(1823 – 1886)
Ostrovsky Alexander Nikolayevich (1823-1886) – playwright, theatrical figure.
In 1840 Ostrovsky graduated from the First Moscow Gymnasium with a humanitarian bias. In the years 1840-1843. studied at the Moscow University at the Faculty of Law. But still in the gymnasium Ostrovsky was carried away by literary creativity and left his studies as legal disciplines.
In 1847, Ostrovsky successfully read his play “Family Picture”, which he considered the beginning of his professional career. The next play “Our people – we will be counted!” (the original title of “Bankrut” (1849) was not allowed to be staged, and the author was given under secret police supervision. “The triumph of this comedy, as it
The next period (1852-1854) is characterized by active participation in the circle of employees of the magazine Moskvityanin. Ostrovsky writes plays “Do not sit down in your sled,” “Poverty is not a vice,” “Do not live as you want.”
Finally, the worldview of the author is determined in the pre-reform period (1855-1860). Ostrovsky draws closer to the democrat revolutionaries and writes plays “In a strange feast hangover” (1855-1856), “Profitable place” (1856), “Raised” (1858), “Groza” (for more details see “Thunderstorm”).
And the last, post-reform period (1861-1886), differs from the previous fractional periods of creativity by its unity, the inability to distinguish chronologically successive stages. Ostrovsky as an artist worried about the ways of development of Russia,
Social-everyday themes from the life of the merchants (“Not all cats are carnival”, “True good, and happiness is better”) are combined with a cycle of plays “from the life of the backwoods” (the Balzamin trilogy – “Festive
Plays on historical themes, satirical comedies, the unique “Snow Maiden” and the psychological drama developed in the 70-80s are new directions in the work of the famous Russian playwright.
The formation of the drama was associated with the search for a hero who would be able to enter into a dramatic struggle, to arouse the sympathy of the viewer, having a worthy goal. But Ostrovsky did not find such a hero. The main actors of his plays were either successful businessmen, or vulgar, cynical life-burners, or idealists whose powerlessness was obvious. They could not become the center of a dramatic action, and then Ostrovsky takes the woman to the forefront, which accentuates the audience’s feelings. Namely, this is a condition for the development of psychological drama. The most perfect of them is rightfully considered to be “The Dowryless Woman” (1879). The character of the heroine does not change during the drama, but gradually unfolds before the audience. The same masterpieces are the plays “The Last Sacrifice” (1878), “Talents and Admirers” (1882),
Having created a whole repertoire, Ostrovsky translated twenty-two more pieces (Shakespeare’s “Wayward Thinking”, Goldoni’s Coffee, Cervantes’s interludes and many others).
Ostrovsky occupies a special place in Russian culture – during his lifetime he was recognized as the founder of the national theater. The new audience, which replaced the nobility in the first half of the 19th century, wanted to see her life on stage. Such plays were written for them by Ostrovsky. He described the life of heroes through the eyes of those who work. The ideals of popular morality served as the criterion for the evaluation of Ostrovsky.
Almost fifty plays were written by a great playwright, many of them were rooted in the native Zamoskvorechye, for which Ostrovsky was called the chronicler of this life, “Columbus Zamoskvorechye.” But the significance of his comedies quickly developed into a framework of truthful description, because behind the faces of characters there were types, and behind everyday pictures – social phenomena. Alexander Nikolaevich Ostrovsky became the heir of Russian realism, Gogol’s realism.