Summary “Prisoner”

The story of Byron’s poem was based on the story of the Swiss republican, writer and philosopher François Bonnivar. For his statements against the regime of the Duke Charles III of Savoy, he was imprisoned in the Chillon Castle and stayed there for six years, from 1530 to 1536. Four years he spent in a cell below the lake level (the castle that served as a state prison was on the shores of Lake Geneva). Bonnivar was released from prison by a military detachment of Bern, who seized the castle.

There were six brothers, five of them no longer. The three brothers, among whom the prisoner of Chillon, who tells this sad story, the elder, are thrown in vain. Two have already “gobbled up the depth” of the dungeon. The prisoner describes his dungeon: from the moisture of its walls are covered with moss, on the damp floor only occasionally a ray of light shines like a swampy light. In the walls are engraved rings with chains, where the prisoners are chained; Iron bites

into the body, causing pain with every movement. The brothers are nailed to the walls and, although they are near, can not see each other in darkness. The elder tries to support the spirit of the brothers:

“Of the three of us, I was the eldest;

I forgot my own lot,

Breathing alone with care,

So as not to let them fall. “

The first could not stand the bondage of “the mighty and strong in the color of years” middle brother: “My brother was not sorrowful and in need of a cup: He would have withered, when he’d been surrounded, without will… Why should he be silent? But he could not give Hands at the last hour… “. The younger – “the angel with the lullaby, the treasure of the family of the native” – ​​long patiently demolished “his lot”, but he began to lose heart, weaken and go out: “… alas, he died like a rainbow, captivating us, Perfectly extinguished in heaven : No sigh of sorrow on the lips, No murmur to your lot… “

Having lost their brothers. the prisoner turns

into a “cold stone”. Suddenly he hears in his grim dungeon the voice of a singing bird; it seems to him that this is a “heavenly guest”, that this brother’s spirit descended from heaven, in order to announce to him about his imminent freedom. And indeed, soon the ruthless regime was weakened: the prisoner was allowed to wander around the prison walls with a chain around his neck. But there is little he is happy about, because here, in prison, he buried everything that he loved, and now “at the feast of the earth” he already has no place. When he reaches the window, he sees a small islet (the only one on the lake and so tiny that only two or three trees grew on it), a canoe with rowers, who moored to the shore, hovering in the clouds of the eagle

“And new tears from the eyes

Let’s go, and a new sadness

I squeezed my chest… I felt sorry

My abandoned chains. “

The days and years passed – the prisoner did not count them. One day the doors of his dungeon opened and he went free, but the prisoner was so weaned from her that prison became his home for him:

And people finally came

I will give the poor to give.

Translation by VA Zhukovsky

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Summary “Prisoner”