Ah, my respected colleagues, your theories are delightful but far more complex than they need to be. Our poor patient simply suffers from a martyr complex. As he told his brother Alyosha, “Tomorrow the cross” (652). He wants to martyr himself to his own torment. And that’s why he’s created these fevered, devilish dreams.
The question is, is Ivan suited to be a martyr? Or is the cross too heavy for him to bear?