The Bronze Horseman

by Alexander Pushkin

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The characters of "The Bronze Horseman" are:

Peter the Great: Peter appears briefly in the introductory section of the poem. He stands at the edge of the Neva River and contemplates the building of his great city. This great city is, of course, St. Petersburg, which Peter trusts will stand as a strong defense against the Swedish forces.

Yevgeny: Yevgeny is the protagonist or hero of Pushkin's poem. He is a clerk. The narrator does not mention Yevgeny's last name. Yevgeny's main concern is his ability to provide for the family he hopes to have with Parasha, his lady love. When Parasha presumably drowns in the flood, Yevgeny is grief-stricken. In his madness, he confronts the Bronze Horseman (the statue of Peter the Great on a horse). To Yevgeny, Peter is responsible for Parasha's death. At the end of the poem, Yevgeny's corpse is found at the threshold of Parasha's dilapidated hut. Accordingly, his body has been washed up on the shores of the island, where Parasha's hut is located.

Parasha: Parasha is Yevgeny's fiance. She drowns in the great flood. There is little about Parasha in the poem, however. Instead, her death is a symbol for the deaths of the unlucky masses living near the shores of the Neva. Powerless against the raging waters of the Neva, many like Parasha perished in the flood.

The Bronze Horseman: The Bronze Horseman is a statue depicting Peter the Great on a horse. In the poem, the horseman is described as a majestic statue. Yevgeny confronts the statue and imagines being pursued by the horseman all night along.

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