Aleksandr Sergeevich Griboedov Criticism - Essay

Yvette Louria (essay date 1975)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Louria, Yvette. “Molière and Griboiedov.” In Molière and the Commonwealth of Letters: Patrimony and Posterity, edited by Roger Johnson, Jr., Editha S. Neumann, and Guy T. Trail, pp. 379-82. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1975.

[In the following essay, Louria discusses the influence of Molière's The Misanthrope on Griboedov's Woe from Wit and the failure of many critics to acknowledge that influence.]

The year 1672 is generally considered the official beginning of the Russian theater. The first play to be performed was The Comedy of Artaxerxes by Johann Gottfried Gregorii, an Esther play written at the behest of Tsar...

(The entire section is 1481 words.)

Gerald Janecek (essay date fall 1977)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Janecek, Gerald. “A Defense of Sof'ja in Woe from Wit.Slavic and East European Journal 21, no. 3 (fall 1977): 318-31.

[In the following essay, Janecek asserts that many critics neither appreciate the complexity of Sofia's character nor how the ambiguity associated with her enhances Woe from Wit.]

“Sof'ja is unclearly drawn. …”

A. S. Puškin

Critiques of Woe from Wit (Gore ot uma) usually center on Čackij. Mirsky's attitude is, in this respect, typical: “Chatsky is the principal thing in the play. He is its imaginative and emotional focus, its yeast and...

(The entire section is 6641 words.)

Mieczyslaw Giergielewicz (essay date 1979)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Giergielewicz, Mieczyslaw. “Structural Footnotes to Griboedov's Woe from Wit.The Polish Review 24, no. 1 (1979): 3-21.

[In the following essay, Giergielewicz discusses the structure of Griboedov's play, maintaining that the playwright skillfully manipulated theatrical conventions to convey a double plot: one involving a personal domestic dispute and the other involving a larger conflict the hero faces with Moscow society collectively.]

Aleksandr S. Griboedov's masterpiece, the comedy Gore ot uma (Woe from Wit) has been translated into many languages, including English, French, German and Italian. It roused warm acclaim among the...

(The entire section is 6899 words.)

William Edward Brown (essay date 1986)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Brown, William Edward. “Alexander Griboedov and Woe from Wit.” In A History of Russian Literature of the Romantic Period, Vol. 1, pp. 105-15. Ann Arbor: Ardis Publishers, 1986.

[In the following excerpt, Brown claims that Woe from Wit marked a turning point in Russian drama in which many of the conventions of classical comedy were modified or overturned.]

As has been remarked several times in the course of our survey of the Russian comedy of the early nineteenth century, a decisive landmark, dividing the old from the new, is Griboedov's famous piece Gore ot uma. The translation of this title has been a stumbling-block from the...

(The entire section is 5635 words.)

Alexander Gershkovich (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Gershkovich, Alexander. “Russian Romantic Drama: The Case of Griboedov.”1 In Romantic Drama, edited by Gerald Gillespie, pp. 273-85. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1994.

[In the following essay, Gershkovich discusses Griboedov's position within the Russian Romantic tradition and claims that in the character of Chatsky, Griboedov created the first true individual in Russian literature.]


The fate of Romantic drama in Russia took shape in an unusual manner. Its highest achievements, Gore ot Uma (Woe from Wit) and Boris Godunov, inspired by the new Romantic poetics, were not classified as Romantic plays in...

(The entire section is 7836 words.)

George Kalbouss (essay date spring 1995)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kalbouss, George. “Rhyming Patterns in Griboedov's Gore ot uma.Slavic and East European Journal 39, no. 1 (spring 1995): 1-13.

[In the following essay, Kalbouss analyzes the rhyming patterns of Woe from Wit, claiming that Griboedov skillfully demonstrated the importance of rhyming as a form of entertainment in early nineteenth-century Moscow.]

1994 marked 200 years since the birth of Aleksandr Sergeevič Griboedov, the author known primarily for one significant work, Gore ot uma (Woe From Wit). The fame of this play has generated scores of studies, ranging from biographies of Griboedov's life to more formal analyses of the...

(The entire section is 4604 words.)

Stephen Baehr (essay date 1998)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Baehr, Stephen. “Is Moscow Burning? Fire in Griboedov's Woe from Wit.” In Russian Subjects: Empire, Nation, and the Culture of the Golden Age, edited by Monika Greenleaf and Stephen Moeller-Sally, pp. 229-42. Evanston, Ill. : Northwestern University Press, 1998.

[In the following essay, Baehr explores the importance of fire imagery in the events and themes of Woe from Wit.]

And Moscow is burning up.
The black smoke spreads and curls.
And, behold, the brilliant head of Moscow
Stops gleaming.
Poor Moscow is ablaze,
Moscow has been burning for 12 days …

—N. M. Shatrov, “The Fire of Moscow: To the Year 1812”

In A....

(The entire section is 10333 words.)

Adrian Wanner (essay date June 1999)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Wanner, Adrian. “The Misanthrope as Revolutionary Hero: Revisiting Griboedov's Chatskii and Molière's Alceste.” Canadian Slavonic Papers 41, no. 2 (June 1999): 177-88.

[In the following essay, Wanner discusses the frequent comparisons between the main characters in Molière's The Misanthrope and Griboedov's Woe from Wit.]

It has been the fate of Chatskii, the hero of Griboedov's comedy Gore ot uma (Woe from Wit, 1825), to be eternally compared to Alceste, the hero of Molière's Le misanthrope (The Misanthrope, 1667). At least at first sight, Chatskii and Alceste indeed seem to have much in common. Both of them could be...

(The entire section is 5336 words.)