Gogol’s tragicomic masterpiece Diary of a Madman centres around the life of Axenty Ivanov, a civil servant who casts himself as a victim of unrequited love. As he records his diary, he foresakes the security of an ordered life and spirals into a world of fantasy and despair. On the way, he tells of his growing obsession with Sophie (the enchanting daughter of his superior), his difficult relationship with his Head of Department, his dependency on his landlady, Mavra and two little dogs who contemplate his hopelessness. As sanity evaporates, he assumes a new role as the rightful king of Spain. When he is finally committed to an asylum, he finds the Spanish court very odd indeed.