The Grand Inquisitor is a parable in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880). It is told by Ivan, who questions the possibility of a personal and benevolent God, to his brother Alyosha, a novice monk. The Grand Inquisitor is an important part of the novel and one of the best-known passages in modern literature because of its ideas about human nature and freedom, and its fundamental ambiguity.
Scholars cite Friedrich Schiller's play Don Carlos as a major inspiration for Dostoyevsky's Grand Inquisitor. However, it is also said that "The sources of the legend are extraordinarily varied and complex."