burn Him as a heretic in order to insure happiness and security on Earth.


By rejecting the three offers the Devil tried to tempt Him with in the desert, Christ had bestowed upon humans the most valuable of the moral attributes, freedom of choice. The first temptation, to turn a stone into a loaf of bread in order to appease His hunger after forty days of fasting, represented the renunciation of the material world with all its lures; the rejection of the second temptation, to perform a miracle, signifies giving up superstition and proves to be a powerful tool towards believing; and by refusing the third one, power, the absolute one of ruling over all kingdoms, Christ gave the example of freedom from safety and control.

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
2013
May 20
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
38
Pages
PUBLISHER
Read Forward LLC
SELLER
Read Forward SRL
SIZE
345.1
KB

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