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History Main / TheDeathOfTheVazirMukhtar

30th Mar '13 1:24:39 PM Xtifr
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-->"[[RussianNamingConvention Aleksey Petrovich]], [[EstablishingCharacterMoment inasmuch as I do not respect people and am indignant at their deceit and vanity]], [[ByronicHero what the devil do I care for their opinion?]] But nevertheless, if you tell me who [[MaliciousSlander said that]], [[NotSoAboveItAll I, despite having no respect for foolishness,]] [[DuelToTheDeath will fight him]]. As for you - [[MentorArchetype you are untouchable for me, and not just because of your old age.]]"

''The Death of the Vazir-Mukhtar'' ("Смерть Вазир-Мухтара", "Smert' Vazir-Mukhtara") is a [[HistoricalFiction historical novel]] by early Soviet literary historian and critic Yury Tynyanov, set in early 19th century Russia and Persia and centered on the last year in the life of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griboedov Aleksandr Sergeyevich Griboyedov]], a famous Russian [[HeAlsoDid playwright, poet, Oriental scholar, polyglot and diplomat]]. It opens with his return to Moscow after a successful diplomatic mission in Persia; from there, he goes to St. Petersburg to report to his superiors, and, after a short while, sets out on a new mission to Persia in the capacity of Minister (Ambassador) Plenipotentiary, or, as the Persians call him, [[TitleDrop "Vazir-Mukhtar"]]. Along the way he visits Tiflis ([[IstanbulNotConstantinople Tbilisi]]), another important location in his past, then goes on to Tebriz, and finally, Tehran. [[ItWasHisSled And then he dies.]] [[BookEnds The book ends with a Persian embassy to Russia, sent with the purpose of making up after the circumstances of Griboyedov's death, that goes through many of the same places and encounters many of the same people as Griboyedov did in the beginning.]] Note that all this traveling, while thematically very important, is ofcourse the skeleton of the novel's plot; the meat is Griboyedov's encounters with [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a colourful cast of characters inhabiting all those locations]], as well as trying to fulfill some of his many ambitions, be they career, political, matrimonial or literary, all while dealing with various personal issues and setbacks.

Major historical issues include the Golden Age of Russian literature, the aftershock of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decembrist the 1825 Decembrist uprising]] (which involved many of Griboyedov's old friends), the incipience of the Anglo-Russian Great Game and the godwaful state of Persia under the middle Qajars.

This book is notable for a lot of things - a fairly quirky writing style ([[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible slipping into the nigh-incomprehensible on a few occasions]]), plenty of various lyrical, psychological and historical digressions, the realisation of Tynyanov's modernist theories of literature, detailed and sometimes striking psychological insights into many - often entirely incidental - characters, as well as simply being an extraordinarily well-researched piece of HistoricalFiction. Its critical reception has been variable - Solzhenitsyn in particular found a lot of things he disagreed with in its style and its specific arguments - but despite being relatively obscure and overshadowed by other early 20th century works, it is still a part of the Russian [[SchoolStudyMedia high school curriculum]]. It is not entirely unknown in the West, either, at least not to Tynyanov's fellow literary critics. It was translated in 1938 as ''Death and Diplomacy in Persia''.

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!!Provides Examples Of:

* ADayInTheLimeLight: While the main body of the text follows Griboyedov, many other characters get some portions dedicated to their own POV, sometimes in an unique frame (Professor Adelung has a diary, for instance; [[SadClown General Sipyagin]] gets a drunken monologue that alternates between TearJerker and CrowningMomentOfFunny). Pretty much all of them are noteworthy in some way.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: The Russian embassy in the penultimate chapter.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Chaadayev and some of the other "people of the [eighteen] twenties" tend to have viewpoints; Griboyedov tends to notice that this might be because ''their'' careers are ruined already.
* AngstWhatAngst: Griboyedov apparently [[InvokedTroper deliberately]] went into this mode having stopped for some rest and a brief love affair in the middle of nowhere (or, more specifically, somewhere between St. Petersburg and Tiflis). It's lampshaded and justified in the book itself:
-->"It is easy to imagine that a man is in love with a girl from the Caucasus, that he has plans, that they must be carried out and that he is unhappy. All of that is so, but that's not the point. He can't always be unhappy and he can't always be in love. During a friend's funeral one is healthy and the sun is shining, and suddenly one would notice with horror that he is happy... It's a strange matter: he was happy."
* ApronMatron: Griboyedov's mother.
* ArabianNightsDays: Persia is thought of by some to be more like this, but it's actually shown realistically, or, if we speak in tropes, as 1/8th this (mostly for the cream of the aristocracy, and even then not entirely) and 7/8ths TheDungAges, not just because of serious health and hygiene problems, but also because the overwhelming majority of the population is poor, miserable and [[PowderKegCrowd very unhappy about it]].
* ArrangedMarriage: As the opening narration explains, idealistic concepts of love among Romantic poets did not get in the way of this at all. Griboyedov's marriage with Nina counts, but then again, they were already in love for years now and her parents knew as much, though some of the GossipyHens might deny this. Skryplov and Zaynab was a variation on this, as the marriage was "arranged" between Skryplov himself and Zaynab's father.
* ArtistDisillusionment: Griboyedov has such tendencies, at any rate. He isn't very happy being a role model for people like Maltsov, either.
* AscendedFanboy: Arguably, Maltsov. While not in any obvious way a big fan of adventure literature or what have you, he did take Griboyedov, as an apparent political rising star and successful diplomat, for something of a role model, and so was very enthused about accompanying him on his new appointment in Persia. Gradually he turned into TheResenter for [[WartsAndAll all the classical reasons]].
* AssInAmbassador: Griboyedov can act like that sometimes, though entirely on purpose and with a calculated risk in mind; this nevertheless exposes him to one-sided criticism that focuses on those sides of his activity. He has been known to be the opposite of that as well on other occasions, thanks to his intricate knowledge and understanding of Persia and Persian culture.
* BenevolentBoss: Rodofinikin and Nicholas I both try to seem like this to Griboyedov; he doesn't buy it.
* BigEater: Faddey Bulgarin.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Subverted with Praskovya Nikolaevna Akhverdova's "wooden house in the garden" (wherein "happiness was kept") in Tiflis, which seemed like a natural set-up for this, except that even with all the financial and career difficulties and occasional disagreements and personal tragedies, Akhverdova's personal charisma somehow keeps all the many relatives, in-laws and family friends she has collected under her roof (on a permanent or temporary basis) a big happy family (despite often not even being related in any real way). The description of the wooden house and its residents (and of Griboyedov's return there on the way to Persia) is a downright Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
* BilingualBackfire: Surprisingly averted when two Tatars mock Griboyedov behind his back in the Tiflis bathhouse. Griboyedov doesn't understand what they're saying, but thinks that they are being very respectful. Griboyedov knows many languages, but apparently Tatar isn't one of them.
* BilingualBonus: Lots of foreign languages are used, most of them are translated in the footnotes, but some aren't (particularly Armenian).
* BrokenPedestal: Griboyedov himself is this to... a whole lot of people, mainly participants of the Decembrist uprising. This is understandable: given his Lyceum background and the fact that his literary masterpiece is a satire denouncing reactionary aristocratic elements in Moscow, he certainly seemed to have let down a lot of people when, after the failure of the Decembrist uprising, he a) disavowed all ties with it, b) proceeded to have a highly successful political and diplomatic career and c) became very close to the political elite of Nicholasian Russia, which is pretty damn similar to all that he has condemned in ''Woe from Wit''. So naturally it looked like a FaceHeelTurn to all those people, who, in keeping with this trope, began to compare Griboyedov with Molchalin, a [[ProfessionalButtKisser highly negative]] character in his play (Griboyedov himself is not adverse to such a comparison in moments of self-deprecation). Nevertheless, during one such conversation a [[OldSoldier wise minor character]] reasonably points out to others who have just finished explaining just how broken Griboyedov's pedestal is that this is rather hypocritical of ''them'' - after all, they are basically judging Griboyedov for his fancy uniform while refusing to judge Chatsky (the protagonist of ''Woe from Wit'') for his ballroom dress. Who knows what he's really thinking about all this?
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Professor Senkovsky, with his insistence on bringing his huge dog to an examination and other MadScientist/MadArtist antics.
* BuyThemOff: As per history, after pretty much letting an angry mob kill Griboyedov, the Persian government patches things up with the Tsar by sending an embassy with gifts, including a huge and really impressive diamond. It works.
* ByronicHero: Griboyedov is this or pretty close anyway; he is even compared to Byron by an Englishman at some point, though this is quickly dismissed, as he is a bit more subtle than that.
* CoolOldGuy: That's how Griboyedov remembers his late uncle. Sipyagin and [[LargeHam Samson Khan]] might qualify as well.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Griboyedov's ''death'' is actually pretty tame - he just gets slashed a few times with sabres and that's (evidently) it. What the mob does to his body immediately after is this, though: they literally tear his body into pieces and parade him across Tehran. "Vazir-Mukhtar continued to exist", sure.
* CunningLinguist: Griboyedov was an incredible polyglot even by the high standards of early 19th century Russian aristocracy, knowing 16 languages in all, including many Oriental languages, which predictably is rather handy when working as a diplomat in Persia.
* DancesAndBalls: Again, much as one would expect from a novel dealing with 19th century high society, both in St. Petersburg and in Tiflis.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt
* DefiantToTheEnd: [[spoiler: Hodja Mirza Yakub]].
* DelusionsOfEloquence: Bulgarin gravitates towards this.
* DirtyCoward: What [[spoiler: Maltsov]] turns out to be. He admits it readily to himself when it is revealed, at least.
* DissonantSerenity: Griboyedov is very prone to this; he generally seems to be much more calm and even cheerful when things are going straight to hell.
* DuringTheWar: The Russo-Turkish War 1828-9, though the previous Russo-Persian War 1826-8 is actually more important to the plot.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[LastStand The angry mob attack on the embassy]] is this for at least three characters, besides the garrison:
** [[strike:Hodja Mirza]] Yakub ''Markaryan'' pulling an ethnic version of DyingAsYourself by encouraging to mob to tear him into pieces [[BilingualBonus in Armenian]], after realising that his plan to return to the land of his birth fell through for good. His ThisIsGonnaSuck reaction to the whole angry mob thing counts too.
** Professor Adelung, an elderly German doctor, wildly lashing out at the mob with his sword to hold it at the door. He loses a hand, quickly and calmly patches up his arm and then jumps ''out of the window to attack the mob again''. Griboyedov is impressed to say the least: "Jolly good. Jolly good! What a man!"
** And, ofcourse, Griboyedov himself. First there is the fact that he basically knowingly put himself in harm's way in order to ensure the enforcement of a treaty that has his name on it. Then there is [[CasualDangerDialogue the way]] [[DissonantSerenity he reacts]] to the huge mob at the embassy's door crying for his head. And then there is him assuming direct command over the garrison, competently directing its fighting retreat inside the embassy despite having no real military experience to speak of. Oh, and when it turns out that the rioters [[spoiler: killed his manservant, who was probably his closest friend since childhood]], his DissonantSerenity briefly switches to TranquilFury, he grabs a rifle from a Cossack's dead fingers and [[ColdSniper calmly and precisely]] guns down several of the rioters, briefly forcing the rest to fall back or at least hide from him, which incidentally helps win time for the aforementioned fighting retreat.
* ErmineCapeEffect: An Oriental version of this for Persian royalty, full stop.
* {{Epigraph}}: One for each chapter but the last, taken from songs or poems in different languages (Russian, French, Farsi, Arabic...).
* EunuchsAreEvil: Discussed in a historical digression and utterly deconstructed. Of the three high-ranking eunuchs that actually appear in the book, none are major villains, all of them are at least in some part victims (well, duh) and at least two of them are strongly sympathetic ([[TearJerker "But completely incomprehensible is the love of an eunuch."]] Also, the bits about their "hobbies".). One of them ends up doing a HeelFaceTurn in hopes of seeing his native Armenia one last time. [[spoiler: Yeah, that doesn't work out. But the fact that he proceeds to die bravely is arguably an even bigger subversion of this trope.]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Khan_Qajar Agha Mohammed Khan Qajar]], on the other hand, is very much a monster (though the eunuch factor is still the one thing that makes seem at least somewhat pitiful rather than purely reprehensible), but certainly no SissyVillain, being a qualified city-razing family-slaughtering EvilOverlord.
* EvilBrit: When you think of it, Doctor [=McNeal=] actually fits this pretty well (at least the stereotypically British part; as far as evil goes he is a PunchClockVillain at most), only with 19th century Russian rather than 20th century American British stereotypes. Which is to say he is ridiculously melancholic, somewhat wimpy, polite and prone to quoting Shakespeare.
* EvilPlan: A fairly weak one on Alajar Khan's part towards the end - he [[spoiler: wants to assassinate Hodja Mirza Yakub, thus violating the peace treaty outright, getting the Qajars into another war with Russia and so hopefully driving the country to a breaking point and paving the way for his coup d'etat]]. [[RealityEnsues He is easily overruled by other Persian courtiers who can do the math just as well as he.]]
* TheEvilPrince: Abbas-Mirza, "the Persian Napoleon" and heir to the throne, arguably qualifies, though note how he is in no hurry to seize de jure power as he already seems to be de facto in charge.
* FakeUltimateHero: Griboyedov, at least as far as rescuing the Russian theatre is concerned. Everybody notes that he has a lot of promise in all the areas he applies himself to, but ultimately he can't seem to be able to accomplish much. Pushkin said it best in the end and in real life: "Perhaps a Descartes who never wrote anything? Or a Napoleon without any soldiers?"
* FanConvention: An early 19th century Russian literary version - Faddey Bulgarin's dinner.
* FatIdiot: Faddey Bulgarin, though [[ObfuscatingStupidity he's not as stupid as he might seem at first]].
* FeigningIntelligence: General Ivan Paskevich is accused of this, though it's only partly true and he's not all that stupid to begin with.
* {{Flashback}}: Several, as Griboyedov reminisces about some of his old friends and the places he has been in (his first time in Tiflis; his meeting with some of the Decembrist leaders including Burtsev in Odessa; a disastrous duel he has maliciously arranged between some of his acquintances). There is a historical flashback to the destruction of Tiflis by Aga Khan.
* TheFettered: Burtsev. "Moderation was his religion."
* ForegoneConclusion: Not only is the title a dead giveaway as soon as you learn what a "vazir-mukhtar" is, but also if you've ever heard about Griboyedov (and everyone in Russia has, as he is in the curriculum), then chances are you've also heard of how he died.
* ForScience: The apparent motivation of Professor Adelung, the science in question being Oriental studies.
* FramingDevice: "The Story of Samson Yakovlich".
* FriendlyEnemy: The entire British Mission is like this, hardly even antagonistic until the denouement.
* FriendshipMoment: Subverted cruelly; in the last part of the Moscow chapter, Griboyedov visits Begichev, who is probably the most loyal and understanding of all his friends. They have a nice, meaningful conversation that seems like it might be heading towards this, but by the end of it Griboyedov sort of becomes, or turns out to be, more cold and distant than before. Begichev begins to feel somehow uneasy, while Griboyedov drifts off and muses serenely on how he has pushed "all the good people" away and is incapable of reconciling with Moscow just yet.
* FunnyForeigner: Doctor [=McNeal=] seems to fit this pretty well while in Russia. Mushadi, who taught Griboyedov Farsi, is deliberately being a Funny Persian in Tiflis. Rodofinikin occasionally tries to be an affable Funny Greek; it's pretty transparent and not very successful, though.
* GambitPileup: Most every character in the book has some sort of plan, sometimes several, and a lot of those plans all collide during Griboyedov's visit to Persia. Griboyedov pretty much puts the nail in his coffin while trying to deal with the resultant diplomatic chaos - and causing a convergence of several major players against him in the process.
* GeneralFailure: What Paskevich is portrayed as.
* GildedCage: Three captive Persian khans are temporarily held in a fortress inside Tiflis, but have access to most every luxury they had at home other than their wives.
* GloryDays: Lots of characters, even those who are doing outwardly well, tend to look back towards "the Twenties" (i.e. the years before the 1825 uprising) as this - it is an all-permeating theme. Some obvious examples include General Yermolov and many of the Decembrists. While Griboyedov's own political and social career has been doing well, his artistic career and personal life have arguably been better and happier earlier (the latter probably only applies before his marriage, though), causing lots of nostalgic reminiscing.
* GoodMorningCrono: The book begins with Griboyedov waking up at the house of his birth in Moscow, having just returned there two days earlier.
* GoodIsOldFashioned: Sort of: see SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids. The Decembrists and "the people of [eighteen] twenties" in general are certainly both objectively old fashioned and, at least in the common historical reading, "good"; whether this is correlation or causation is a different question.
* GossipyHens: Many, many examples - what would you expect from a book with so many 19th century high society characters? Faddey Bulgarin probably takes the cake though; he's practically an early 19th century Russian Paparazzo, and he evidently can't help but comically spout out semi-fabricated rumours about various literary world greats to his friends.
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Lots of foreign languages are used (mostly French, but also English, Farsi, Arabic...), but not gratuitously in any way. There is the internal example of Sasha [[FeigningIntelligence occasionally using Farsi words to seem smarter]], though.
* GreyAndGreyMorality: All named characters have flaws, but none are unsympathetic monsters and all have at least some redeeming or empathetic traits.
* HeelFaceTurn: Both Hodja Mirza Yakub and ensign Skryplev attempt to defect (sort of; the book goes into detail on the nuances of both cases, the former was from a territory now recognised as Russian and so had the right to leave for Russia per the Treaty of Turkmenchay, the latter was just a nearly accidental defector who decided to defect right back) to Russia. Hodja managed to get into the embassy and died when it was attacked by an angry mob, the latter implicitly didn't even make it that far.
* HeroHarassesHelpers: Griboyedov is prone to harassing the overly enthusiastic and annoying martinet Maltsov; his other helpers, not so much, but he doesn't seem to think too highly of them either, and occasionally abuses his manservant, even though ultimately he considers him his closest friend.
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: Averted and possibly even inverted: all the contemporary characters, including those who are traditionally idolised in Russia, are shown warts and all and their hypocrisy, together with other flaws, is highlighted, [[AccentuateTheNegative possibly too much so]]. [[ValuesDissonance Views on various matters are also left unupdated]].
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Possibly Doctor [=McNeal=]. Maltsov gets more of a Historical Jerkass Upgrade; it has been noted by many critics that Tynyanov clearly exaggerated his rottenness, likely because of his historically rather inglorious survival of the attack on the embassy.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Burtsev and several other Decembrist officers are shown to be this to Paskevich, each of them within his own sphere.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Griboyedov's background is close to this, though he himself is rather more successful.
* InWithTheInCrowd: Griboyedov in with the Russian political, social and military elite, even more so than he was before the success of his diplomatic career. But LonelyAtTheTop because he can't stand most of them, while driving away many of his old friends simply by being successful.
* JadeColoredGlasses: Actually, Griboyedov was always pretty jaded, but he himself seems to think that he got even worse after [[MyGreatestFailure some of the things that happened]] during his previous, otherwise successful diplomatic mission.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Bulgarin would be this if he wasn't always so friendly despite also being a scumbag. Griboyedov is either this trope player straight or an inversion - while contemptuous, he likes to help people, but largely because [[GoodFeelsGood it feels good]] to know that you have the power to make or unmake them; in other words, it usually is just a way of reinforcing his own sense of superiority.
* TheJester: Fazil Khan the Qajar court poet is this in the broader sense of the trope. Subverted with fatal consequences when Griboyedov mistakes a dervish for this as well and idly wonders what a dervish is doing at the court during an important reception without getting a closer look; the dervish turns out to be Abdul-Vehab, an influential, high-ranking clergyman who [[spoiler: casts the deciding vote for putting Griboyedov on trial for violation of the Sharia, launching the sequence of events that directly leads to the destruction of the embassy and the death of Griboyedov]].
* JumpedAtTheCall: Griboyedov, at the end of the St. Petersburg portion of the book, decides to jump at the call of becoming the Minister Plenipotentiary in Persia, even though the position was offered to him partly as a snub, just to spite his superiors and to get away from St. Petersburg society.
* KnightOfCerebus: Doctor [=McNeal=] really doesn't seem like it at first, but his arrival in St. Petersburg ends up greatly changing the overall tone and course of the story, as he: a) reminds Griboyedov about Persia, b) delivers an angry letter from another candidate for this trope, Samson Khan and c) semi-inadvertantly drives an officer Griboyedov was [[PetTheDog trying to help out]] to suicide, increasing Griboyedov's despair and contributing to his decision to leave for Persia.
* LargeHam: Professor Senkovsky and Samson Khan (the latter even more so in his letter than in everyday life - and he ''is'' a LargeHam in everday life).
* LifeImitatesArt: To an extent; Griboyedov's famous play begins with the main character returning to Moscow, only to realise that he is a StrangerInAFamiliarLand. The beginning of the novel is similar enough in the broad outline, but very different in all the details. Many other themes from ''Woe From Wit'' turn out to be quite significant in the novel and are openly discussed.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: A variation - there are lots and lots of entirely incidental one-shot characters who nevertheless are described with some psychological detail and receive some memorable lines and/or internal narration, and sometimes a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* LonelyFuneral: Griboyedov's funeral isn't actually shown in the book (the procession carrying his remains back to Russia is, and it certainly fits), but you just know it's going to be this, as even his closest friends are pretty quick to abandon him in spirit if not in word, and most people are only concerned with his death as an unpleasant diplomatic incident.
* LovableCoward: One of Bulgarin's many endearing vices.
* MacGuffin: Griboyedov's number one mission in Persia is to extract the kururs, i.e. the war reparations so as to finance the war effort against Turkey. Subverted in that it is only marginally significant to the actual plot, and the only one who really cares about them is Paskevich; Griboyedov's other superiors eventually decide that it would be better to forgive some part of the kururs, though by this point Griboyedov is disinclined to listen anyway.
* MaliciousSlander: Plenty of it all around. Bulgarin likes to spread this in his literary journal, and the aforementioned numerous GossipyHens like it too; one early bit of MaliciousSlander (reffered to in the page quote) was about how Griboyedov is supposedly helping Paskevich feign intelligence. It's a cause of some annoyance, but ultimately isn't such a major plot point.
** [[spoiler: Maltsov's MaliciousSlander against Griboyedov is nevertheless notable for putting a capital M into Malicious, as you realise that he is blaming Griboyedov, ''who is dead'', for ''everything'' that went wrong, whether it was in any way his fault or not, all to save himself.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: Griboyedov and Princess Nina Chavchavadze. This is not so bad by the time of the book, as he is 34 and she is 16, but he was clearly in love with her from quite a time earlier, an some of his daydreaming about "the little Georgian girl" earlier in the book can be disconcerting, though at least [[TheJailBaitWait he is willing to wait]].
* MeddlingParents: Griboyedov's mother, who goes out of her way to ensure a successful diplomatic career for her son whether he likes it or not.
* MinoredInAssKicking: Griboyedov, as it turns out. Also, Adelung.
* ModestRoyalty: Nicholas I prefers military uniforms, as per history and in apparent contrast to Persian royalty.
* MoralityPet: Nina is definitely this for Griboyedov. Subverted with [[ButtMonkey ensign Vishnyakov]] earlier in the book: Griboyedov tries to help him, but [[spoiler: in the end Vishnyakov is still demoted to a private for all his worries, gets drunk, blames Griboyedov for everything and commits suicide. It has a sobering effect.]]
* TheMourningAfter: Nina's eventual fate after Griboyedov's death.
* TheNeidermeyer: Rozyov-Ptitsa (Rozyov the Bird) in "The Story of Samson Yakovlich". Prone to hogging all the good horses for himself in a dragoon unit. Eventually drives Samson into deserting the army and later defecting to Persia.
* {{Nepotism}}: The fact that Griboyedov is Paskevich's in-law is a very big deal for a lot of people, including his superiors, Nesselrode and Tsar Nicholas I (the latter having once served under Paskevich while Crown Prince). While Griboyedov is certainly talented and, at any rate, very knowledgeable, he would not have become the Vazir-Mukhtar if not for this connection.
* NerdGlasses: Technically, a 19th century version of this is what Griboyedov has, but they still somehow manage to seem both cool and, in Persia, intimidating (despite never once being [[ScaryShinyGlasses mentioned as shiny]]). Towards the end he is often refered to as "the kafir with glasses".
* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: Inverted: Griboyedov has never accepted his hometown, Moscow, and its high society. He does think about reconciling with it after ''Woe from Wit'' (which was basically an expression of his frustrations with this city; a big, long TheReasonYouSuckSpeech aimed at the whole of local aristocracy), but decides that he isn't ready yet. And he never will be.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Subverted cruelly in that not only is Griboyedov certainly dead, but also they literally didn't find most of his body - the mob did a real number on it and they had to go with some substitutes plus what little they could ascertain as Vazir-Mukhtar bits.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: A very odd case - most character names are given as they were, but a few names are slightly or not-so-slightly changed for some reason that is not immediately apparent. It's barely noticeable, though, as those particular characters were hardly what you might call celebrities at all.
* NoHeroToHisValet: Griboyedov and his manservant - and closest friend since childhood, though it might not seem that way at first - Sasha.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Granted, he hardly ever pretended to be; his overall persona just seemed like it was above a lot of things. But anyway, Griboyedov is perfectly willing to engage in some admittedly childish pranks on several occasions, despite bemoaning the folly of humanity.
* NotSoDifferent: On a national level - Russia and Persia are repeatedly shown to be very, very similar in many regards - Griboyedov is particularly prone to noticing this soon after going from one to another. The Persians also tend to insist on this, even when it is apparently inaccurate (see Succession Crisis). Arguably, likewise with the British and the Russians in the incipient Great Game; as the British ambassador to Persia and his staff often point out, they're [[MightyWhitey all Europeans among savages]].
* NotSoStoic: Griboyedov generally can keep up a stoic facade, but still has a few outbursts here and there, in particular to his friends such as Bulgarin:
-->"Could I write? I mean, I have a lot of things to write. So why am I mute, mute as the grave?"
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Many characters seem somewhat silly or downright dumb at first glance, while actually rather clever. Griboyedov usually can see through them, though.
** One notable example would be FunnyForeigner Doctor [=McNeal=], who is possibly even more of a ManipulativeBastard than Griboyedov thought, [[spoiler: and who ultimately orchestrated his death]].
** Another notable example would be Griboyedov's manservant Sasha, who generally seems like TheFool, but who also has some more somber and/or intelligent moments. He certainly is competent at what he does, but also seems to understand more about high society and art than Griboyedov tends to give him credit for (although he has his doubts towards the end). [[spoiler: [[TooDumbToLive It's not enough to keep from getting into very stupid trouble towards the end, though.]] ]]
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: A lot of people, arguably including Griboyedov himself; the ultimate example, however, is Nesselrode, whose entire ambition consists of maintaining an unsatisfactory status quo in all affairs of state to further his own career and whose entire plot function is to obstruct people with bureaucratic excuses.
* OddFriendship: A cynical, contemptuous stoic, Griboyedov finds it way easier to be friends with the endearingly flawed, somewhat hyper and silly gutter journalist/trash writer Bulgarin than with his fellow ostensibly brilliant and lofty Romantic poets, and not just because of their hypocrisy. Griboyedov generally seems to find obviously flawed people so much easier to like and to get along with.
* OldMaster: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Krylov Ivan Krylov]] is basically this to the literary world.
* OneBookAuthor: Griboyedov himself, with his famous play "Woe from Wit". Surpassing this status is one of his plans, but it doesn't work out.
* OneSceneWonder: As mentioned, there are plenty of interesting, well-written characters like Senkovsky or Yermolov who only appear once or twice in the book (though Yermolov has a slightly bigger role in another one of Tynyanov's historical novels).
* OneSteveLimit: Subverted with both first names and patronymics. Griboyedov is called Aleksandr Sergeyevich, Pushkin is also Aleksandry Sergeyevich, and Griboyedov's manservant Sasha's full name is Aleksandr Sergeyevich.
* ParentalIncest: Fat'h Ali Shah's favourite wife is also his daughter. Their two children are both his sons and his grandsons and horribly inbred as you can imagine, which is a plot point as it gives the British an additional advantage in Persian harem politics thanks to their diplomatic use of medicine.
* ThePhilosopher: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Chaadayev Chaadayev]]. Griboyedov gently mocks him and goes on with his life.
** Professor Adelung also has such tendencies.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: Averted: Griboyedov as an ambassador does a lot of boring ambassador-ish things, attending official functions and overseeing the implementation of various clauses of his treaty with due observance of all technicalities.
* PlagueOfGoodFortune: Not as such, but see VictoriousLoser below; up until then, Griboyedov was feeling downright miserable with [[InWithTheInCrowd all the successes]] he's been having.
* PluckyComicRelief: Faddey Bulgarin.
* PointyHairedBoss: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nesselrode Nesselrode]] is a textbook example. Possibly Emperor Nicholas I as well.
* PoliceBrutality: Griboyedov interferes to stop some of this in St. Petersburg.
* PowderKegCrowd: Persia has been teeming with those for months now, owing to bad and degrading living conditions and in particular the most recent disastrous war with Russia. So it's no surprise when one of those crowds in Tehran goes and explodes in Griboyedov's face.
* TheProfessor: Professor Adelung, obviously.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Colonel Macdonald, the British Ambassador in Persia (despite being Scottish and apparently not from a very wealthy background).
* RenegadeRussian: Samson Khan and his followers have been doing this some 150 years before it was cool.
* TheResenter: Griboyedov is slightly like this towards Pushkin, since the latter seems to have [[HardWorkHardlyWorks a much easier time with his poetry]]. Maltsov eventually becomes this to Griboyedov having started out as a fanboy, then getting harrased as well as being shocked by Griboyedov's reckless style of diplomacy.
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: Averted. [[spoiler: Maltsov thought the Persians were going to do this to him for a while, but later calmed down.]]
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Averted and practically defied by Fat'h Ali Shah, but done with gusto by Shahzade (Crown Prince) Abbas Mirza.
* SadistTeacher: Professor Senkovsky at the examination in the School of Oriental Languages. To be fair, all he does is ask (read: relentlessly bombard students with) mostly reasonable questions about Arabian and Persian poetry, but the manner in which he does it and the way he practically chews students out over every little mistake or imperfection in their translations qualifies him for this. Griboyedov is forced to intercede to the relief of the students and all the other professors.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Maltsov in the end, though he only actually quits after everyone else in the mission is dead, so it might not count.
* ShelteredAristocrat: Despite being knowledgeable, cynical and competent, Griboyedov still matches this trope by being highly reliant on his servant with regards to everyday matters.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: The whole story, when you consider it - Griboyedov spends all this running around, trying and failing to do all kinds of things, and then he is killed by a mob.
* SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids: What Griboyedov ends up saying to the "liberalist" Burtsev, verging on a HannibalLecture about how [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified the Decembrists]] would've created a dictatorship and found a way to maintain serfdom in deed if not in name had they succeeded. Generally the position of "the sons" or "the new people" towards "the fathers" or "the old people" (i.e. mostly the people who were associated with or sympathetic towards the secret societies behind the Decembrist uprising; needless to say, the divide is not strictly speaking generational, and a major theme throughout the book is that Griboyedov actually belongs to both groups at once) as described in the very beginning of the book.
* SoHappyTogether: Halfway in, Griboyedov marries his beloved Nina Chavchavadze. They really are very happy together, which only makes the ForegoneConclusion of Griboyedov's impending death so much more tragic.
* StandardRoyalCourt: The militaristic, disciplinned, obsessively orderly and yet also somehow pompous Russian court of Nicholas I and the several interconnected luxurious horribly complicated courts of the Shah and the various Crown Princes in Persia (complete with harems, eunuchs, religious authorities, foreign specialists and all kinds of different vested interests).
* StealthInsult: Upon encountering the Persian court poet, Griboyedov flatteringly compares his poetry to "the verses of our famous poet, the excellent Count Khvostov". Khvostov was (and still is, to a fair amount of educated people in Russia) a legendarily bad Russian poet.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: The basic premise of the first half of the book is that Griboyedov is revisiting Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tiflis, and finding out how all of them - and all of the people who lived there - had changed since he was last there.
* TheStrategist: Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov, the previous commander of Russian forces in the Caucasus, has been reduced to this; all he does now is sit around brooding in his Moscow house, provide angry political commentary to his fans among the local officers and come up with intricate military plans for both sides in the Russo-Persian War (and presumably other wars as well). In a subversion, hardly anyone outside of his fan club really seems to care about him much, and certainly no one plans to put in charge of anything any time soon.
* StrawmanPolitical: Averted with Burtsev, a "liberalist"; it is explained that contrary to common stereotypes and later caricatures, liberals can be pretty brave and decisive too (and Burtsev's arguments against Griboyedov's plans are certainly quite reasonable and understandable).
* SweetTooth: Nesselrode.
* SuccessionCrisis: The Persians don't seem to see much more to the Decembrist uprisin than just this. The ever-impeding SuccessionCrisis in Persia itself is something of a RedHerring - everyone talks a lot about how all hell will break loose when Fat'h Ali Shah dies, but he doesn't.
* SympathyForTheDevil: Griboyedov eventually begins to think this way about his respective Persian and British partners in negotiations, Abbas Mirza and Colonel Macdonald. He certainly thinks more highly of them than of his superiors, and considers them perfectly normal, intelligent and decent people caught up in much the same problems as himself.
* TorchesAndPitchforks: But ofcourse; and for a bonus, it's incited by the Shi'a religious authorities, due to the terms of Griboyedov's Treaty of Turkmenchay clashing with a specific point in the Sharia. Note that as the angry mob that attacks the embassy consists largely of urban craftsmen, they come armed with their tools of labour - hammers for blacksmiths and so on. Since some Persian soldiers join the mob as well, it also has some swords and rifles on its side.
* ToughActToFollow: ''Woe from Wit'' is [[{{In-universe}} shown as this]] for Griboyedov; he literally ''can't'' follow it with anything, although he tries.
* TurnCoat: The trope is discussed in some detail in a literary digression. Samson Khan and his followers are this; so is ensign Skryplov when [[spoiler: he tries to defect from them back to Russia]].
* UglyGuyHotWife: Faddey Bulgarin and Lena.
* TheUnfettered: Griboyedov himself has shades of this, especially with regards to politics and diplomacy.
* UnwantedRescue: Happens when an elderly German asks for Griboyedov's help in retrieving his daughter from a Persian harem (apparently she was abducted and sold into slavery a while back). [[HappinessInSlavery She utterly refuses to recognise him, at least at first, and is adamantly against returning to her previous poor life and chores after experiencing the luxuries of a harem]]. Griboyedov ends up persuading the German to forget him. It is implied that similar scenes happen very, very often, though ultimately it is subverted with Dil-Firuz, who decides to go back to her Shamkori father (who is probably much poorer than the German above, while she is the favourite concubine of one of Persia's highest-ranking courtiers as opposed to a mere sayeed).
* VictoriousLoser: Strange variation - after his plans to persuade his superiors to support his project for a "Caucasian Agrarian, Manufactory and Trade Company" ''finally'' hit a major snag, Griboyedov feels incredibly relieved and liberated, muses on how "those who have not experienced failure do not know what it means to breathe freely and deeply" and takes a nice walk around St. Petersburg, looking at people, having a nice private dinner instead of a boring one with some generals that he would've gone to otherwise and visiting his friends.
* WarIsHell: Well it certainly isn't much good when you get the plague, anyway. Or when you got sent to the frontlines as a form of punishment for political crimes and are treated by your superiors accordingly.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: ''Internal'' example: Griboyedov arrives in Tehran on the beginning of the Islamic month Muharram, the first ten days of which are associated in Shi'a Islam with mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husayn ibn Ali. The man responsible for Ali's death, Umar ibn Sa'ad, infamously rode into Karbala on a black horse. Then: [[ChekhovsGun "Vazir-Mukhtar entered the city on a black horse."]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Griboyedov gets that a lot, with varying subtlety and directness, usually because he is seen as [[YesMan going to great ends to help out and ingratiate himself with the Russian government and various military and political leaders]]. The one that really gets him, however, is the one his confrontation with Burtsev, who reads through his plan for a Russian East India-style company in the Caucasus, congratulates him for his vision and then flat out tells him that he would oppose this plan with all his power because it would inevitably result in Russian peasants being used as slave labour ("like negroes, like convicts") all for the sake of {{Greed}}. Griboyedov fires back with a devastating HannibalLecture, but nevertheless "the Project" that he has been almost consistently obsessing over until now suddenly doesn't look as good or as interesting to him anymore.
* WickedCultured: Abbas Mirza, being an Oriental Crown Prince with great interest in Western culture.
* YesMan: Maltsov, until he breaks down.
* YouAreTheTranslatedForeignWord: Vazir-Mukhtar, Minister Plenipotentiary.

to:

-->"[[RussianNamingConvention Aleksey Petrovich]], [[EstablishingCharacterMoment inasmuch as I do not respect people and am indignant at their deceit and vanity]], [[ByronicHero what the devil do I care for their opinion?]] But nevertheless, if you tell me who [[MaliciousSlander said that]], [[NotSoAboveItAll I, despite having no respect for foolishness,]] [[DuelToTheDeath will fight him]]. As for you - [[MentorArchetype you are untouchable for me, and not just because of your old age.]]"

''The Death of the Vazir-Mukhtar'' ("Смерть Вазир-Мухтара", "Smert' Vazir-Mukhtara") is a [[HistoricalFiction historical novel]] by early Soviet literary historian and critic Yury Tynyanov, set in early 19th century Russia and Persia and centered on the last year in the life of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griboedov Aleksandr Sergeyevich Griboyedov]], a famous Russian [[HeAlsoDid playwright, poet, Oriental scholar, polyglot and diplomat]]. It opens with his return to Moscow after a successful diplomatic mission in Persia; from there, he goes to St. Petersburg to report to his superiors, and, after a short while, sets out on a new mission to Persia in the capacity of Minister (Ambassador) Plenipotentiary, or, as the Persians call him, [[TitleDrop "Vazir-Mukhtar"]]. Along the way he visits Tiflis ([[IstanbulNotConstantinople Tbilisi]]), another important location in his past, then goes on to Tebriz, and finally, Tehran. [[ItWasHisSled And then he dies.]] [[BookEnds The book ends with a Persian embassy to Russia, sent with the purpose of making up after the circumstances of Griboyedov's death, that goes through many of the same places and encounters many of the same people as Griboyedov did in the beginning.]] Note that all this traveling, while thematically very important, is ofcourse the skeleton of the novel's plot; the meat is Griboyedov's encounters with [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a colourful cast of characters inhabiting all those locations]], as well as trying to fulfill some of his many ambitions, be they career, political, matrimonial or literary, all while dealing with various personal issues and setbacks.

Major historical issues include the Golden Age of Russian literature, the aftershock of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decembrist the 1825 Decembrist uprising]] (which involved many of Griboyedov's old friends), the incipience of the Anglo-Russian Great Game and the godwaful state of Persia under the middle Qajars.

This book is notable for a lot of things - a fairly quirky writing style ([[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible slipping into the nigh-incomprehensible on a few occasions]]), plenty of various lyrical, psychological and historical digressions, the realisation of Tynyanov's modernist theories of literature, detailed and sometimes striking psychological insights into many - often entirely incidental - characters, as well as simply being an extraordinarily well-researched piece of HistoricalFiction. Its critical reception has been variable - Solzhenitsyn in particular found a lot of things he disagreed with in its style and its specific arguments - but despite being relatively obscure and overshadowed by other early 20th century works, it is still a part of the Russian [[SchoolStudyMedia high school curriculum]]. It is not entirely unknown in the West, either, at least not to Tynyanov's fellow literary critics. It was translated in 1938 as ''Death and Diplomacy in Persia''.

----
!!Provides Examples Of:

* ADayInTheLimeLight: While the main body of the text follows Griboyedov, many other characters get some portions dedicated to their own POV, sometimes in an unique frame (Professor Adelung has a diary, for instance; [[SadClown General Sipyagin]] gets a drunken monologue that alternates between TearJerker and CrowningMomentOfFunny). Pretty much all of them are noteworthy in some way.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: The Russian embassy in the penultimate chapter.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Chaadayev and some of the other "people of the [eighteen] twenties" tend to have viewpoints; Griboyedov tends to notice that this might be because ''their'' careers are ruined already.
* AngstWhatAngst: Griboyedov apparently [[InvokedTroper deliberately]] went into this mode having stopped for some rest and a brief love affair in the middle of nowhere (or, more specifically, somewhere between St. Petersburg and Tiflis). It's lampshaded and justified in the book itself:
-->"It is easy to imagine that a man is in love with a girl from the Caucasus, that he has plans, that they must be carried out and that he is unhappy. All of that is so, but that's not the point. He can't always be unhappy and he can't always be in love. During a friend's funeral one is healthy and the sun is shining, and suddenly one would notice with horror that he is happy... It's a strange matter: he was happy."
* ApronMatron: Griboyedov's mother.
* ArabianNightsDays: Persia is thought of by some to be more like this, but it's actually shown realistically, or, if we speak in tropes, as 1/8th this (mostly for the cream of the aristocracy, and even then not entirely) and 7/8ths TheDungAges, not just because of serious health and hygiene problems, but also because the overwhelming majority of the population is poor, miserable and [[PowderKegCrowd very unhappy about it]].
* ArrangedMarriage: As the opening narration explains, idealistic concepts of love among Romantic poets did not get in the way of this at all. Griboyedov's marriage with Nina counts, but then again, they were already in love for years now and her parents knew as much, though some of the GossipyHens might deny this. Skryplov and Zaynab was a variation on this, as the marriage was "arranged" between Skryplov himself and Zaynab's father.
* ArtistDisillusionment: Griboyedov has such tendencies, at any rate. He isn't very happy being a role model for people like Maltsov, either.
* AscendedFanboy: Arguably, Maltsov. While not in any obvious way a big fan of adventure literature or what have you, he did take Griboyedov, as an apparent political rising star and successful diplomat, for something of a role model, and so was very enthused about accompanying him on his new appointment in Persia. Gradually he turned into TheResenter for [[WartsAndAll all the classical reasons]].
* AssInAmbassador: Griboyedov can act like that sometimes, though entirely on purpose and with a calculated risk in mind; this nevertheless exposes him to one-sided criticism that focuses on those sides of his activity. He has been known to be the opposite of that as well on other occasions, thanks to his intricate knowledge and understanding of Persia and Persian culture.
* BenevolentBoss: Rodofinikin and Nicholas I both try to seem like this to Griboyedov; he doesn't buy it.
* BigEater: Faddey Bulgarin.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Subverted with Praskovya Nikolaevna Akhverdova's "wooden house in the garden" (wherein "happiness was kept") in Tiflis, which seemed like a natural set-up for this, except that even with all the financial and career difficulties and occasional disagreements and personal tragedies, Akhverdova's personal charisma somehow keeps all the many relatives, in-laws and family friends she has collected under her roof (on a permanent or temporary basis) a big happy family (despite often not even being related in any real way). The description of the wooden house and its residents (and of Griboyedov's return there on the way to Persia) is a downright Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
* BilingualBackfire: Surprisingly averted when two Tatars mock Griboyedov behind his back in the Tiflis bathhouse. Griboyedov doesn't understand what they're saying, but thinks that they are being very respectful. Griboyedov knows many languages, but apparently Tatar isn't one of them.
* BilingualBonus: Lots of foreign languages are used, most of them are translated in the footnotes, but some aren't (particularly Armenian).
* BrokenPedestal: Griboyedov himself is this to... a whole lot of people, mainly participants of the Decembrist uprising. This is understandable: given his Lyceum background and the fact that his literary masterpiece is a satire denouncing reactionary aristocratic elements in Moscow, he certainly seemed to have let down a lot of people when, after the failure of the Decembrist uprising, he a) disavowed all ties with it, b) proceeded to have a highly successful political and diplomatic career and c) became very close to the political elite of Nicholasian Russia, which is pretty damn similar to all that he has condemned in ''Woe from Wit''. So naturally it looked like a FaceHeelTurn to all those people, who, in keeping with this trope, began to compare Griboyedov with Molchalin, a [[ProfessionalButtKisser highly negative]] character in his play (Griboyedov himself is not adverse to such a comparison in moments of self-deprecation). Nevertheless, during one such conversation a [[OldSoldier wise minor character]] reasonably points out to others who have just finished explaining just how broken Griboyedov's pedestal is that this is rather hypocritical of ''them'' - after all, they are basically judging Griboyedov for his fancy uniform while refusing to judge Chatsky (the protagonist of ''Woe from Wit'') for his ballroom dress. Who knows what he's really thinking about all this?
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Professor Senkovsky, with his insistence on bringing his huge dog to an examination and other MadScientist/MadArtist antics.
* BuyThemOff: As per history, after pretty much letting an angry mob kill Griboyedov, the Persian government patches things up with the Tsar by sending an embassy with gifts, including a huge and really impressive diamond. It works.
* ByronicHero: Griboyedov is this or pretty close anyway; he is even compared to Byron by an Englishman at some point, though this is quickly dismissed, as he is a bit more subtle than that.
* CoolOldGuy: That's how Griboyedov remembers his late uncle. Sipyagin and [[LargeHam Samson Khan]] might qualify as well.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: Griboyedov's ''death'' is actually pretty tame - he just gets slashed a few times with sabres and that's (evidently) it. What the mob does to his body immediately after is this, though: they literally tear his body into pieces and parade him across Tehran. "Vazir-Mukhtar continued to exist", sure.
* CunningLinguist: Griboyedov was an incredible polyglot even by the high standards of early 19th century Russian aristocracy, knowing 16 languages in all, including many Oriental languages, which predictably is rather handy when working as a diplomat in Persia.
* DancesAndBalls: Again, much as one would expect from a novel dealing with 19th century high society, both in St. Petersburg and in Tiflis.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt
* DefiantToTheEnd: [[spoiler: Hodja Mirza Yakub]].
* DelusionsOfEloquence: Bulgarin gravitates towards this.
* DirtyCoward: What [[spoiler: Maltsov]] turns out to be. He admits it readily to himself when it is revealed, at least.
* DissonantSerenity: Griboyedov is very prone to this; he generally seems to be much more calm and even cheerful when things are going straight to hell.
* DuringTheWar: The Russo-Turkish War 1828-9, though the previous Russo-Persian War 1826-8 is actually more important to the plot.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[LastStand The angry mob attack on the embassy]] is this for at least three characters, besides the garrison:
** [[strike:Hodja Mirza]] Yakub ''Markaryan'' pulling an ethnic version of DyingAsYourself by encouraging to mob to tear him into pieces [[BilingualBonus in Armenian]], after realising that his plan to return to the land of his birth fell through for good. His ThisIsGonnaSuck reaction to the whole angry mob thing counts too.
** Professor Adelung, an elderly German doctor, wildly lashing out at the mob with his sword to hold it at the door. He loses a hand, quickly and calmly patches up his arm and then jumps ''out of the window to attack the mob again''. Griboyedov is impressed to say the least: "Jolly good. Jolly good! What a man!"
** And, ofcourse, Griboyedov himself. First there is the fact that he basically knowingly put himself in harm's way in order to ensure the enforcement of a treaty that has his name on it. Then there is [[CasualDangerDialogue the way]] [[DissonantSerenity he reacts]] to the huge mob at the embassy's door crying for his head. And then there is him assuming direct command over the garrison, competently directing its fighting retreat inside the embassy despite having no real military experience to speak of. Oh, and when it turns out that the rioters [[spoiler: killed his manservant, who was probably his closest friend since childhood]], his DissonantSerenity briefly switches to TranquilFury, he grabs a rifle from a Cossack's dead fingers and [[ColdSniper calmly and precisely]] guns down several of the rioters, briefly forcing the rest to fall back or at least hide from him, which incidentally helps win time for the aforementioned fighting retreat.
* ErmineCapeEffect: An Oriental version of this for Persian royalty, full stop.
* {{Epigraph}}: One for each chapter but the last, taken from songs or poems in different languages (Russian, French, Farsi, Arabic...).
* EunuchsAreEvil: Discussed in a historical digression and utterly deconstructed. Of the three high-ranking eunuchs that actually appear in the book, none are major villains, all of them are at least in some part victims (well, duh) and at least two of them are strongly sympathetic ([[TearJerker "But completely incomprehensible is the love of an eunuch."]] Also, the bits about their "hobbies".). One of them ends up doing a HeelFaceTurn in hopes of seeing his native Armenia one last time. [[spoiler: Yeah, that doesn't work out. But the fact that he proceeds to die bravely is arguably an even bigger subversion of this trope.]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Khan_Qajar Agha Mohammed Khan Qajar]], on the other hand, is very much a monster (though the eunuch factor is still the one thing that makes seem at least somewhat pitiful rather than purely reprehensible), but certainly no SissyVillain, being a qualified city-razing family-slaughtering EvilOverlord.
* EvilBrit: When you think of it, Doctor [=McNeal=] actually fits this pretty well (at least the stereotypically British part; as far as evil goes he is a PunchClockVillain at most), only with 19th century Russian rather than 20th century American British stereotypes. Which is to say he is ridiculously melancholic, somewhat wimpy, polite and prone to quoting Shakespeare.
* EvilPlan: A fairly weak one on Alajar Khan's part towards the end - he [[spoiler: wants to assassinate Hodja Mirza Yakub, thus violating the peace treaty outright, getting the Qajars into another war with Russia and so hopefully driving the country to a breaking point and paving the way for his coup d'etat]]. [[RealityEnsues He is easily overruled by other Persian courtiers who can do the math just as well as he.]]
* TheEvilPrince: Abbas-Mirza, "the Persian Napoleon" and heir to the throne, arguably qualifies, though note how he is in no hurry to seize de jure power as he already seems to be de facto in charge.
* FakeUltimateHero: Griboyedov, at least as far as rescuing the Russian theatre is concerned. Everybody notes that he has a lot of promise in all the areas he applies himself to, but ultimately he can't seem to be able to accomplish much. Pushkin said it best in the end and in real life: "Perhaps a Descartes who never wrote anything? Or a Napoleon without any soldiers?"
* FanConvention: An early 19th century Russian literary version - Faddey Bulgarin's dinner.
* FatIdiot: Faddey Bulgarin, though [[ObfuscatingStupidity he's not as stupid as he might seem at first]].
* FeigningIntelligence: General Ivan Paskevich is accused of this, though it's only partly true and he's not all that stupid to begin with.
* {{Flashback}}: Several, as Griboyedov reminisces about some of his old friends and the places he has been in (his first time in Tiflis; his meeting with some of the Decembrist leaders including Burtsev in Odessa; a disastrous duel he has maliciously arranged between some of his acquintances). There is a historical flashback to the destruction of Tiflis by Aga Khan.
* TheFettered: Burtsev. "Moderation was his religion."
* ForegoneConclusion: Not only is the title a dead giveaway as soon as you learn what a "vazir-mukhtar" is, but also if you've ever heard about Griboyedov (and everyone in Russia has, as he is in the curriculum), then chances are you've also heard of how he died.
* ForScience: The apparent motivation of Professor Adelung, the science in question being Oriental studies.
* FramingDevice: "The Story of Samson Yakovlich".
* FriendlyEnemy: The entire British Mission is like this, hardly even antagonistic until the denouement.
* FriendshipMoment: Subverted cruelly; in the last part of the Moscow chapter, Griboyedov visits Begichev, who is probably the most loyal and understanding of all his friends. They have a nice, meaningful conversation that seems like it might be heading towards this, but by the end of it Griboyedov sort of becomes, or turns out to be, more cold and distant than before. Begichev begins to feel somehow uneasy, while Griboyedov drifts off and muses serenely on how he has pushed "all the good people" away and is incapable of reconciling with Moscow just yet.
* FunnyForeigner: Doctor [=McNeal=] seems to fit this pretty well while in Russia. Mushadi, who taught Griboyedov Farsi, is deliberately being a Funny Persian in Tiflis. Rodofinikin occasionally tries to be an affable Funny Greek; it's pretty transparent and not very successful, though.
* GambitPileup: Most every character in the book has some sort of plan, sometimes several, and a lot of those plans all collide during Griboyedov's visit to Persia. Griboyedov pretty much puts the nail in his coffin while trying to deal with the resultant diplomatic chaos - and causing a convergence of several major players against him in the process.
* GeneralFailure: What Paskevich is portrayed as.
* GildedCage: Three captive Persian khans are temporarily held in a fortress inside Tiflis, but have access to most every luxury they had at home other than their wives.
* GloryDays: Lots of characters, even those who are doing outwardly well, tend to look back towards "the Twenties" (i.e. the years before the 1825 uprising) as this - it is an all-permeating theme. Some obvious examples include General Yermolov and many of the Decembrists. While Griboyedov's own political and social career has been doing well, his artistic career and personal life have arguably been better and happier earlier (the latter probably only applies before his marriage, though), causing lots of nostalgic reminiscing.
* GoodMorningCrono: The book begins with Griboyedov waking up at the house of his birth in Moscow, having just returned there two days earlier.
* GoodIsOldFashioned: Sort of: see SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids. The Decembrists and "the people of [eighteen] twenties" in general are certainly both objectively old fashioned and, at least in the common historical reading, "good"; whether this is correlation or causation is a different question.
* GossipyHens: Many, many examples - what would you expect from a book with so many 19th century high society characters? Faddey Bulgarin probably takes the cake though; he's practically an early 19th century Russian Paparazzo, and he evidently can't help but comically spout out semi-fabricated rumours about various literary world greats to his friends.
* GratuitousForeignLanguage: Lots of foreign languages are used (mostly French, but also English, Farsi, Arabic...), but not gratuitously in any way. There is the internal example of Sasha [[FeigningIntelligence occasionally using Farsi words to seem smarter]], though.
* GreyAndGreyMorality: All named characters have flaws, but none are unsympathetic monsters and all have at least some redeeming or empathetic traits.
* HeelFaceTurn: Both Hodja Mirza Yakub and ensign Skryplev attempt to defect (sort of; the book goes into detail on the nuances of both cases, the former was from a territory now recognised as Russian and so had the right to leave for Russia per the Treaty of Turkmenchay, the latter was just a nearly accidental defector who decided to defect right back) to Russia. Hodja managed to get into the embassy and died when it was attacked by an angry mob, the latter implicitly didn't even make it that far.
* HeroHarassesHelpers: Griboyedov is prone to harassing the overly enthusiastic and annoying martinet Maltsov; his other helpers, not so much, but he doesn't seem to think too highly of them either, and occasionally abuses his manservant, even though ultimately he considers him his closest friend.
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: Averted and possibly even inverted: all the contemporary characters, including those who are traditionally idolised in Russia, are shown warts and all and their hypocrisy, together with other flaws, is highlighted, [[AccentuateTheNegative possibly too much so]]. [[ValuesDissonance Views on various matters are also left unupdated]].
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: Possibly Doctor [=McNeal=]. Maltsov gets more of a Historical Jerkass Upgrade; it has been noted by many critics that Tynyanov clearly exaggerated his rottenness, likely because of his historically rather inglorious survival of the attack on the embassy.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Burtsev and several other Decembrist officers are shown to be this to Paskevich, each of them within his own sphere.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: Griboyedov's background is close to this, though he himself is rather more successful.
* InWithTheInCrowd: Griboyedov in with the Russian political, social and military elite, even more so than he was before the success of his diplomatic career. But LonelyAtTheTop because he can't stand most of them, while driving away many of his old friends simply by being successful.
* JadeColoredGlasses: Actually, Griboyedov was always pretty jaded, but he himself seems to think that he got even worse after [[MyGreatestFailure some of the things that happened]] during his previous, otherwise successful diplomatic mission.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Bulgarin would be this if he wasn't always so friendly despite also being a scumbag. Griboyedov is either this trope player straight or an inversion - while contemptuous, he likes to help people, but largely because [[GoodFeelsGood it feels good]] to know that you have the power to make or unmake them; in other words, it usually is just a way of reinforcing his own sense of superiority.
* TheJester: Fazil Khan the Qajar court poet is this in the broader sense of the trope. Subverted with fatal consequences when Griboyedov mistakes a dervish for this as well and idly wonders what a dervish is doing at the court during an important reception without getting a closer look; the dervish turns out to be Abdul-Vehab, an influential, high-ranking clergyman who [[spoiler: casts the deciding vote for putting Griboyedov on trial for violation of the Sharia, launching the sequence of events that directly leads to the destruction of the embassy and the death of Griboyedov]].
* JumpedAtTheCall: Griboyedov, at the end of the St. Petersburg portion of the book, decides to jump at the call of becoming the Minister Plenipotentiary in Persia, even though the position was offered to him partly as a snub, just to spite his superiors and to get away from St. Petersburg society.
* KnightOfCerebus: Doctor [=McNeal=] really doesn't seem like it at first, but his arrival in St. Petersburg ends up greatly changing the overall tone and course of the story, as he: a) reminds Griboyedov about Persia, b) delivers an angry letter from another candidate for this trope, Samson Khan and c) semi-inadvertantly drives an officer Griboyedov was [[PetTheDog trying to help out]] to suicide, increasing Griboyedov's despair and contributing to his decision to leave for Persia.
* LargeHam: Professor Senkovsky and Samson Khan (the latter even more so in his letter than in everyday life - and he ''is'' a LargeHam in everday life).
* LifeImitatesArt: To an extent; Griboyedov's famous play begins with the main character returning to Moscow, only to realise that he is a StrangerInAFamiliarLand. The beginning of the novel is similar enough in the broad outline, but very different in all the details. Many other themes from ''Woe From Wit'' turn out to be quite significant in the novel and are openly discussed.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: A variation - there are lots and lots of entirely incidental one-shot characters who nevertheless are described with some psychological detail and receive some memorable lines and/or internal narration, and sometimes a CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
* LonelyFuneral: Griboyedov's funeral isn't actually shown in the book (the procession carrying his remains back to Russia is, and it certainly fits), but you just know it's going to be this, as even his closest friends are pretty quick to abandon him in spirit if not in word, and most people are only concerned with his death as an unpleasant diplomatic incident.
* LovableCoward: One of Bulgarin's many endearing vices.
* MacGuffin: Griboyedov's number one mission in Persia is to extract the kururs, i.e. the war reparations so as to finance the war effort against Turkey. Subverted in that it is only marginally significant to the actual plot, and the only one who really cares about them is Paskevich; Griboyedov's other superiors eventually decide that it would be better to forgive some part of the kururs, though by this point Griboyedov is disinclined to listen anyway.
* MaliciousSlander: Plenty of it all around. Bulgarin likes to spread this in his literary journal, and the aforementioned numerous GossipyHens like it too; one early bit of MaliciousSlander (reffered to in the page quote) was about how Griboyedov is supposedly helping Paskevich feign intelligence. It's a cause of some annoyance, but ultimately isn't such a major plot point.
** [[spoiler: Maltsov's MaliciousSlander against Griboyedov is nevertheless notable for putting a capital M into Malicious, as you realise that he is blaming Griboyedov, ''who is dead'', for ''everything'' that went wrong, whether it was in any way his fault or not, all to save himself.]]
* MayDecemberRomance: Griboyedov and Princess Nina Chavchavadze. This is not so bad by the time of the book, as he is 34 and she is 16, but he was clearly in love with her from quite a time earlier, an some of his daydreaming about "the little Georgian girl" earlier in the book can be disconcerting, though at least [[TheJailBaitWait he is willing to wait]].
* MeddlingParents: Griboyedov's mother, who goes out of her way to ensure a successful diplomatic career for her son whether he likes it or not.
* MinoredInAssKicking: Griboyedov, as it turns out. Also, Adelung.
* ModestRoyalty: Nicholas I prefers military uniforms, as per history and in apparent contrast to Persian royalty.
* MoralityPet: Nina is definitely this for Griboyedov. Subverted with [[ButtMonkey ensign Vishnyakov]] earlier in the book: Griboyedov tries to help him, but [[spoiler: in the end Vishnyakov is still demoted to a private for all his worries, gets drunk, blames Griboyedov for everything and commits suicide. It has a sobering effect.]]
* TheMourningAfter: Nina's eventual fate after Griboyedov's death.
* TheNeidermeyer: Rozyov-Ptitsa (Rozyov the Bird) in "The Story of Samson Yakovlich". Prone to hogging all the good horses for himself in a dragoon unit. Eventually drives Samson into deserting the army and later defecting to Persia.
* {{Nepotism}}: The fact that Griboyedov is Paskevich's in-law is a very big deal for a lot of people, including his superiors, Nesselrode and Tsar Nicholas I (the latter having once served under Paskevich while Crown Prince). While Griboyedov is certainly talented and, at any rate, very knowledgeable, he would not have become the Vazir-Mukhtar if not for this connection.
* NerdGlasses: Technically, a 19th century version of this is what Griboyedov has, but they still somehow manage to seem both cool and, in Persia, intimidating (despite never once being [[ScaryShinyGlasses mentioned as shiny]]). Towards the end he is often refered to as "the kafir with glasses".
* NeverAcceptedInHisHometown: Inverted: Griboyedov has never accepted his hometown, Moscow, and its high society. He does think about reconciling with it after ''Woe from Wit'' (which was basically an expression of his frustrations with this city; a big, long TheReasonYouSuckSpeech aimed at the whole of local aristocracy), but decides that he isn't ready yet. And he never will be.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Subverted cruelly in that not only is Griboyedov certainly dead, but also they literally didn't find most of his body - the mob did a real number on it and they had to go with some substitutes plus what little they could ascertain as Vazir-Mukhtar bits.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: A very odd case - most character names are given as they were, but a few names are slightly or not-so-slightly changed for some reason that is not immediately apparent. It's barely noticeable, though, as those particular characters were hardly what you might call celebrities at all.
* NoHeroToHisValet: Griboyedov and his manservant - and closest friend since childhood, though it might not seem that way at first - Sasha.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Granted, he hardly ever pretended to be; his overall persona just seemed like it was above a lot of things. But anyway, Griboyedov is perfectly willing to engage in some admittedly childish pranks on several occasions, despite bemoaning the folly of humanity.
* NotSoDifferent: On a national level - Russia and Persia are repeatedly shown to be very, very similar in many regards - Griboyedov is particularly prone to noticing this soon after going from one to another. The Persians also tend to insist on this, even when it is apparently inaccurate (see Succession Crisis). Arguably, likewise with the British and the Russians in the incipient Great Game; as the British ambassador to Persia and his staff often point out, they're [[MightyWhitey all Europeans among savages]].
* NotSoStoic: Griboyedov generally can keep up a stoic facade, but still has a few outbursts here and there, in particular to his friends such as Bulgarin:
-->"Could I write? I mean, I have a lot of things to write. So why am I mute, mute as the grave?"
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Many characters seem somewhat silly or downright dumb at first glance, while actually rather clever. Griboyedov usually can see through them, though.
** One notable example would be FunnyForeigner Doctor [=McNeal=], who is possibly even more of a ManipulativeBastard than Griboyedov thought, [[spoiler: and who ultimately orchestrated his death]].
** Another notable example would be Griboyedov's manservant Sasha, who generally seems like TheFool, but who also has some more somber and/or intelligent moments. He certainly is competent at what he does, but also seems to understand more about high society and art than Griboyedov tends to give him credit for (although he has his doubts towards the end). [[spoiler: [[TooDumbToLive It's not enough to keep from getting into very stupid trouble towards the end, though.]] ]]
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: A lot of people, arguably including Griboyedov himself; the ultimate example, however, is Nesselrode, whose entire ambition consists of maintaining an unsatisfactory status quo in all affairs of state to further his own career and whose entire plot function is to obstruct people with bureaucratic excuses.
* OddFriendship: A cynical, contemptuous stoic, Griboyedov finds it way easier to be friends with the endearingly flawed, somewhat hyper and silly gutter journalist/trash writer Bulgarin than with his fellow ostensibly brilliant and lofty Romantic poets, and not just because of their hypocrisy. Griboyedov generally seems to find obviously flawed people so much easier to like and to get along with.
* OldMaster: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Krylov Ivan Krylov]] is basically this to the literary world.
* OneBookAuthor: Griboyedov himself, with his famous play "Woe from Wit". Surpassing this status is one of his plans, but it doesn't work out.
* OneSceneWonder: As mentioned, there are plenty of interesting, well-written characters like Senkovsky or Yermolov who only appear once or twice in the book (though Yermolov has a slightly bigger role in another one of Tynyanov's historical novels).
* OneSteveLimit: Subverted with both first names and patronymics. Griboyedov is called Aleksandr Sergeyevich, Pushkin is also Aleksandry Sergeyevich, and Griboyedov's manservant Sasha's full name is Aleksandr Sergeyevich.
* ParentalIncest: Fat'h Ali Shah's favourite wife is also his daughter. Their two children are both his sons and his grandsons and horribly inbred as you can imagine, which is a plot point as it gives the British an additional advantage in Persian harem politics thanks to their diplomatic use of medicine.
* ThePhilosopher: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Chaadayev Chaadayev]]. Griboyedov gently mocks him and goes on with his life.
** Professor Adelung also has such tendencies.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: Averted: Griboyedov as an ambassador does a lot of boring ambassador-ish things, attending official functions and overseeing the implementation of various clauses of his treaty with due observance of all technicalities.
* PlagueOfGoodFortune: Not as such, but see VictoriousLoser below; up until then, Griboyedov was feeling downright miserable with [[InWithTheInCrowd all the successes]] he's been having.
* PluckyComicRelief: Faddey Bulgarin.
* PointyHairedBoss: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nesselrode Nesselrode]] is a textbook example. Possibly Emperor Nicholas I as well.
* PoliceBrutality: Griboyedov interferes to stop some of this in St. Petersburg.
* PowderKegCrowd: Persia has been teeming with those for months now, owing to bad and degrading living conditions and in particular the most recent disastrous war with Russia. So it's no surprise when one of those crowds in Tehran goes and explodes in Griboyedov's face.
* TheProfessor: Professor Adelung, obviously.
* QuintessentialBritishGentleman: Colonel Macdonald, the British Ambassador in Persia (despite being Scottish and apparently not from a very wealthy background).
* RenegadeRussian: Samson Khan and his followers have been doing this some 150 years before it was cool.
* TheResenter: Griboyedov is slightly like this towards Pushkin, since the latter seems to have [[HardWorkHardlyWorks a much easier time with his poetry]]. Maltsov eventually becomes this to Griboyedov having started out as a fanboy, then getting harrased as well as being shocked by Griboyedov's reckless style of diplomacy.
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: Averted. [[spoiler: Maltsov thought the Persians were going to do this to him for a while, but later calmed down.]]
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Averted and practically defied by Fat'h Ali Shah, but done with gusto by Shahzade (Crown Prince) Abbas Mirza.
* SadistTeacher: Professor Senkovsky at the examination in the School of Oriental Languages. To be fair, all he does is ask (read: relentlessly bombard students with) mostly reasonable questions about Arabian and Persian poetry, but the manner in which he does it and the way he practically chews students out over every little mistake or imperfection in their translations qualifies him for this. Griboyedov is forced to intercede to the relief of the students and all the other professors.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Maltsov in the end, though he only actually quits after everyone else in the mission is dead, so it might not count.
* ShelteredAristocrat: Despite being knowledgeable, cynical and competent, Griboyedov still matches this trope by being highly reliant on his servant with regards to everyday matters.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: The whole story, when you consider it - Griboyedov spends all this running around, trying and failing to do all kinds of things, and then he is killed by a mob.
* SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids: What Griboyedov ends up saying to the "liberalist" Burtsev, verging on a HannibalLecture about how [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeVilified the Decembrists]] would've created a dictatorship and found a way to maintain serfdom in deed if not in name had they succeeded. Generally the position of "the sons" or "the new people" towards "the fathers" or "the old people" (i.e. mostly the people who were associated with or sympathetic towards the secret societies behind the Decembrist uprising; needless to say, the divide is not strictly speaking generational, and a major theme throughout the book is that Griboyedov actually belongs to both groups at once) as described in the very beginning of the book.
* SoHappyTogether: Halfway in, Griboyedov marries his beloved Nina Chavchavadze. They really are very happy together, which only makes the ForegoneConclusion of Griboyedov's impending death so much more tragic.
* StandardRoyalCourt: The militaristic, disciplinned, obsessively orderly and yet also somehow pompous Russian court of Nicholas I and the several interconnected luxurious horribly complicated courts of the Shah and the various Crown Princes in Persia (complete with harems, eunuchs, religious authorities, foreign specialists and all kinds of different vested interests).
* StealthInsult: Upon encountering the Persian court poet, Griboyedov flatteringly compares his poetry to "the verses of our famous poet, the excellent Count Khvostov". Khvostov was (and still is, to a fair amount of educated people in Russia) a legendarily bad Russian poet.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: The basic premise of the first half of the book is that Griboyedov is revisiting Moscow, St. Petersburg and Tiflis, and finding out how all of them - and all of the people who lived there - had changed since he was last there.
* TheStrategist: Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov, the previous commander of Russian forces in the Caucasus, has been reduced to this; all he does now is sit around brooding in his Moscow house, provide angry political commentary to his fans among the local officers and come up with intricate military plans for both sides in the Russo-Persian War (and presumably other wars as well). In a subversion, hardly anyone outside of his fan club really seems to care about him much, and certainly no one plans to put in charge of anything any time soon.
* StrawmanPolitical: Averted with Burtsev, a "liberalist"; it is explained that contrary to common stereotypes and later caricatures, liberals can be pretty brave and decisive too (and Burtsev's arguments against Griboyedov's plans are certainly quite reasonable and understandable).
* SweetTooth: Nesselrode.
* SuccessionCrisis: The Persians don't seem to see much more to the Decembrist uprisin than just this. The ever-impeding SuccessionCrisis in Persia itself is something of a RedHerring - everyone talks a lot about how all hell will break loose when Fat'h Ali Shah dies, but he doesn't.
* SympathyForTheDevil: Griboyedov eventually begins to think this way about his respective Persian and British partners in negotiations, Abbas Mirza and Colonel Macdonald. He certainly thinks more highly of them than of his superiors, and considers them perfectly normal, intelligent and decent people caught up in much the same problems as himself.
* TorchesAndPitchforks: But ofcourse; and for a bonus, it's incited by the Shi'a religious authorities, due to the terms of Griboyedov's Treaty of Turkmenchay clashing with a specific point in the Sharia. Note that as the angry mob that attacks the embassy consists largely of urban craftsmen, they come armed with their tools of labour - hammers for blacksmiths and so on. Since some Persian soldiers join the mob as well, it also has some swords and rifles on its side.
* ToughActToFollow: ''Woe from Wit'' is [[{{In-universe}} shown as this]] for Griboyedov; he literally ''can't'' follow it with anything, although he tries.
* TurnCoat: The trope is discussed in some detail in a literary digression. Samson Khan and his followers are this; so is ensign Skryplov when [[spoiler: he tries to defect from them back to Russia]].
* UglyGuyHotWife: Faddey Bulgarin and Lena.
* TheUnfettered: Griboyedov himself has shades of this, especially with regards to politics and diplomacy.
* UnwantedRescue: Happens when an elderly German asks for Griboyedov's help in retrieving his daughter from a Persian harem (apparently she was abducted and sold into slavery a while back). [[HappinessInSlavery She utterly refuses to recognise him, at least at first, and is adamantly against returning to her previous poor life and chores after experiencing the luxuries of a harem]]. Griboyedov ends up persuading the German to forget him. It is implied that similar scenes happen very, very often, though ultimately it is subverted with Dil-Firuz, who decides to go back to her Shamkori father (who is probably much poorer than the German above, while she is the favourite concubine of one of Persia's highest-ranking courtiers as opposed to a mere sayeed).
* VictoriousLoser: Strange variation - after his plans to persuade his superiors to support his project for a "Caucasian Agrarian, Manufactory and Trade Company" ''finally'' hit a major snag, Griboyedov feels incredibly relieved and liberated, muses on how "those who have not experienced failure do not know what it means to breathe freely and deeply" and takes a nice walk around St. Petersburg, looking at people, having a nice private dinner instead of a boring one with some generals that he would've gone to otherwise and visiting his friends.
* WarIsHell: Well it certainly isn't much good when you get the plague, anyway. Or when you got sent to the frontlines as a form of punishment for political crimes and are treated by your superiors accordingly.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: ''Internal'' example: Griboyedov arrives in Tehran on the beginning of the Islamic month Muharram, the first ten days of which are associated in Shi'a Islam with mourning the martyrdom of Imam Husayn ibn Ali. The man responsible for Ali's death, Umar ibn Sa'ad, infamously rode into Karbala on a black horse. Then: [[ChekhovsGun "Vazir-Mukhtar entered the city on a black horse."]]
* WhatTheHellHero: Griboyedov gets that a lot, with varying subtlety and directness, usually because he is seen as [[YesMan going to great ends to help out and ingratiate himself with the Russian government and various military and political leaders]]. The one that really gets him, however, is the one his confrontation with Burtsev, who reads through his plan for a Russian East India-style company in the Caucasus, congratulates him for his vision and then flat out tells him that he would oppose this plan with all his power because it would inevitably result in Russian peasants being used as slave labour ("like negroes, like convicts") all for the sake of {{Greed}}. Griboyedov fires back with a devastating HannibalLecture, but nevertheless "the Project" that he has been almost consistently obsessing over until now suddenly doesn't look as good or as interesting to him anymore.
* WickedCultured: Abbas Mirza, being an Oriental Crown Prince with great interest in Western culture.
* YesMan: Maltsov, until he breaks down.
* YouAreTheTranslatedForeignWord: Vazir-Mukhtar, Minister Plenipotentiary.
[[redirect:Literature/TheDeathOfTheVazirMukhtar]]
3rd Nov '12 5:45:42 PM TVRulezAgain
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* EunuchsAreEvil: Discussed in a historical digression and utterly deconstructed. Of the three high-ranking eunuchs that actually appear in the book, none are [[CompleteMonster complete monsters]] or even major villains, all of them are at least in some part victims (well, duh) and at least two of them are strongly sympathetic ([[TearJerker "But completely incomprehensible is the love of an eunuch."]] Also, the bits about their "hobbies".). One of them ends up doing a HeelFaceTurn in hopes of seeing his native Armenia one last time. [[spoiler: Yeah, that doesn't work out. But the fact that he proceeds to die bravely is arguably an even bigger subversion of this trope.]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Khan_Qajar Agha Mohammed Khan Qajar]], on the other hand, is very much a CompleteMonster (though the eunuch factor is still the one thing that makes seem at least somewhat pitiful rather than purely reprehensible), but certainly no SissyVillain, being a qualified city-razing family-slaughtering EvilOverlord.

to:

* EunuchsAreEvil: Discussed in a historical digression and utterly deconstructed. Of the three high-ranking eunuchs that actually appear in the book, none are [[CompleteMonster complete monsters]] or even major villains, all of them are at least in some part victims (well, duh) and at least two of them are strongly sympathetic ([[TearJerker "But completely incomprehensible is the love of an eunuch."]] Also, the bits about their "hobbies".). One of them ends up doing a HeelFaceTurn in hopes of seeing his native Armenia one last time. [[spoiler: Yeah, that doesn't work out. But the fact that he proceeds to die bravely is arguably an even bigger subversion of this trope.]]
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Khan_Qajar Agha Mohammed Khan Qajar]], on the other hand, is very much a CompleteMonster monster (though the eunuch factor is still the one thing that makes seem at least somewhat pitiful rather than purely reprehensible), but certainly no SissyVillain, being a qualified city-razing family-slaughtering EvilOverlord.



* GreyAndGreyMorality: All named characters have flaws, but none are [[CompleteMonster entirely unsympathetic monsters]] and all have at least some redeeming or empathetic traits.

to:

* GreyAndGreyMorality: All named characters have flaws, but none are [[CompleteMonster entirely unsympathetic monsters]] monsters and all have at least some redeeming or empathetic traits.
18th Jul '12 3:42:19 PM CompletelyNormalGuy
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* ShelteredAristocrat: Despite being knowledgeable, cynical and competent, Griboyedov still matches this trope by being highly reliant on his servant with regards to everyday matters.



* TheWhitePrince: Despite being knowledgeable, cynical and competent, Griboyedov still matches this trope by being highly reliant on his servant with regards to everyday matters.
8th Jul '12 10:28:21 PM Sheora
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!!This book contains examples of:

to:

!!This book contains examples of:----
!!Provides Examples Of:
8th Jul '12 10:27:38 PM Sheora
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* GeneralFailure: What Paskevich is portrayed as, but see UnintentionallySympathetic.

to:

* GeneralFailure: What Paskevich is portrayed as, but see UnintentionallySympathetic.as.



* OneSteveLimit: Subverted hard, with both first names and patronymics. Griboyedov is called Aleksandr Sergeyevich, Pushkin is also Aleksandry Sergeyevich, and Griboyedov's manservant Sasha's full name is Aleksandr Sergeyevich.

to:

* OneSteveLimit: Subverted hard, with both first names and patronymics. Griboyedov is called Aleksandr Sergeyevich, Pushkin is also Aleksandry Sergeyevich, and Griboyedov's manservant Sasha's full name is Aleksandr Sergeyevich.



* UnintentionallySympathetic: Tynyanov's psychological writing style and the [[GreyAndGreyMorality gray morality]] of the novel lend themselves to fairly sympathetic interpretations of characters who initially seem like they might be simple strawmen and/or are traditionally treated rather negatively by historical memory and historiographical tradition. Bulgarin (traditionally vilified in Russian literary history courtesy of Pushkin) might be this, though he is clearly somewhat sympathetic from Griboyedov's point of view as well. General Paskevich might just be the ultimate example of this though, as despite initially seeming like an idiot and a GeneralFailure, he is later revealed to be a competent, intelligent (if not BookSmart) commander who was thrust into a position of authority and then routinely mocked and slandered by everyone for not being a genius (and despite still being objectively much more successful than Yermolov, "a great general who never had a single victory", and clearly not just because of his supposedly [[HypercompetentSidekick hypercompetent subordinates]] - it is mentioned that being an admittedly lousy strategist actually made him a master of the IndyPloy, and beside that he ''is'' good with things like tactics and organisation). In fact, his seeming PlagueOfGoodFortune makes things even worse, as no matter what he achieves, people just call him incredibly lucky rather than talented in any way. Who wouldn't become a resenter?
5th Feb '12 12:48:36 PM Oreochan
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* ArabianNights: Persia is thought of by some to be more like this, but it's actually shown realistically, or, if we speak in tropes, as 1/8th this (mostly for the cream of the aristocracy, and even then not entirely) and 7/8ths TheDungAges, not just because of serious health and hygiene problems, but also because the overwhelming majority of the population is poor, miserable and [[PowderKegCrowd very unhappy about it]].

to:

* ArabianNights: ArabianNightsDays: Persia is thought of by some to be more like this, but it's actually shown realistically, or, if we speak in tropes, as 1/8th this (mostly for the cream of the aristocracy, and even then not entirely) and 7/8ths TheDungAges, not just because of serious health and hygiene problems, but also because the overwhelming majority of the population is poor, miserable and [[PowderKegCrowd very unhappy about it]].
5th Jan '12 11:15:41 AM Firebert
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* GambitPileup: Most every character in the book has some sort of plan, sometimes several, and a lot of those plans all collide during Griboyedov's visit to Persia. Griboyedov pretty much puts the nail in his coffin while trying to deal with the resultant diplomatic chaos - and causing a convergence of several major players against him in the process.



* ThirtyGambitPileup: Maybe not so much Xanatos, but also probably rather more than thirty - most every character in the book has some sort of plan, sometimes several, and a lot of those plans all collide during Griboyedov's visit to Persia. Griboyedov pretty much puts the nail in his coffin while trying to deal with the resultant diplomatic chaos - and causing a convergence of several major players against him in the process.
26th Oct '11 10:37:36 PM ChaoticNovelist
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* EvilPlan: A fairly weak one on Alajar Khan's part towards the end - he [[spoiler: wants to assassinate Hodja Mirza Yakub, thus violating the peace treaty outright, getting the Qajars into another war with Russia and so hopefully driving the country to a breaking point and paving the way for his coup d'etat]]. [[RealityEnsues He is easily overruled by other Persian courtiers who can do the math just as well as he.]]



* XanatosGambit: A fairly weak one on Alajar Khan's part towards the end - he [[spoiler: wants to assassinate Hodja Mirza Yakub, thus violating the peace treaty outright, getting the Qajars into another war with Russia and so hopefully driving the country to a breaking point and paving the way for his coup d'etat]]. [[RealityEnsues He is easily overruled by other Persian courtiers who can do the math just as well as he.]]
29th Jul '11 11:16:29 PM shimaspawn
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* DelusionsOfEloquence: Bulgarin gravitates towards this.



* [[ShlubbAndKlumpEnglish Shlubb And Klump Russian]]: Bulgarin gravitates towards this.
29th Jun '11 10:48:28 PM Pyrite
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* GossipyHens: Many, many examples - what would you expect from a book with so many 19th century high society characters? Faddey Bulgarin probably takes the cake though; he's practically an early 19th century Russian [[Paparazzi]], and he evidently can't help but comically spout out semi-fabricated rumours about various literary world greats to his friends.

to:

* GossipyHens: Many, many examples - what would you expect from a book with so many 19th century high society characters? Faddey Bulgarin probably takes the cake though; he's practically an early 19th century Russian [[Paparazzi]], Paparazzo, and he evidently can't help but comically spout out semi-fabricated rumours about various literary world greats to his friends.
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