Classical Sources for Anton Chekhov’s “Человек в футляре”
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The bizarre behavior of Chekhov’s teacher Belikov, whose bedroom was as small as a ящик, appears to have been modelled on Plutarch’s Moralia (Book X, “To an Uneducated Ruler”), where Clearchus, tyrant of Herakleia (4th cent. B.C.), “used to crawl into a chest like a snake and sleep there”, and where the tyrant Aristodemus of Argos is said to have been paranoid of crowds at public gatherings like the theatre, and to have made his bedchamber a prison cell.