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“Hymn lyric-epic on driving out the French from the Fatherland” by G.R. Derzhavin as a prediction of the ideological turn of 1813–1815

K.R. Khaliullin

UDC 821.161.1-1                   


Khaliullin Karim R.,

Junior Researcher

Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House)

of the Russian Academy of Sciences



Based on the analysis of the poem by G.R. Derzhavin “Hymn lyric-epic on driving out the French from the Fatherland”, the article demonstrates how this text predicted the changes in the state rhetoric and ideology of the Russian Empire in 1813–1815. Creating this text as an ideological poem and developing the motive of the Russian people there, Derzhavin left the civil understanding of it widespread in poetry during the Patriotic War in which people are recognized as an autonomous figure in history, independent of either the tsar or God and gave the motive a biblical dimension: opposition of Russia and France are compared to the ontological battle of divine and demonic forces. In “Hymn lyric-epic …” the idea of messianism of the Russian people sounds louder than in other modern poems. Moreover, Derzhavin's poem was one of the first, in which the plot of the Patriotic War of 1812 is clearly, voluminously and consistently set out: from the awakening of Napoleon (“Dragon or the serpentine demon”) to the final triumph of the Russians chosen by God and led by the archangel-like Mikhail Kutuzov, and the flight of the French emperor from the borders of the Russian Empire.

Keywords: «Hymn lyric-epic on driving out the French from the Fatherland», G.R. Derzhavin, ideological poetry, messianism, Patriotic War of 1812.



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The work has been supported by RFBR (project No. 19-312-90009).