Literature Study GuidesThe Kreutzer Sonata

The Kreutzer Sonata | Study Guide

Leo Tolstoy

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Leo Tolstoy

Year Published





Drama, Philosophy, Religion

Perspective and Narrator

The Kreutzer Sonata is primarily told through the dialogue of the main character, Pozdnyshev, telling his story to an unnamed passenger on a train. The passenger interjects and frames the tale occasionally in a first-person narration.


The Kreutzer Sonata is told in the past tense.

About the Title

The Kreutzer Sonata is named after Ludwig van Beethoven's Violin Sonata no. 9 in A Major, opus 47 (1805). This sonata is commonly called the Kreutzer Sonata because Beethoven (1770–1827) dedicated it to a famous violinist of the time, Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766–1831). In Tolstoy's novella Pozdnyshev's wife, a pianist, performs the duet with a male violinist, Trukhachevsky, which sparks Pozdnyshev's jealousy.


This study guide for Leo Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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