The Grand Inquisitor

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"The Grand Inquisitor" is a parable told by Ivan to Alyosha in Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov (1879-1880). Ivan and Alyosha are brothers; Ivan questions the possibility of a kind, caring God. If there is a kind God, Ivan argues, why do people suffer, especially children?

"The Grand Inquisitor" is an important part of the novel and one of the most famous parts of it because of its ideas about humans and Gods, and because of its mysteriousness.

Dostoevsky's notebooks show that he had the idea of "The Grand Inquisitor" after he saw it in a play by Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlos (1785-1787).

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