The book deals with the rebellion of the Cretans against the Ottoman Empire in the year Freedom and Death is Kazantzakis’s modern Iliad. The context is Crete in the late nineteenth century, the epic struggle between Greeks and. Complete summary of Nikos Kazantzakis’ Freedom or Death. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Freedom or Death.

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Set against this backdrop, the novel presents a number of little strands of story as we encounter numerous characters several times in the book and thus get the chance to observe their path through the tumultous events.

Before reading this kaxantzakis, my only encounter with Kazantzakis was the fact that I once saw the film Zorba the Greekbased on one of his novels and with Anthony Quinn in the title role.

The subtitle “Freedom or Death” and a prologue were added to the edition. The writer was influenced by his early years on the island of Crete and uses explicit Cretan Greek words and the Cretan idiom in a way that preserves it untouched.

Damn, once again I wade through an English translation without having bothered to check whether a Slovenian one is also available. So most of the Greek captains and their warriors accept the offers of amnesty, bury their weapons again and return to the same uneasy peace that had been broken a few months earlier.

In the UK deathh book was published as Freedom and Deathwhich were the last words in the book. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Herbig, He similarly feels contempt for his fellow Cretan patriot Captain Polyxigis, with whom they fought together in a previous uprising. Please provide an email address. Based on this good experience with the film, I always had a long-term intention of eventually reading some of Kazantzakis’s books.

The book deals with the rebellion of the Cretans against the Ottoman Empire fdeedom However, Kostaros being dead by now 1. Soldiers, farmers, servants, fishermen, doctors, and others stream forth, all with their own unmistakable individuality, longings, absurdities and domestic tragedies in a work which offers many good parallels to For Whom The Bell Tolls and which can lay claim to being an important, beautiful, thunderously alive novel.

Freedom or Death

The rest of the uprising consists of some fighting and a hefty amount of senseless violence against civilians, kazsntzakis the Greeks in deatb countryside; it seems to be a matter of course that their villages will be burnt, and many of the inhabitants killed if they do not hide in time from the Turkish soldiers. The novel gives us many interesting glimpses into the life of a Cretan town in the late 19th century.


The Saviors of God Michales decides to try to capture her back, but in order to do this, he has to temporarily withdraw himself and some of his fighters from the defence of a besieged Greek monastery Initially one has the impression that Michales is just a very ardent patriot, somewhat more fanatical than the majority perhaps, but little by little we come to realize that his obsessiveness transcends any sane definition of patriotism; he often gives us the impression of a person possessed by demons, and he reminded me somewhat of the sort of romantic heroes that fteedom encounters in Byron or Lermontov.

Plot The plot is set in the Kazxntzakis uprising of The central character, a wild, insubordinate warrior named Kapetan rebel leader Michalis, has sworn kazantxakis remain unshaven and dressed in black, and not to laugh until Crete has been freed. Shortly afterwards, Kosmas son of Manoussakas and nephew of of Kapetan Michalis arrives on Crete, bringing word to the revolutionaries that others have capitulated. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, and the last scene, with Zorbas and Basil dancing like mad on the ruins of their failed mining facility, is one of my favourite movie scenes altogether.

At the same time, Emine readies herself to be baptized a Christian, but Kapetan Michalis arranges that she is kidnapped and hidden in a house belonging to one of his relatives. Anyway, despite all this, the Cretan Greeks are rather fanatically determined to liberate themselves from Turkish rule; every now and then, they dfath an uprising against the Turks, although these risings are always rfeedom 2.

Cretan independence from the Turks 3. Now, this last thing was in fact a perfectly decent duel in which Nuri had also kazantzakia seriously wounded, so one would perhaps naively expect that this settles the matter, but in fact it doesn’t.

Full text of “Nikos Kazantzakis – Freedom or Death”

However, the person who gets the most attention in the novel is one Captain Michales. I suppose kazantzxkis a more experienced reader than me would probably say that these are merely old tricks of the genre, but I was almost truly touched by that scene. Sunday, November 19, 3: Another explanation, which is what Michales tells to Polyxigis after admitting the murder, is that she stood in the way of their efforts to liberate Crete, The last few pages of the novel are delightfully cathartic, a glorious bloodbath, like a movie scene in slow-motion, and in the background you can almost hear the sort of pompous choral music that would typically accompany such a scene on a movie soundtrack.


Part of Kazantzakis’ impressions from his tour kazanrzakis post-occupation Crete was published in an article entitled “Crete” in Nea Estia literary magazine, issue 66 Christmas kazantzaakis De Fontein, The Last Temptation of Christ.

This wound heals, but Nurey Bey commits suicide, being unable to bear the disdain and pity Emine shows him over his mutilation, while she becomes mistress to Kapetan Polyxigis. The Turks are also interested in ending the uprising quickly, preferrably with the Greeks laying down their arms voluntarily rather than only after a complete and utter massacre, because the latter might attract unwelcome attention and interference from the Great Powers cf.

Pitying Nuri Bey, who has lost his manhood in the fight, Michaeles cannot take vengance, a humiliation which drives Nuri Bey to suicide.

In the heat of battle, he realises that Kapetan Michalis has freed himself of all fears and hopes. It is one of the most widely read books of modern Greek literature which has been translated and published in several languages. Most of the inhabitants are Greek, although there are also some Turks even in the countryside. Retrieved from ” https: Michales therefore feels responsible for the fall of the monastery and the death of its abbot although it isn’t obvious to me that the presence of him and his handful of people would have made so much of a differencehe is also criticised by others for having left his post, and he is probably acutely ashamed of having done all that on account of a mere woman The final version incorporated some pages from previous drafts, as well as some revised descriptions of the devastated villages and grief-stricken population that had been included in the Report of the Central Committee for the Verification of Atrocities on Crete The “or” was knowingly replaced with “and” in the ending text by Kazantzakis.

There are, both among the Turks and among the Greeks, some people that try to calm things down, and others that try to incite yet more violence. A Modern Sequel Much of the novel shows very nicely how the next uprising breaks out. Be the first to discover new talent! Zorba musical Zorba the Greek film. Tineretului undated Theatre performances N. Khvarazmi Niko Kazanzaqi, Ja vdekje, ja liri!

An insult to the Moslem populace causes him to kill Michaeles’ brother.