Dostoevsky's The Legend Of 'Grand Inquisitor'

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Dostoevsky in his book of “Brothers Karamozov” puts the legend of “Grand Inquisitor”. This part of book contains deep philosophical meaning which can be interpreted in variety of ways. Dostoevsky represents Ivan, one of the brothers Karamazov, as the author of this poem. The further development of the poem is linked with Ivan’s view consisting that God created an absurd order of human life where no place for human. Christ brought his doctrine to the world. However, it was not attainable by ordinary people. It was only for chosen ones because human nature will think of the daily needs and satiety, piece and happiness. Meanwhile, instead Christ brings freedom, constant anxiety and struggle which requires ordinary man to leave the “bread” and…show more content…
Therefore, Ivan thinks that the human nature cannot stand for such burden. Moreover, in his story Ivan urges that Christ’s doctrine is absurd as well as the God’s one. The Roman Church embodies that absurd. Using Roman Church he identifies its representative, the Grand Inquisitor, as an Antichrist which succumbed the temptations of “dread spirit” (p.14). The legend of “Grand Inquisitor” can be interpreted as the “Temptation of the Jesus” where the Christ rejected all temptation, however, Inquisotor instead accepted it (p.43) where Inquisitor himself acknowledges it by saying “We are not working with Thee but with him”. Dostoevsky’s whole legend is the extensive interpretation of “three temptations of Jesus” which was also mentioned by Grand Inquisitor (p.43). “Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (p.43). He rejected by answering to these temptaitions in three ways: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedth out…show more content…
They too lived in desert till they understood that Christ’s order of life is unbearable. They came back, revised the Christ’s work and “have founded it upon miracle, mystery, and authority” (p.25). They took the freedom of man to make his life peaceful and happy. They determined man’s conscience by authority so he will not have need to make decisions. They proclaimed his faith with mystery so he will not apply any effort to understand it. They were creating miracle so that he will obey. All that is negation of the Christ. Thus, the Grand Inquisitor appears as the antichrist. Eventually, Inquisitor himself tells that he is not with Christ but with him, with “the wise and dread spirit of desert” (p.14). Fifteen centuries was enough to create the opposite of Christ work. As the Christ rejeted the temptations he remained faithfull to his ideal. However, that ideal was unreachable for ordinary men and became the illusion which further was destroyed. In the order created by Christ the spirit of desert began dominate using Christ essence for it. In this case antichrist defeated the Christ, for he did not consider the real human

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