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At Pavlovsk, the Yepanchins come to visit Myshkin. They show their concern for the Prince. Aglaya tries to attract his attention by reading a poem. At this juncture, a group of rowdy young men lead by Burdovsky arrives suddenly and impose themselves on the Prince. Burdovsky claims to be the son of Pavlischev, Myshkin’s guardian, and demands his share of his father’s money that was spent on the Prince in Switzerland. The Prince reveals the true story with the help of Ganya and proves that Burdovsky is not the son of Pavlischev. However, on humanitarian grounds, he offers ten thousand rubles to the boy to help him improve his situation in life. Burdovsky declines the offer and the young men leave disgruntled. Hippolit stays back to talk to Lizaveta Prokofyevna.
As every one comes outside to go home, they see a carriage passing by. A lady from within the carriage addresses Yevgeni about some balance of payment. It is Nastasya who shocks everyone by her sudden appearance and outburst. The incident disturbs all of them.
The Yepanchins and the Prince get reconciled. Once, when they all visit the park, Nastasya arrives suddenly and confronts Yevgeni Radomsky. She accuses him of enjoying himself, when his guardian lay dying in his house. Her behavior shocks and embarrasses everyone. A Captain, who is a friend of Radomsky and a witness to the scene, tries to challenge her. However, before he can give a blow to her, the Prince intervenes. Nastasya leaves with Rogozhin and the Prince follows the Yepanchins.
On the birthday of the Prince, his friends get collected at his house and surprise him with a party. Everyone talks drinks and makes merry. After the party, Hippolit reads out his last testament. His monologue exhausts everyone and he is ridiculed for his hypocrisy. Hippolit frightens others by trying to shoot himself but is unsuccessful in killing himself, as the cap of the gun had not been fitted. As Hippolit is sent to bed, all leave in disgust.
At home, Aglaya’s behavior puzzles her parents. She taunts the Prince but shows a desire to marry him. Her parents presume that she is in love with the Prince and thus, arrange a party to introduce Myshkin to their wealthy and influential friends. At the party, the Prince gets excited and speaks against Catholicism with gusto, unmindful of the discomfiture of the guests. He gets agitated and breaks the Chinese vase as he sways his hand. After Madam Yepanchin pardons him for his mistake, he gets emotional and praises the magnanimity of the elite gathering. And finally, he falls down after an attack of epilepsy. As the Yepanchins look shocked, the guests leave in disgust. The Yepanchins echo the view of Princess Byelokonsky and reject the Prince as the groom for Aglaya.
Aglaya meets the Prince the next day and takes him to the house of Nastasya. As the two ladies face each other, emotion rages within them and tempers flare. Aglaya accuses Nastasya of being a manipulator who desired the Prince but pretended to sacrifice him to Aglaya. She asks Nastasya to leave the Prince alone and go away with Rogozhin. Nastasya feels insulted and retaliates by asserting her authority over the Prince. As the Prince prepares to leave with Aglaya, Nastasya falls down on her knees and stops him from going out. Myshkin is forced to remain with Nastasya. He comforts her and agrees to marry her.
As the wedding day approaches, Nastasya gets tense and fears the wrath of Rogozhin. She often breaks down and recovers after the Prince consoles her. On the wedding day, as the Prince waits for her in the church, she prepares herself to get into the carriage to reach the church. Then suddenly, she catches sight of Rogozhin in the crowd and requests him to take her away. As Keller, who had gone to bring her to the church, waits for her helplessly, she drives away with Rogozhin in another carriage. The Prince is shocked to receive the news but comes to grips with the situation.
Next day, he reaches St. Petersburg and searches for Rogozhin and Nastasya. At last he meets Rogozhin near his hotel. Rogozhin leads him to his house and relates the day’s happenings. Then he takes Myshkin to the bedroom where Nastasya is stretched on the bed. He confesses having killed her with a knife. As Nastasya lies dead, Myshkin tries to pacify a deranged Rogozhin. Shortly afterwards, the police apprehend Rogozhin.
Rogozhin is cured of his brain fever, before being sentenced for life in Siberia. The Prince relapses to insanity and is sent to Switzerland for treatment at Dr. Schneider’s clinic by Yevgeni Pavlovich. This time the doctor is not sure whether the Prince will recover. As the Prince lies unaware of his surroundings, the Yepanchins visit him and offer him sympathy. Aglaya joins a convent after a bad marriage and Lady Yepanchin travels all over Europe complaining of bad food.