The image and characterization of Svyatoslav in the "Lay of Igor"
The characteristic of Svyatoslav plays a big role in the famous monument of Old Russian literature, The Word about Igor's Regiment. The plot of this work is based on real events - the failed princes' campaign against the Polovtsi, which was organized by the Novgorod-Seversky Prince Igor. Presumably, the "Word about the regiment of Igor" was written in 1185, when this campaign took place.
The role of Svyatoslav in the text
The characteristic of Svyatoslav is also given in the text itself of the Lay of Igor's Word. It is worth noting that this work not only describes the unsuccessful campaign of the Russian princes, but also describes in detail the strife between them. Also attention is paid to their campaigns and military successes, starting with ancient times. In the "Word ..." a real folk epic unfolds.
Svyatoslav comes to the fore in the narration after the princes are defeated. Many cry over the fallen.At the same time, the author of “The Word ...” notes that unwise young princes, who were carried away by disputes over other people's property and seditiously against each other, became the blame for everything.
After the loud victory of Svyatoslav over the Polovtsy, which occurred in 1184, the contrast is simply amazing.
Speech Svyatoslav in Kiev
The events in the "Lay of Igor's Regiment" are transferred to Kiev. There, everyone discusses Svyatoslav’s success and the failure of Igor. The result of the battles turned out to be all the more depressing, since four Russian princes were captured at once. This is Igor himself, as well as Vsevolod, Vladimir Igorevich and Svyatoslav Olgovich.
Boyars address the audience with a speech that gradually turns into a real crying. It was then that Prince Svyatoslav utters his famous "golden word", this is one of the most significant places in the work. In his speech, he condemns and reproaches Vsevolod and Igor, who were too arrogant when they set off on a long and dangerous campaign. In conclusion, he notes that he would be ready to stand up for his family and loved ones, but we must hurry to help Vladimir Glebovich, who is already fighting with the Polovtsy.
Characteristic Svyatoslav should start with who was this Russian prince. This is the father of Vsevolod and Igor, whose name was familiar to everyone in Russia.He earned popularity due to the fact that he managed to stop the unsystematic raids of the Polovtsi on Russia. This greatly eased the lives of all the people. For many years, the Polovtsy did not give a quiet life to many settlements located near the border. Only Svyatoslav made it clear to them that he would not tolerate it. He resolutely fought them back with the help of force and sword. At the same time, they managed to unite some border cities among themselves so that it was easier for them to defend themselves. This clearly demonstrates his organizational talent and ingenuity.
He managed to leave behind him peace and quiet in the principality. He brought up talented sons who, for the time being, managed with their lands quite well. Until we went to an independent campaign against the Polovtsy.
After all, by and large, the campaign, which is described in the “Word ...”, cannot be called a clever and prudent act. Prince Svyatoslav understood this best of all. The "Lay of Igor's Campaign" describes in detail what this short-sightedness led to.
The father was very upset by the defeat of his sons. In addition, worried about the future of the Russian land,on which only everything was getting better after the Polovtsy raids. He realizes that this is how the Polovtsi gain strength and self-confidence, which they have already forgotten about. Having defeated the sons of Svyatoslav, they begin to suspect that they are quite able to cope with their father.
Svyatoslav realizes that Russia can be saved only by uniting, but few listen to him.
In this work, the hero of our article appears to be a true patriot, a strong and brave man. That is his image preserved in the annals.
The image of Svyatoslav in the “Lay of Igor's Regiment” is exclusively positive. One of the most famous researchers of this work, Academician Likhachev, emphasizes his bright and extraordinary qualities.
It is noteworthy that at the time of the events described, Svyatoslav was about 60 years old. This is a very respectable age for that time. That is why the author of "The Word ..." depicts him as an old man, white-haired.
The characteristic of Svyatoslav in “The Lay of Igor's Regiment” is quite unambiguous - he is called exclusively the Grand Duke. And in a particular case, the concept of "great", most likely, reflects not the greatness of the prince himself, but the greatness and significance of the city in which he ruled - Kiev.At that time, this is probably the main city of the Slavs, the historical and religious center of all Russia.
Svyatoslav’s description in The Lay of Igor's Regiment is invariably accompanied by its significance. Indeed, at that time the Kiev prince was in fact the head of all Russian princes.
Patriot and protector
Giving the description of Svyatoslav in “The Lay of Igor's Campaign”, the author always presents him as a patriot and defender of his Fatherland. Despite his advanced years, he does not intend to hurt Rus; on the pages of the work he often calls her his “nest”.
In Svyatoslav’s description in The Lay of Igor's Campaign, he is compared with the old falcon, who is weak in appearance. But at the same time makes all the birds around him fly high.
Another researcher of this monument of ancient Russian literature, Bulakhov, writes about Svyatoslav’s patriotism that the prince was primarily concerned about the security of his country, advocated its unity. All this characterizes the image of Svyatoslav in The Lay of Igor's Campaign as a true patriot. The same line is also noted by many chroniclers, who reflected in their works its meanings for their people.
Quotes about the courage of Svyatoslav
Many quotations about Svyatoslav in the "Lay of Igor's Campaign" testify of him as a brave, formidable and merciless warrior against enemies. For example, the author of "Words ..." writes that the prince "did not spare rotten ratias."
But the terribleness of Svyatoslav should not be understood as the terribleness of Ivan the Terrible. The same Likhachev notes that Svyatoslav with all his virtues was an extremely weak prince of those who had ever ruled in Kiev.
Noting what Svyatoslav in The Lay of Igor's Regiment, Likhachev writes that he was not truly formidable, owning only one Kiev.
Evaluation of Svyatoslav by modern researchers
Interestingly, the current researchers, unlike the contemporaries of the prince, perceive it ambiguously. For example, the historian Rybakov calls him perhaps the largest figure among all the Russian princes of that time period.
But another researcher Kallash writes that the authors of the Lay ... were probably biased in describing the image of Svyatoslav. He believes that they clearly wanted to please the current ruler or his closest relatives and confidants. The idealization of Svyatoslav seems to this historian too far-fetched.
He pays tribute to the importance of the figure of Prince Svyatoslav Academician Dmitry Likhachev. He argues that his "golden word" was of great importance for the time, he ruled over all the princes, everything happened as he commanded.
Wise ruler calls Svyatoslav and historian Yatsenko. He considers it the owner of state wisdom, who initiated the future unification of Russia. The researcher of the "Talk of Igor's Regiment of Igor" Barsov, who writes that Svyatoslav is a rare representative of the idea of the unity of Russia at that time, agrees with him.
But the historian of Ancient Rus, Bulakhov, does not highly appreciate the achievements of Svyatoslav. In his opinion, he was not a prominent person at all. But at the same time he managed to play an important role in the history of his and neighboring principalities.
An important place is given in the "Lay of Igor" dream Svyatoslav. An analysis of it is given in this article. It is important for understanding how the narrator assesses the consequences of Igor’s defeat on the Polovtsy.
He sees an unusual dream when he is in Kiev. The author describes him as if the prince was covered with a black veil, treated to wine, mixed with suffering and grief.At the same time on the bed, where the prince sleeps, pour pearls. At the same time, the roof in his tower is left without a prince.
In order to understand the meaning of this dream, for a start, we note that the prince is a special beam, which is designed to fasten both halves of the roof of a residential building. Trying to interpret the dream of Svyatoslav, first of all it is worth paying attention to the fact that at that time near Kiev our ancestors understood about the same thing that today all Christians mean by Jerusalem. That is, this is the Heavenly City or the Sky, the holiest place. Naturally, only God, a Higher Mind, can rule in this City. Svyatoslav is compared with him in this dream. He is considered to be the main thing in the City of God, which in fact is Kiev.
In Christianity, there is a belief that it is the Mind that has universal glory that is capable of covering the whole world. Among researchers there is an opinion that Igor in this work is personified with Jesus Christ. And since Jesus created the doctrine of the Mind, he must be the true son of Reason.
It is noted that Svyatoslav sees a muddy dream. So he became after Igor was defeated by the Polovtsy.Therefore, when Svyatoslav is covered with a black veil, this means that the mind leaves him.
Wine in a dream of the prince symbolizes not only intoxicating intoxication. It is specified that it was black, that is, similar to the thick human blood. These are consequences of a bloody and unsuccessful Igor as against Polovtsy.
Summing up, it is necessary to recognize that after Prince Igor, Svyatoslav is one of the key and central characters of the Lay Word of Igor. The image of the prince in this work is the most idealized. Although in fact, perhaps he was not so formidable and great, but his role in the general opposition to the Polovtsy, as well as in the first steps taken to unite Russia, cannot be taken away. In our time to study the personality and image of Prince Svyatoslav is important and interesting. This is a controversial, but certainly a significant person in the history of ancient Russia.