Creativity VA Zhukovsky opened the Russian reader at the beginning of the XIX century, the unexpected and mysterious world of romanticism. The great poet and translator composed a lot of elegies, messages, romances, ballads and epic works. The poet was especially known for his ballads. It was this genre that he introduced into Russian poetry. In Zhukovsky, there are three kinds of ballads – “Russian”, “antique” and “medieval”. The name “Russian” ballads is conditional, because Zhukovsky reworked a foreign medieval ballad in a national way.
“Svetlana” – the most famous work of Zhukovsky, this translation-translation of the ballad of the German poet Burger “Leonora”. The plot of “Svetlana” is based on the traditional ancient motif of folk historical and lyrical songs: the girl is waiting for the bridegroom from the war. Events unfold in such a way that happiness depends on the heroine
herself. Zhukovsky uses the typical situation of a “terrible” ballad: Svetlana is racing along a fantastic road into the world of dark forces. The plot of the work “breaks out” from reality (divination of girls in the “Epiphany Evening”) into the sphere of the miraculous, to where the evil forces are accomplishing their black deeds. The road to the forest, to the power of the night, is the road from life to death. However, Svetlana does not die, and her fiance does not die, but returns after a long separation. The ballad has a happy ending: heroes waiting for a wedding feast. Such an ending resembles a Russian folk tale.
The main character in the ballad is bestowed with the best features of the national character – loyalty, sensitivity, meekness, simplicity. Svetlana combines outer beauty with inner beauty. The girl is “sweet,” “beautiful.” She is young, open to love, but not easy. For a whole year, without receiving news from the groom, the heroine faithfully waits for him. She is capable of a deep feeling: The
year has rushed – there is
He does not write to me;
Oh! but only the light is red,
They only breathe the heart… The
girl is sad and longing for a separation from her beloved. She is emotional, pure, direct and sincere:
How can I sing a girlfriend?
Dear friend far away…
The world of folk culture influenced the spiritual development of Svetlana. It is no accident that the author began a ballad with descriptions of Russian rituals and customs associated with the church holiday of Epiphany, with a wedding in the church of God. So the poet explains the folk sources of Svetlana’s feelings: hope and duty in the heart of the heroine are stronger than doubts.
Folk representations of the girl are combined with religious, with deep faith in God and in destiny. The name of the protagonist is formed about the word “light” and is associated with the expression “God’s light”, which penetrated into her pure soul. Svetlana hopes for God’s help and constantly appeals to God for spiritual support:
Quench my sorrow,
At the most intense moment, when she saw in her dream a coffin in the cottage, Svetlana finds the strength to do the most important thing:
Before the icon fell to dust.
I prayed to the Savior;
And, with a cross in his hand,
Under the saints in the corner
As a reward for true faith, for meekness and patience, God saves the girl. Svetlana does not perish in separation from her beloved, but finds happiness on earth. Zhukovsky believed that even the death of the groom could not destroy love. The poet was convinced that loving souls are connected outside of earthly existence. And his heroine has the same faith. She does not grumble at Providence, but shyly asks: The
secret darkness of the days to come,
What do you promise my soul,
Joy or cruel?
A peculiar fairytale “double” of the heroine – “snow-white pigeon”. This is the “angel-comforter” to which Svetlana addressed to fortune telling and begged: “Quench my sorrow”. This is the good messenger of heaven, “with bright eyes.” The epithet gives an idea of the purity, holiness of the angel. He keeps Svetlana. Saves her from the dead:
Silently weaving, flew,
To her on the Percy quietly sat,
Embraced their wings.
“Golubok” is an affectionate, gentle name. It is a symbol of love. Love saves Svetlana, but the author talks about the dove with increasing tenderness: “but the blue-eyed little white does not sleep.” Good resists evil and conquers it: It
I flew to the dead man’s chest…
The image of the bride of Svetlana also corresponds to romantic ideas. He is handsome, udal, kind. The beloved of a girl is capable of an overwhelming feeling:
… the same he is
In the experience of separation;
The same love in his eyes,
Those are pleasant eyes;
Those on the sweet lips of
The repetition in these lines emphasizes the main qualities that the author values in his characters – faith and fidelity.
In the ballad “Svetlana” wins good, people’s religious principles triumph. Zhukovsky revealed in his work the character of a Russian girl, an open and cordial, pure, joyful life. Svetlana is worthy of happiness, because in her “the soul is like a clear day…”
The heroine became one of the most beloved characters in Russian literature. As Liza from the story of NM Karamzin, as Tatiana Larina from the novel by Alexander Pushkin.