Эссе: Aleksandr Sergeevich Griboedov

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Английский язык
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... Upon reading his magnum opus without any preconceived notions, one is immediately struck with the similarity that exists between Griboiedov's comedy and Moliиre's Le Misanthrope. Chatsky, the hero of Woe from Wit, is a Russian Alceste, deploring the hypocrisy that surrounds him, antagonizing everybody, and adoring a woman who does not reciprocate his love. This second atrabiliaire amoureux is accused by the woman he loves of being always "ready to pour his bile on anyone" whom he encounters.1 One could, of course, space permitting, introduce innumerable examples of the affinity between the major characters and the plots of Griboiedov's and Moliиre's plays, for it has already been proven conclusively that Chatsky was patterned upon Alceste and that Griboiedov's debt to Moliиre is evident. What is surprising, therefore, is the paucity of references to Moliиre in the critical essays dealing with Woe from Wit, both by Griboiedov's contemporaries and the Soviet critics. As a matter of fact, one gains the impression of a conspiracy of silence, so much the more so astonishing since Woe from Wit is likened to Don Quixote (V. Belinsky, 1840), to Faust and Hamlet (S. M. Petrov, 1950), and referred to as being similar in its impact on the public to Beaumarchais' The Marriage of Figaro (O. I. Senkovsky, 1834). While the correspondences between Chatsky and Alceste are mostly ignored, a momentous controversy has raged since the play's appearance in manuscript form and continues until today. Scholars debate whether Chatsky is a "positive hero" or a so-called "superfluous man," whether he can be considered a predecessor of the "Decembrists" or simply an unhappy lover, whether he is a clever man himself or only a puppet in the hands of a clever writer. In his famous essay "A Thousand Tortures" ("Milion Terzany," 1871) I. A. Goncharov, the author of Oblomov, suggests that Chatsky is not a "positive hero," but an extremely intelligent man whose bon sens (zdravy um) has deserted him; yet even Goncharov does not refer to Moliere. Veselovsky, on the other hand, is one of the rare critics who suggests that those journalists and writers whose reaction to Woe from Wit was favorable were afraid that Griboiedov's originality would be doubted were Le Misanthrope to be mentioned.  ...