What is the significant event/incident that brings about the plot?

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eabettencourt | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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Arguably the most significant event/incident in the entire novel is Raskolnikov's murder of the pawnbroker.  It certainly "brings about the plot," as it is the catalyst for Raskolnikov's spiraling illness, both physical and, perhaps, mental, as he desperately tries to convince himself that he is, indeed, a "superman":  one who, due to superiority, can take any action he likes without consequences.

Of course, there are other important events and incidents in the text, but the actual, titular crime is the most significant.