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“Heroes of the Time Being”. Intro to AHOOT by Mikhail Lermontov. HEROES. Change the nature of the world through courage & selflessness Embody a society’s ideals Admired as much for qualities as for deeds Transcend the ordinary Sometimes aided by a wise priest, magician, or shaman.

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“Heroes of the Time Being”

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Heroes of the time being

“Heroes of the Time Being”

Intro to AHOOT by Mikhail Lermontov



  • Change the nature of the world through courage & selflessness

  • Embody a society’s ideals

  • Admired as much for qualities as for deeds

  • Transcend the ordinary

  • Sometimes aided by a wise priest, magician, or shaman

Heroic paradigm

Heroic Paradigm

*Essentially a loss of innocence story (rite of passage)

Examples of heroic paradigm

Examples of Heroic Paradigm

  • Greek Heroes – Odysseus, Hercules, & Jason

  • King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table

  • Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)

  • Bilbo Baggins (the Hobbit)

  • Frodo Baggins (LOTR)

Anti hero


  • Existentialist invention

    (What is existentialism?)

  • Opposite of a hero – often feels he has control over his destiny

  • Common in 20th century literature

Noble savage

Noble Savage

  • Romantic idea

  • Not sophisticated but essentially good

  • From a more primitive environment

  • More noble than product of civilized training



  • 1800-1832


    • Freedom

    • Interest in the past

    • Value of the individual

    • Nature as teacher

    • Interest in the supernatural

Great romantic writers

Great Romantic Writers

  • British

    • William Wordsworth

    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    • Lord Byron

    • John Keats

    • Percy Bysshe Shelley

    • American Romanticists

    • Russian Romanticists

George gordon byron a k a lord byron

George Gordon ByronA.K.A Lord Byron

  • English aristocrat

  • Cult of personal freedom

  • Lived life fully

  • Scandalous marriage

  • Lived abroad in Switzerland

  • Died in Greek War

Byron s words

Byron’s Words

“I am such a strange mixture of good and evil. There are but two sentiments to which I am constant – a strong love of liberty and a detestation of cant (false idealism), and neither is calculated to win me friends.”

Byronic hero our anti hero

Byronic HeroOur Anti-Hero

  • Strong individual at odds with the world

  • Proud

  • Talented

  • Ambitous

  • Cynical

  • Malcontent

  • Energetic

  • Intelligent

  • Bored

  • Embittered

  • Often dissipated lives

Heroes of the time being

Lermontov was preoccupied with the disillusioned Byronic hero. Complaints against the injustices of God’s world and society’s callous hypocrisy, he let his heroes take out their frustrations by wreaking sadistic vengeance on others. The hero in AHOOT joylessly sows evil on earth. It is a remarkable piece of psychological realism. ~Vickery

Mikhail lermontov oct 3 1814 july 15 1841

Mikhail LermontovOct 3, 1814 – July 15, 1841

  • Died at 26

  • Wrote AHOOT 1838-1840

  • Reflects trend of Byronism

  • Officer in military

  • Became heir to Pushkin

The pushkin connection

The Pushkin Connection

  • Lermontov wrote “Death of a Poet in response to Pushkin’s death (all but blamed government for Pushkin’s murder in a duel)

  • Ironically Lermontov also died in a duel

  • Both have characters similarly named

Literature shows

Literature shows:

  • A love of nature

  • Rich descriptions

  • Psychological novel

  • Pechorin – Pechora as river

  • Onegin – Onega – as river

Setting caucasus 1830 s

Setting: Caucasus -1830’s

  • Frontier area (Lermontov was exiled here)

  • Annexed only recently (Georgia -1801)

  • People essentially tribal



  • Repressive

  • Regime of Czar Nicholas I

  • Essentially agrarian

  • System of serfs

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