The character Raskolnikov in the novel Crime and Punishment is among one of the most realistic and believable characters I have ever read about. He is also the most confusing and distraught man I have been introduced to this entire year. Raskolnikov possesses the most varying personality imaginable and this makes the reasoning behind his actions a mystery, especially in the case of the murder. Determining the rationale in killing the old pawnbroker is a complex process that necessitates deep thought from the reader. It is also a difficult point to argue because Dostoevsky's novel is so intensely detailed that different readers can emphasize different aspects of the book in order to attempt to explain Raskolnikov's deeds.
Guilt as well as intellectual reasoning prove to be the main motivating factors behind the crime of Raskolnikov. Throughout the novel his actions are usually a result of his striking intelligence or his tormenting conscience, or in the situation of the murder, both. Raskolnikov's idea to kill the old pawnbroker stems from a theory he was developing. It was probable that during his studies at the university he was aquatinted with the popular philosophies of two German thinkers of the time.