Biography of the great poet

The most famous Georgian poet of the twelfth century and the author of the world-famous poem "The Knight in Tiger's Skin" was born in the sixties (according to other sources - in the seventies) years of the 12 century. The place of his birth is also not specified by historians, but presumably it was the Georgian village of Rustavi.

He studied Shota Rustaveli in Greece, worked as state treasurer of Queen Tamara, and then as an artist and restorer of the Georgian monastery of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. For the rare surviving facts, it is known that the poet was hopelessly in love with the queen, did not live long, and died in the monastery where he worked. Unfortunately, other biographical data on Shota Rustaveli has not been preserved. But it is widely known and popular throughout the world has become his imperishable poetic creation called "The Knight in Tiger's Skin".

The poem consists of 1637 stanzas, with 16 syllables in each verse. We have reached numerous manuscripts with many interpolations and additions to the poet's work. The continuation of the poem, called “Omaniani”, has also been preserved. The memory of the great Georgian poet is also immortalized in his homeland, at the Shota Rustaveli State Prize of Georgia, in the name of the Georgian State Drama Theater, in the name of the Tbilisi Theater Institute and in the Research Institute of Georgian Literature, in the name of the main Tbilisi Avenue and many other streets and avenues of different cities in several countries.

"Knight in tiger skin". Hymn to freedom and love

Since the eighteenth century, and only in Georgian, there are more than fifty editions of the poem. Many translations into foreign languages ​​have been made, among them five are in Russian. The plot of the poem is borrowed from an ancient manuscript, about which the poet himself said: “I found a Persian story and transcribed it with poems, like a large pearl, passing from hand to hand.”

The poem “The Knight in Tiger Skin consists of two plot cycles: Indian Tariel and Nestan-Darejan, and the Arabic Avtandil and Tinatin. Rustaveli was able to give a fairly deep psychological characterization of the characters, to portray their inner essence, which was an innovation for twelfth-century poetry. The heroes of Rustaveli are with lively bright characters, fearlessly and selflessly fighting for justice and happiness. Their images are typical and generalized for people who lived in the twelfth century. Nestan-Daredzhan is the main heroine of the poem, enduringly and patiently enduring the conclusion after the refusal of marriage under duress. For her release, three warriors are fighting - twinned and this struggle leads all the heroes to a happy ending.

The poem is permeated with the idea of ​​the triumph of justice over tyranny, arbitrariness and evil, and only the strength of the spirit and faith in good can bring happiness to the earth.

In general, “The Knight in the Tiger Skin” is an enthusiastic hymn to freedom and true sublime earthly love. Another ideological line of the poem is patriotism, as a condemnation of feudal strife and separatist aspirations of the nobility, and vice versa, the values ​​of a reasonable life, worthy of a noble person. The heroes of the poem are not afraid of death. Lzheratsari, faint-hearted pseudo-warriors, vile cowards and traitors, flatterers and hypocrites are branded a disgrace in the poem.

The plot of the poem “The Knight in the Tiger Skin” has some plot similarity with the Western European novels about knights and with the eastern epic poems of the Middle Ages, but in general it is an absolutely independent work of Rustaveli. As a humanist, the poet extols the freedom of the individual, the freedom of thought and feelings, says a lot about the value of human life, created not by fate, but by the people themselves.

The significant value of Rustaveli's work is that he raised Georgian poetry as a whole to a great height, and also became the ancestor of the new Georgian literary language, thanks to the elegant poetic word and style of the poem.
“The Knight in the Tiger Skin” is an unsurpassed example of ancient Georgian poetry, which entered the world literature and became on par with the greatest world epics.

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