Summary “The Tale of Frol Skobeev”

The pseudo novella of the seventeenth century. reaches its perfection in “The Tale of Frol Skobeev.” Unlike the poor loser of The Tale of Shemyakin’s Court, Frol, a petty official (he is an area clerk or shenanigan, who trades in correspondence and drawing up legal papers and conducts his clients’ business), he persistently and by all means arranges his destiny. He cunningly marries the daughter of noble Nadin-Nashchokin’s follower Annushka and becomes heir to the movable and immovable property of his father-in-law.

The adventure story about Frol Skobeev is interesting to us not so much as the hero’s adventures: it marks a decisive rejection of all those conventions in depicting the characters, behavior and the transmission of the speech of the characters who so burdened, for example, the entertaining story of “The Tale of Sawa Grudtsyn.” Here the heroes speak not with high-spirited book phrases and not elegant, but faceless replicas

of fairy-tale heroes, but with language peculiar to people of a certain social status and certain characters. Here is a small fragment from this story. Frol comes with his wife Annushka to the house of his father-in-law. After the angry reproaches of his daughter and son-in-law, Nardin-Nashchokin sets out to dine with them, punishing servants to answer all visitors: “There is no such time to see our stool, in order to eat with his brother-in-law and thief Frolkoi.”

After lunch between the steward and Frol, this conversation takes place. “Well, you rogue, what will you live?” – “If thou wilt know about me,” it is more incomprehensible that one should go after orders. ” – “Stop, you cheat, you go after the yap!” There is an estate, my estate, in the Sibirsky district, which, according to the census, consists of 300 yards. And Frol Skobeev gave his bow to his wife Annushko and his thanksgiving before him. “Well, you rogue, do not bow, go and see for yourself,” the steward ends impatiently.

The liveliness and naturalness of the dialogue

and the whole scene are beyond doubt. But in the story there is one more remarkable for the literary development of the 17th century. detail: it is completely devoid of didacticism. The reader himself must decide with whom his sympathies will remain: whether with a knave or Frol, or with a stubborn deceived in his pride, deceived by his daughter.

“The Tale of Frol Skobeev,” written, apparently, at the very beginning of the XVIII century. was a kind of result of the development of a democratic novel.

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Summary “The Tale of Frol Skobeev”