Diary of a Madman Literary Elements

Diary of a Madman Literary Elements


A short story

Setting and Context

The events of the story take place in the 19th century in St. Petersburg, the Russian Empire.

Narrator and Point of View

The story is told from the first point of view by Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin.

Tone and Mood

The tone is serious and agitated. The mood is unsettling.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Aksenty Ivanovich Poprishchin is the protagonist of the story and he is the antagonist at the same very time.

Major Conflict

The major conflict is person vs. self.


The moment when the protagonist goes “straight to Sophie’s dressing room to tell her that he was “the king of Spain.”


But when I considered the matter well, I ceased to be astonished.
The fact that he can easily believe in the fact that dogs are able to speak and even write foreshadows events of the story. It is as clear as a day that he is not in his right mind.


I was, to tell the truth, quite amazed to hear it talk.
In regard to talking dogs to say that you are just “quite amazed” is a great underestimation.


The story alludes to Pushkin.


There are imageries of madness and of a beautiful lady.


Perhaps I am really a count or a general, and only appear to be a titular councillor.


This an hour since I saw thee,
And it seems a whole long year.

Metonymy and Synecdoche

If have only a kopeck in my pocket, I always go there. (A kopeck is synecdoche that represents money).
What a head he must have! (A head is metonymy that represents cleverness).



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