Summary of “Mtsyri”

The poem “Mtsyri” Lermontov wrote in 1839. Already in 1840 it was published in the collection “Poems of M. Lermontov.” The idea of ​​the work “Mtsyri” appears in the poet at the age of 17, when he is going to write a note of a young monk. During his first exile to the Caucasus in 1837. Lermontov hears a story that forms the basis of the poem. In Mtskheta he meets a lonely monk who told him about his life. He is a mountaineer, who in his childhood was captured by General Yermolov and left in the monastery. Subsequently, the monk tried to escape many times, and one of the attempts led him to a long illness. This romantic story, apparently, formed the basis of the poem.

To make a more complete impression of the work of Lermontov Mikhail Yurievich, we suggest that you read the summary of “Mtsyri” by chapters.

Main characters

Mtsyri is a young mountaineer, raised in a monastery and preparing to take tonsure. He preserved

the memory of his native Caucasus and is going to flee to his homeland, when this attempt fails, he dies of longing. Before his death confesses, and in this confession rebellious notes, bitterness and regret of the failed escape escape. According to Lermontov himself, “mtsyri” in Georgian means “novice”, or, in the second sense, “stranger”, “stranger”. Thus, the hero is deprived of his own name.

Other characters

The General – brings the sick child to the monastery and leaves it there.

An old monk – he cured and brought up Mtsyri, later he listens to his last confession.

A Georgian girl – with her meets Mtsyri during her wanderings, she becomes his short love.


The poem is preceded by an epigraph – “Tasting, tasting a little honey, and I’m dying” chosen by Lermontov from the Bible. These lines symbolize the violated Mtsyri ban and the desire to get more out of life.

Chapter 1

At the confluence of two rivers, Aragva and the Kura, for a long time there was a monastery.

Now it is destroyed. There was one old guardian who was sweeping the dust off the plates. They preserve the memory of how the Georgian king gave his power to Russia, and now Georgia lives “beyond the bounds of friendly bayonets.”

Chapter 2

Once a Russian general passes by the monastery. He has a six-year-old mountain child with him, he is sick, and he has to be left behind. The child grows unsociable, longing. However, one of the holy fathers cares for him, educates and prepares for tonsure. Shortly before the vows are brought, Mtsyri disappears, he is found in three days and brought to the monastery. The young man dies, and the monk comes to him in order to profess.

Chapters 3-5

“I lived a little, and lived in captivity” – so begins Mtsyri his confession. Then he reproaches the monk: why did he save him and brought him up if he had to grow up far from his loved ones, knowing neither his father nor his mother, and languishing in constant anguish? He is young, craves love and life. The monk was also young, but he had a life – and Mtsyri is deprived of it.

Chapters 6-7

The young man talks about what he saw on the outside: fields, expanses and in the distance – the Caucasus. The view of the Caucasus reminds him of his home, his father, his sisters singing over his cradle, the river, in which he played as a child on golden sand, about all peaceful life. First he recalled his native village, sitting on the threshold of the old, then – long daggers and other weapons. Here, before the inner gaze of the hero appears his own father. He is dressed in chain mail and squeezes his gun. This vision awakens in the hero yearning for what he is deprived of.

Chapter 8

Long ago, Mtsyri conceived this escape, giving himself the promise at least once to look at the free world. And this desire was fulfilled: for three days of escape, he said, he saw more than for his life in the monastery. His first impression is a thunderstorm in which he feels a kindred, rebellious soul. He “like a brother, / Hug with a storm would be happy.” He watches the game of the elements, tries to catch the lightning with his hand. At this point, Mtsyri interrupts his confession and sadly asks the monk: could a monastery give him something like that?

Chapters 9-13

The storm subsides, and Mtsyri runs on. He himself does not know where he is going, because among people he feels himself a stranger. Nature – that’s what is close and understandable for him, the young man understands the voice of the stream and sits with him for a long time, admiring the surroundings. The celestial vault around him is so pure and deep that, according to the youth, it would be possible to distinguish the flight of an angel. Nature, trees, bushes, stones – all this is talking among themselves about “the secrets of heaven and earth,” and these words are clear to Mtsyri, the child of nature. Everything, thought over by the stream, has already disappeared without a trace, but in human speech there are no words to tell his thoughts at that time. But still Mtsyri would like to tell them again: then he would again feel alive, even mentally.

He could sit like this indefinitely, but it’s noon and he’s thirsty. The young man goes down to the stream. It’s dangerous, but “free youth is strong, / And death seemed not terrible!”.

Then a magic voice is heard at the brook – it’s a Georgian girl singing down the water. She walks easily, throwing back the veil, sometimes slipping on the rocks and laughing at her own awkwardness. A young woman can see her face and breasts, golden in the sun, and most importantly her eyes. Her eyes are black and their darkness is full of mysteries of love. ” Mtsyri is fascinated. He breaks off his narrative: the monk still does not understand this.

Chapters 14-15

Having woken up in the middle of the night, Mtsyri continues the way, wishing to get to his native country. He goes ahead, focusing on the mountains that are seen in the distance, but soon gets out of the way. There is an endless forest around. Brought up in captivity, Mtsyri has long lost the natural sense of direction that is characteristic of every mountaineer.

Chapters 16-19

A “mighty leopard” appears in the forest, and Mtsyri attacks him. The heart of the young man flared with a thirst for battle, he is sure that “he could have been at the edge of his fathers / Not from the last of the daredevils.” The brutal battle lasts for a long time – on the breast of Mtsyri still visible wounds. However, he comes out victorious.

Chapters 20-23

The young man got out of the woods and for a long time could not understand where he had come. Gradually, he begins to guess with horror: he returned to the monastery. Bell ringing confirms the conjecture. So Mtsyri understands that he is no longer destined to see his native land, and blames himself: “I have a seal on my prison / Left…”. Attack of despair is replaced by death throes. Mtsyri seems as if he lies on a river bottom, and around him play fish. One of them talks to him, and persuades him to stay here, at the bottom, where “cold and quiet”. She will call her sisters, and together they will cheer him up with a dance. Mtsyri listens to these sweet speeches for a long time before finally forgetting himself. Then it is found by the monks.

Chapters 24-26

Confession is over, and death is near. Mtsyri tells his confessor that, from an early age, he is engulfed in flames-the will of the will, and this fire burned him. Before he dies, only one thing saddens him: his body will not remain in his native land. And the story of his torment will remain unknown to people. Maybe, – thinks Mtsyri, he will have paradise, but the thought of this is unhappy.

“Alas! – for a few minutes
Between the steep and dark rocks,
Where I played with childishness,
I used to exchange paradise and eternity…”

He asks before his death to take him out into the garden, so that you can once again see the Caucasus, admire the radiance of the blue sky and the beauty of flowering acacias. A cool breeze will remind him of the tender hand of a friend or brother, wiping the dying sweat from his forehead, the sound of the wind will seem like a song about “a nice country”. The thought of his native country will calm him down and “with this thought I will fall asleep, / And I will not curse anyone! …”.


As we see, in the poem “Mtsyri” a number of motifs characteristic for Lermontov’s creativity are rising: the motif of loneliness, love for the homeland and rebellion against the usual foundations. The poet seeks to create a classic romantic hero, a passionate and rebellious soul. Sam verse in “Mtsyri”, according to critics, sounds abruptly, like a falling sword. It enhances the romantic motives and the place where events develop – the Caucasus, the country of liberty. Thanks to the artistic originality of the work and the relevance of the problems depicted in it, the poem “Mtsyri” is interesting to read today. Therefore, after reading a brief retelling of “Mtsyri” Lermontov, we advise you to get acquainted with the full text of the poem.

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Summary of “Mtsyri”