Socratic dialogue is a form of self-questioning or a dialogue with series of questions that lead to a logical conclusion. The questions asked can be contradicting and defend different points of view. In the novel Crime and Punishment the constant self-analysis the protagonist goes through provides deep insight and a very good introduction to the psyche of a murderer. The author creates a complete picture using Socratic Dialogue to immerse the reader in the thoughts, feelings, and continuous questions that scurry through the mind and the profound desire it possesses for ultimate truth.
The most awful recollection of the previous day was the way he had shown himself "base and mean," not only because he had been drunk, but because he had taken advantage of the young girl's position to abuse her fiancé in his stupid jealousy, knowing nothing of their mutual relations and obligations and next to nothing of the man himself. And what right had he to criticise him in that hasty and unguarded manner? Who had asked for his opinion? Was it thinkable that such a creature as Avdotya Romanovna would be marrying an unworthy man for money? So there must be something in him. The lodgings? But after all how could he know the character of the lodgings? He was furnishing a flat... Foo! how despicable it all was! And what justification was it that he was drunk? Such a stupid excuse was even more degrading! In wine is truth, and the truth had all come out, "that is, all the uncleanness of his coarse and envious heart"! And would such a dream ever be permissible to him, Razumihin? What was he beside such a girlhe, the drunken noisy braggart of last night? Was it possible to imagine so absurd and cynical a juxtaposition? Razumihin blushed desperately at the very idea and suddenly the recollection forced itself vividly upon him of how he had said last night on the stairs that the landlady would be jealous of Avdotya Romanovna... that was simply intolerable. He brought his fist down heavily on the kitchen stove, hurt his hand and sent one of the bricks flying.
"Of course," he muttered to himself a minute later with a feeling of self-abasement, "of course, all these infamies can never be wiped out or smoothed over... and so it's useless even to think of it, and I must go to them in silence and do my duty... in silence, too... and not ask forgiveness, and say nothing... for all is lost now!" (202).
In this quote by Razumikhin, the character begins contemplating with the facts from last night rushing in his mind, he quickly starts questioning himself repeatedly. With each question comes an analytical answer that in turn provides more issues. After every questions the characters path to ultimate truth becomes closer, ending with a stark and rational for him realization that changes his perception of the subject completely. The psychological undertones in the novel create a great opportunity for a lot of Socratic dialogue that helps the reader better understand and connect with the characters.