The main leitmotif of Dostoevsky’s story “Notes from the Underground” is the denial of all available institutions. A stable, constantly recurring symbol of rationalism and necessity (which Dostoevsky’s hero opposes) in “Notes from the Underground” is the formula “twice two makes four”. For Molière’s Don Juan, the formula “twice two makes four” becomes his credo. Thus, what is recognized by Don Juan is denied by the underground man. At the same time, the two heroes are not only opposed, but also positively compared by Dostoevsky with each other. On the one hand, the attacks of the underground man against rationalism also imply attacks against Molière’s Don Juan, but on the other hand, the paradoxicalist turns out to be a new version and development of the libertine hero. And as is known Molière’s Don Juan is in the context of the development of libertinism. Both the underground man and Don Juan resort to sophistry.
Dostoevsky; Molière; rationalism; necessity; polyphony; sophistry.
Shul’ts, S.A. “Dostoyevsky and Molière (‘Notes From the Underground’ and ‘Don Juan’)”. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 2(56), 2022, pp. 39–51. DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2022.56.03