Eugene Onegin

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Topics: Eugene Onegin, Love
In the 1820s, Eugene Onegin is a bored St. Petersburg dandy, whose life consists of balls, concerts, parties and nothing more. One day he inherits a landed estate from his uncle. When he moves to the country, he strikes up a friendship with his neighbor, a starry-eyed young poet named Vladimir Lensky. One day, Lensky takes Onegin to dine with the family of his fiancée, the sociable but rather thoughtless Olga Larina. At this meeting he also catches a glimpse of Olga's sister Tatyana. A quiet, precocious romantic and the exact opposite of Olga, Tatyana becomes intensely drawn to Onegin. Soon after, she bares her soul to Onegin in a letter professing her love. Contrary to her expectations, Onegin does not write back. When they meet in person, he rejects her advances politely but dismissively and condescendingly. This famous speech is often referred to as Onegin's Sermon.
Onegin by Dmitry Kardovsky, 1909

Later, Lensky mischievously invites Onegin to Tatyana's name day celebration promising a small gathering with just Tatyana, her sister, and her parents. When Onegin arrives, he finds instead a boisterous country ball, a rural parody of and contrast to the society balls of St. Petersburg he has grown tired of. Onegin is irritated with the guests who gossip about him and Tatyana, and with Lensky for persuading him to come. He decides to avenge himself by dancing and flirting with Olga. Olga is insensitive to her fiancé and apparently attracted to Onegin. Earnest and inexperienced, Lensky is wounded to the core and challenges Onegin to fight a duel; Onegin reluctantly accepts, feeling compelled by social convention. During the duel, Onegin unwillingly kills Lensky. Afterwards, he quits his country estate, traveling abroad to deaden his feelings of remorse.

Tatyana visits Onegin's mansion, where she looks through his books and his notes in the margins, and begins to question whether Onegin's character is merely a collage of different literary heroes, and if there

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