Peter Veth Essay Sample

Peter Veth Essay Sample

… Part I B. Pushkin’s Ambivalent Fealty to Peter the Great
Peter the Great’s vision for Russia involved sweeping changes, changes so radical that although they brought about tremendous progress, they also crushed many old traditions ruthlessly. Alexandr Pushkin simultaneously admired the vision and determination shown by the ruler, and was troubled by the measures necessary to carry out the envisioned reforms.
The Bronze Horseman exemplifies this dual viewpoint. In the beginning, Peter the Great (referred to as “he” –“on”– as if his identity needed no explanation) contemplates the unpromising site of his projected city of St. Petersburg. In time, his vision is realized. “That city young, gem of the Northern world” became the world-class city envisioned by its founder. Pushkin’s admiration for the achievement is palpable: “I love thee, city of Peter’s making”.
However, with the flood, the limits of human power and vision are exposed: “No Tsar, with God, is master over God’s elements!” The humble man Evgeny loses everything and everyone he has ever loved, and he turns in anger on the Emperor’s statue, denouncing it as haughty and presumptuous, “Ay, architect, with thy creation of marvels…Ah, beware of me!” …

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