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Aleksandr Pushkin

~Russian Poet~

Birth: June 6, 1799, Moscow, Russia

Death: February 10, 1837, St. Petersburg, Russia, from a pistol shot in a duel

Early Influences:

  • Born into an upper-class literary family
  • Entered an elite school called the Lyceum at age 12 where he made influential friends
  • Began working in the foreign office of St. Petersburg, Russia soon after graduating from the Lyceum
  • While in St. Petersburg, joined upper-class literary societies, attended the theater, and worked on his first romantic narrative poem
  • Charged with writing subversive poetry in 1820 and was transferred
  • Friends introduced him to the poetry of Lord Byron
  • Had affairs with two married women while working in the foreign office

Education:

  • Entered the Lyceum in 1811 which was only open for the sons of 'select' noblemen
  • Graduated from the Lyceum in 1817
  • Taught by the great poet Vasily Zhukovsky

Major Accomplishments:

  • Wrote his first published poem, To a Poet Friend at the age of 14
  • Wrote Freedom in 1817, but wasn't published until his death
  • Ruslan and Ludmila, written in 1820 was his first major poem
  • Wrote several dramas including Boris Godunov in 1831
  • Wrote his masterpiece, Eugene Onegin, in 1823-31 which later became a Tchaikovsky opera

Significance:

  • Worked for the liberation of literature from the old ways
  • His work, Eugene Onegin, is the standard by which Russian literature of the 18th and 19th centuries is measured
  • Some compare his talent and influence in Russia to William Shakespeare

Contemporaries:

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