Love and Fate in Eugene Onegin

11 November 2016

In Alexander Pushkin’s novel Eugene Onegin stanza’s nineteen and twenty in Chapter two illustrate the connection between love and fate that is present throughout the novel. These stanzas come shortly after Eugene and Lensky become friends. Lensky is in love with a woman, Olga, whom he has known since childhood and he continuously expresses to Eugene his blissful adoration for her. These stanzas illuminate to the reader that love and fate are intertwined concepts and that Lensky’s and Eugene’s fates will be intertwined as well. Passionate love is only experienced by poets according to the speaker, because “they’re fated to. (20) Since Lensky is a poet, he finds love and passion with Olga, while Eugene is “one whom love had left forsaken. ” Poets may be fated to find passionate love since they explore emotions in their work and concentrate more on what is vitally significant in life, as opposed to others, like Eugene. Pushkin’s narrator states at the end of stanza nineteen, regarding feelings, that “to us they’re hardly new. ” Here he is identifying himself and the narrator as poets as well, in order to explain their irregular behavior and sporadic manner of speaking and thinking.

Poets are fated to love, which is an irrational emotion; therefore poets act irrational and irregular. When the narrator describes Eugene “gravely” (19) listening to Lensky, he is speaking with a patronizing tone. Eugene is not interested in anything and everything has lost its appeal to him, therefore when he listens to Lensky, he is only humoring him. Eugene is apathetic and skeptical and as a result he believes Lensky is naive and that one day Lensky will realize the folly of his ways.

Love and Fate in Eugene Onegin Essay Example

The narrator states through Eugene’s thoughts in stanza fifteen that Lensky’s “blissful, brief infection” will soon pass “without my [Eugene’s] knife. ” However Eugene will only be able to humor Lensky for so long, before he whether maliciously or innocuously intervenes. Eugene’s eventual intervention reiterates the idea of fate, which can be foreshadowed. Stanzas nineteen and twenty foreshadow events to come. Given that Lensky only knows “one constant source of dreaming,” (20) Olga, he will do anything to protect their love. Eugene’s indifferent attitude towards love and life in eneral, which is touched upon in stanza nineteen, lead him to confront Lensky by dancing and flirting with Olga. Lensky’s soul is “aflame with virgin fire” (20) for his beloved and Eugene’s betrayal ignites a fire from the flame in Lensky and prompts him to act irrationally and challenge Eugene to a duel. Eugene tests Lensky’s and Olga’s relationship even though he said in stanza fifteen he did not want to interfere with Lensky’s view of life and love; he constantly listened to ideas and emotions he found irrational and tiresome, therefore he wanted to observe how real these emotions and ideas were.

Stanzas nineteen and twenty are significant to a central concept of love and fate that is prevalent throughout the novel. Lensky’s and Eugene’s lives are intertwined because of fate, however each one experiences love differently because of fate. Lensky experiences passionate love, because he is a poet, which leads to his death. Lensky’s death is caused by Eugene’s indifference and cynacism towards love. Eugene at first dismisses love and then he experiences unrequited love, when Tatiana rejects him. Both of these characters where shaped by their attitudes regarding love and because of love their fates were intertwined.

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