Essay about Comparing Crime and Punishment and The Bible

Essay about Comparing Crime and Punishment and The Bible

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The use of doubles is prevalent in the writing of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He uses this device to force comparison and discernment between characters and modes of behavior. In Crime and Punishment, the character Svidrigaylov serves as a dark double to Raskolnikov. While both are tainted by the sin of their crimes, the latter finds redemption, while the former find only despair and suicide. This pair of criminals closely parallels another famous set of doubles: the apostles Peter and Judas. Although each member of these two pairs commits the same crime as his double, only one finds redemption. Dostoyevsky's text and the gospel accounts indicate that humility and self-effacement are the key elements of salvation.

            The first pair for this discussion is Peter and Judas, about whom is written have the least information and who are therefore the easier pair to analyze. First, it is important to note that the gospels were written by authors sympathetic to Peter and not to Judas, so Judas should be given the benefit of the doubt in some cases. Peter and Judas were both given positions of authority among the apostles. Peter was called to be the spokesman and Judas carried the purse. Judas chose to betray Jesus. We are unsure what his reason was, although Luke tells us that "Satan entered into Judas." 1 Judas may have been acting out of self-preservation if he suspected that the end was near for Jesus anyway. Quite possibly, Judas agreed with Caiaphas and felt that it was better "that one man should die for all the people." 2 It is ironic, and a good example of Johannine humor, how right Caiaphas was ? one man died, Christ "by whom we are set free." 3 Judas received 30 silver coins from the chief priests in payment for his ...


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Works Cited

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. New York: W W Norton and Company, 1989.

The Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version 1611, The World Publishing Co., Cleveland.

Notes:

1. Luke 22:3

2. John 18:14

3. Colossians 1:14

4. Mark 14:21

5. Matthew 26:25

6. Matthew 27:3-5

7. Hebrews 7:26

8. Hebrews 7:27

9. Hebrews 7:28

10. Luke 22:31-32

11. Luke 22:33

12. Matthew 26:38

13. Matthew 26:41

14. Mark 14:71

15. Luke 22:61-62

16. John 21:7

17. John 21:15-17

18. Romans 5:12

19. Romans 5:18

20. Crime and Punishment p. 238

21. ibid. 238

22. ibid. 237

23. Philippians 2:8

24. Philippians 2:9

25. Luke 24:26

26. Crime and Punishment p.432

27. Crime and Punishment p. 348

28. ibid. 348

29. ibid. 354

 

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