2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Epilogue is a term used in literary criticism. In a broad sense, it is interpreted as a story about how the fate of the described characters developed after the completion of the events that took place in the main part of the work.
It should be noted that it should not be confused with an afterword. The latter, as a rule, has nothing to do with the eventual outline of the text and in most cases is used by the author for "non-fiction" purposes, for example, in order to explain his ethical views or aesthetic views or to enter into polemics with critics. Whereas the epilogue is a natural continuation of the plot. The famous literary critic V. E. Khalizev in his fundamental "Theory of Literature" gave his definition of this term. He writes that the epilogue is an element of composition, very important for understanding the openness/closedness of the plot.
The most striking examples of epilogues can be found in the works of Russian literature of the 19th century, more precisely in the novels of Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy. Let's take a closer look at some of them.
One of the most significant novels of this author by rightconsidered "Crime and Punishment". Its epilogue is very important for understanding Dostoevsky's ideas - without it, the story would not be complete. Let us briefly recall the plot of the work: the young man Rodion Raskolnikov puts forward a certain theory, according to which, all of humanity can be conditionally divided into two varieties: “trembling creatures” and “having the right.”
The first category includes all the townsfolk, ordinary people, of whom the majority. The second group, to which the ambitious young man considers himself, consists of "supermen", whose main purpose is to do great things. At the same time, for those who have the right, according to Raskolnikov, there are no moral criteria and norms - if necessary, they can do anything, up to robbery and murder. In order to “test” his theory and confirm his belonging to the great ones of this world, the young man takes the life of a miserly old money-lender. The young man convinces himself that this murder is justified and even necessary: the elderly woman does not bring any benefit to society, moreover, she “eats” her unresponsive sister and shamelessly robs the poor. However, as is often the case, theory does not match reality. Raskolnikov is unable to overcome his conscience and at the end of the novel he nevertheless confesses to the crime. The epilogue is the events that took place after the revelation of the truth. It consists of two parts: the first describes the trial of Raskolnikov and his exile in Siberia. In hard labor, he experiences a real mental break. He repents before Sonya and reconsiders his attitude towardsreality. Pride is replaced by acceptance and faith in God.
Epilogue of War and Peace
In this case, the author's conclusion is very important for understanding the images of the characters. All of them have undergone significant changes: Natasha and Pierre, Nikolai Rostov and Marya have gone a long way to find happiness in the end, each to his own. Natasha from a light-footed laugher and a singer turned into an ideal mother of a large family, giving herself to her children. Nikolai Rostov is trying to become a real landowner. As for the beloved hero of Tolstoy Bezukhov, his future is somewhat vague. Of course, he became a happy husband and father, but there is reason to believe that this is not the last stage of his spiritual development.
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Oddly enough, but if we asked what a libretto is, a resident of the 17th-18th centuries, he would answer with full confidence that this is a book! Indeed, the name of this musical term is translated that way. Previously, the libretto was called the literary basis of opera, ballet and other dramatic works. This brochure was a kind of script, which described the action of the stage production. But it was not given to become a separate literary genre