Summary of the Prayer of Daniel the Exile

Summary of the Prayer of Daniel the Exile

“Prayer”. Like many other works of ancient Russian literature, it is devoid of narrative about events. The whole text is the appeal of Daniel the Exile to the prince, asking him for mercy.

The main thing that Daniel is supposed to rely on in life is his own mind. “I have scant clothes, but I have a lot of reason.” Daniel asks the prince to save him from poverty and grief, to protect “with the fear of your storm.” The author contrasts the mind and wealth, pointing mainly to wealthy nobles and boyars.

On the one hand, much in the text goes back to folk jokes, jokes, proverbs. On the other hand, Daniel often refers to the Holy Scripture, quotes it. Arguing about his life, Daniel seems to lose some situations: what can be done to get rid of the need, rather than steal me, and not go to a monastery, and not marry by the calculation of a rich bride… None of the ways not good for Daniel, he laughs at everything. The most expressive is the argument about why one should not marry. Here the author follows the medieval tradition of describing “evil wives” (since the woman was originally a “vessel of sin”, then the image of “evil wife” was very popular in Old Russian bookishness). “A wicked wife is like an abrasion: it is hammering here, it hurts.” Daniel finishes his “Prayer”

Daniil Zatocnik is the author and hero of the work, one of the most mysterious personalities

in pre-Mongol Rus. There are many hypotheses about his life, position in society, the time of creation of “Prayer”. D. 3. considered a boyar slave, the son of a princely slave, an artisan, a member of the younger princely squad, a prince of the prince, etc., but, of course, D. came out from the lower strata of society and belonged to the prince’s “mercies”. The question of the addressee of the “Prayer” is also unclear – Yury Dolgoruky, Andrei Vladimirovich Dobroi and Andrei Yurievich Bogolyubsky believed them, but according to most researchers, this is the son of Vsevolod the Big Nest, Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, who reigned in Pereyaslavl of Suzdal from 1212 to 1236.

Daniel Zatocnik begins “Prayer” from the introduction; he foresees the glory that will surround his name: “Arise, my glory, rise up in the Psalter and in the harp, and I will open my riddles in parables and announce my glory in the nations.” Then D. 3. directly refers to the prince. He tries to inspire him with compassion, compares himself with the fig tree of the accursed, repetitive fruit, his mind with the night crow, awake at the top, and the heart with a face without eyes. All the surrounding prince are warmed by his mercy, only one D. is like a grass growing under a wall, to which the sun does not shine and does not rain. Everyone offends him, because he is not protected by a stronghold – a princely favor. D. 3. Asks the prince to look at him not like a wolf on a lamb, but as a mother on an infant. Friends of the hero, he said, abandoned him. Many in happy days were friends with him, at the table, in a figurative expression D. 3. They put their hand in one saltcellar, and in misfortune they are ready to put the footboard on, crying with him with their eyes, and laughing with their hearts. “Better death than a long life in poverty,” the author concludes.

Following this, D. 3. Reflects on poverty: a rich man is known everywhere, even in a strange city, but he hates everyone who is miserable in his city; the rich will talk – all will be silent and will raise his speech to the clouds, and the poor will speak – everyone will scream at him, because, whose clothes are rich, that speech is honored. D. 3. Asks to save him from poverty, like a chamois from the nets, like a bird from a trap, like a duckling from the hawk’s claws, like a sheep from the mouth of a lion. If the word is often melted, D3 notices it disappears, just like a man, if much is in distress, for no one can have a handful of salt, nor in sorrow be reasonable. The moth eats clothing, and the sorrow of a man, and if someone helps a person in sorrow, he will give them to drink as a student’s water on a sultry day of the sufferer. D. 3. Turning to the prince, trying to put him to him, lavishes praise on him, but at the same time, for food in the prince’s feast and in a soft bed under sable blankets, he asks to remember him, the bread of the dry mastic, from the cold, numb, and to be generous and gracious. For the generous prince is a father to many servants; he, like a river with gentle banks, is not only feeding people but also animals, and the stingy prince is like a river in stone banks-you can neither get drunk nor drink a horse. And although D. 3. himself is poor, he offers the prince to pay attention not to the external appearance, but to the inner qualities of man: although he himself is poor in clothing, but is rich in reason, though young in age, but old in meaning and flies like an eagle. and the stingy prince is like a river in stone banks-you can neither get drunk nor drink a horse. And although D. 3. himself is poor, he offers the prince to pay attention not to the external appearance, but to the inner qualities of man: although he himself is poor in clothing, but is rich in reason, though young in age, but old in meaning and flies like an eagle. and the stingy prince is like a river in stone banks-you can neither get drunk nor drink a horse. And although D. 3. himself is poor, he offers the prince to pay attention not to the external appearance, but to the inner qualities of man: although he himself is poor in clothing, but is rich in reason, though young in age, but old in meaning and flies like an eagle.

Then Daniil Zatochnik talks about wisdom and stupidity. He notices that a wise husband sent with instructions does not need long explanations, but if to send a fool, it is necessary to go himself afterwards; that the wise want good, but the foolish is a feast in the house; that it is better to listen to the argument of the clever than the advice of fools. Fools do not sow, do not reap, they do not gather in the granary, but they will give birth to themselves. It is useless to teach a fool, it’s like pouring water into a hole in furred fur or making a dead laugh. A fool can learn the mind, if a stone floats on the water, a tit will devour an eagle, and a pig will bark on a squirrel. The prince with the kind, intelligent adviser does not fall into error. Further, D. 3. says that the prince, perhaps, will advise him to marry, having taken a rich wife, but immediately resolutely objects to this, arguing about evil wives: it is better to introduce a brown ox into the house,

Following the angry denunciation of evil wives, D. returns to reflections about his own destiny: he did not go beyond the seas, did not learn from philosophers, but, like a bee collecting honey, he collected wisdom and sweetness of words from various books. Having brought all the arguments to his own advantage, the author stops his speech, so as not to waste the riches of his mind in vain – “I shall not, like a holey hole, drop wealth into the hands of the poor, but I will not prove to be a verbose conversation with the hateful world.”

In the “Prayer” Daniel Zatochnik is portrayed before us as an outstanding personality: he appears in the image of a poor man of the Bible, from whom friends have turned and who suffers; This is an extremely impressionable, thin and humorous man, an educated writer, an intellectual of the 13th century. who paves his way through literary talent and mental abilities. The characteristic of D. 3. which VG Belinsky gave him is interesting: “Whoever was Daniel Zatocnik, one can conclude with good reason that it was one of those persons who, in their misfortune, are too clever, too gifted, too they know a lot and, not knowing how to hide their superiority from people, offend self-centered mediocrity, whose heart aches and is consumed with jealousy on matters that are foreign to them, which speak where it would be better to remain silent,


Summary of the Prayer of Daniel the Exile