Sonia - Raskolnikov’s love and Marmeladov’s daughter. Sonya is forced to prostitute herself to support herself and the rest of her family. She is meek and easily embarrassed, but she maintains a strong religious faith. She is the only person with whom Raskolnikov shares a meaningful relationship.
Dounia - Raskolnikov’s sister. Dunya is as intelligent, proud, and good-looking as her brother, but she is also moral and compassionate. She is decisive and brave, ending her engagement with Luzhin when he insults her family and fending off Svidrigailov with gunfire.
Svidrigailov - Dunya’s depraved former employer. Svidrigailov appears to believe, almost until the end of the novel, that he can make Dunya love him. The death of his wife, Marfa Petrovna, has made him generous, but he is generally a threatening presence to both Dunya and Raskolnikov.
Razumikhin - Raskolnikov’s friend. A poor ex-student, he responds to his poverty not by taking from others but by working even harder. Razumikhin is Raskolnikov’s foil, illustrating through his kindness and amicability the extent to which Raskolnikov has alienated himself from society. To some extent, he even serves as Raskolnikov’s replacement, stepping in to advise and protect Pulcheria Alexandrovna and Dunya. His name comes from the Russian word razum, which means “reason” or “intelligence.”
Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladov - The consumptive wife of Marmeladov. Katerina Ivanovna’s serious illness gives her flushed cheeks and a persistent, bloody cough. She is very proud and repeatedly declares her aristocratic heritage.
Porfiry Petrovich - The magistrate in charge of investigating the murders. Porfiry Petrovich has a shrewd understanding of criminal psychology and is exquisitely aware of Raskolnikov’s mental state at every step along the way from the crime to the confession. He is Raskolnikov’s primary antagonist, and, though he appears only occasionally in the novel, his presence is constantly felt.
Marmeladov - An alcoholic public official whom Raskolnikov meets at a tavern. Marmeladov is fully aware that his drinking is ruining himself and his family, but he is unable to stop. It is unclear whether his death by falling under the wheels of a carriage was a drunken accident or…