2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Why do we need speaking names in “Woe from Wit? Why, in fact, are they called speakers? What role do they play in the work? To answer these questions, you will have to plunge into the history of literature.
A few words about the stylistic role of speaking surnames
When reading some books, sometimes the question arises: "If a work is fiction, invented by the author, then the names in it are invented?"
Of course it is. However, the masters of the pen have always subtly felt how important the names-characteristics are for the development of the plot.
On the one hand, they serve as a means of some typing, denoting the character's belonging to a certain community or his essence.
On the other hand, such a literary device allows you to understand the author's attitude towards his hero from the very first pages, to create your own initial impression. Indeed, it would hardly occur to anyone that a literary character with the surname Khryumina or, say, Skalozub can be positive.
Griboyedov is not the first to come up with speaking surnames. There are many of them in Woe from Wit, but the fact isthat this literary device was successfully used by almost all writers. For Gogol, this is Lyapkin-Tyapkin (judge), for Chekhov - non-commissioned officer Prishibeev, for Fonvizin - Vralman.
Three types of surnames and images of the comedy "Woe from Wit"
You can make assumptions about the character and image of some of Griboyedov's characters after reading the list of characters. Who is said to "grind his teeth"? What can be a person named Tugoukhovsky?
After reading the play, it becomes clear that the speaking names in "Woe from Wit" do not belong to any one category. They are very different.
- Some surnames will directly report a specific trait of a person. Clear representatives of this group are Molchalin and Tugoukhovsky. If today, as in the time of Griboyedov, French was the second language of secular society, then many would have noticed the obvious without prompting: the names of Repetilov and Famusov belong to the same group. However, more on that later.
- The meaning of the names "Woe from Wit" in the second group is not so obvious. To understand the role of such proper names, knowledge of Russian history and literature and the ability to make associations are necessary.
- The third group contains surnames that explicitly express appreciation.
Using such techniques, Griboyedov managed to draw an objective picture of his contemporary society, to which people of different classes, characters, beliefs belong.
Why does Griboyedov use speaking names?
Surnames that give an estimated characterization of characters have long been usedRussian literature.
"Woe from Wit" is a tribute to a long-standing tradition. However, unlike the works of, for example, Fonvizin, such surnames in Woe from Wit are not straightforward. They do not just indicate a personality or character trait, but make you think. To understand what the name Famusov means, you need to know languages. After all, it comes from the Latin word "rumor", in our opinion - gossip. And if you look at the English roots, it becomes clear that famous is famous. A well-known gossip in the city? Here is the association, here is the literary image.
The same goes for Repetilov. His last name comes from the French word for "repeat". And what does Repetilov do in the play?
If these characters have problems with speaking, others clearly have difficulties with listening. Tugoukhovsky always walks with a pipe. Does he not want or can't hear? But his family bears the same surname. Here are the problems of communication in society. This is exactly what Griboedov wrote about in the play.
There are characters in the work with simpler and more understandable surnames for the Russian ear. These are Khlestova, Khryumina, Zagoretsky, Skalozub. They carry an assessment of the actors. Although, when viewed from the point of view of communication, baring your teeth and whipping (literally and figuratively) is also not very useful.
Understanding what the name Chatsky means is quite difficult, for this you need to have a broad outlook. Griboyedov put several meanings into the word.
First of all,this is an analogy with the proper name Chaadaev. The surname of a famous poet was often pronounced with one "a". In the drafts, the author even first called his hero "Chadsky". What Chaadaev is known for, probably everyone knows. Nevertheless, let's pay a little attention to this issue.
In Greek, Andrey Andreyevich's surname means "courageous" and his first name means "brave".
The root "child" is translated as "dispelling illusions".
The ending of the surname indicates belonging to a noble family.
This is how the image of Chatsky is formed from details and associations: a courageous and brave nobleman, who has a sensible look at life, dispels the illusions that exist in society. He is not afraid to build a new society. He is cramped among the Molchalins, Tugoukhovskys and Skalozubs. So the surname not only helps to designate the character of the hero, but also determines the role of Chatsky in the artistic logic and ideological content of the comedy.
The meaning of surnames for understanding the work
So why did Griboyedov use speaking names in Woe from Wit? With their help, he not only emphasized the positive and negative qualities of the characters, but created a whole system of images, typified and individualized each of its links. As a result, these names served as the key to understanding the whole comedy. After all, she talks about how representatives of different social strata, ages, and characters cannot and do not want to communicate with each other.
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