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Rabindranath Tagore





Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, which was a new religious sect in nineteenth-century Bengal and which attempted a revival of the ultimate monistic basis of Hinduism as laid down in the Upanishads.


He was educated at home; and although at seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, he did not finish his studies there. In his mature years, in addition to his many-sided literary activities, he managed the family estates, a project which brought him into close touch with common humanity and increased his interest in social reforms.


He also started an experimental school at Shantiniketan where he tried his Upanishadic ideals of education. From time to time he participated in the Indian nationalist movement, though in his own non-sentimental and visionary way; and Gandhi, the political father of modern India, was his devoted friend. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honour as a protest against British policies in India.


Tagore had early success as a writer in his native Bengal. With his translations of some of his poems he became rapidly known in the West. In fact his fame attained a luminous height, taking him across continents on lecture tours and tours of friendship. For the world he became the voice of India’s spiritual heritage; and for India, especially for Bengal, he became a great living institution.


Although Tagore wrote successfully in all literary genres, he was first of all a poet. Among his fifty and odd volumes of poetry are Manasi (1890) [The Ideal One], Sonar Tari (1894) [The Golden Boat], Gitanjali (1910) [Song Offerings], Gitimalya (1914) [Wreath of Songs], and Balaka (1916) [The Flight of Cranes]. The English renderings of his poetry, which include The Gardener (1913), Fruit-Gathering (1916), and The Fugitive (1921), do not generally correspond to particular volumes in the original Bengali; and in spite of its title, Gitanjali: Song Offerings (1912), the most acclaimed of them, contains poems from other works besides its namesake. Tagore’s major plays are Raja (1910) [The King of the Dark Chamber], Dakghar (1912) [The Post Office], Achalayatan (1912) [The Immovable], Muktadhara (1922) [The Waterfall], and Raktakaravi (1926) [Red Oleanders]. He is the author of several volumes of short stories and a number of novels, among them Gora (1910), Ghare-Baire (1916) [The Home and the World], and Yogayog (1929) [Crosscurrents]. Besides these, he wrote musical dramas, dance dramas, essays of all types, travel diaries, and two autobiographies, one in his middle years and the other shortly before his death in 1941. Tagore also left numerous drawings and paintings, and songs for which he wrote the music himself.



Nobel Prizes and laureates, Nobel Prizes 2023:

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.



Rabindranath Tagore Facts:

Rabindranath Tagore

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1913


Born: 7 May 1861, Calcutta, India


Died: 7 August 1941, Calcutta, India


Residence at the time of the award: India


Prize motivation: “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”


Language: Bengali; English



Life

Rabindranath Tagore was born in Calcutta. Tagore began to write verse at an early age. After completing studies in England in the late 1870s, he returned to India where he published several books of poetry starting in the 1880s. In 1901, Tagore founded an experimental school in Shantiniketan where he sought to blend the best of Indian and Western traditions. Tagore travelled, lectured, and read his poetry extensively in Europe, the Americas, and East Asia and became a spokesperson for Indian independence from British colonial rule.


Work

Rabindranath Tagore's writing is deeply rooted in both Indian and Western learning traditions. Apart from fiction in the form of poetry, songs, stories, and dramas, it also includes portrayals of common people's lives, literary criticism, philosophy, and social issues. Tagore originally wrote in Bengali, but later reached a broad audience in the West after recasting his poetry in English. In contrast to the frenzied life in the West, his poetry was felt to convey the peace of the soul in harmony with nature.


Nobel Prizes and laureates

Nobel Prizes 2023

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.


About the Nobel Prize organisation

The Nobel Foundation

Tasked with a mission to manage Alfred Nobel's fortune and has ultimate responsibility for fulfilling the intentions of Nobel's will.


The prize-awarding institutions

For more than a century, these academic institutions have worked independently to select Nobel Prize laureates.


Nobel Prize outreach activities

Several outreach organisations and activities have been developed to inspire generations and disseminate knowledge about the Nobel Prize.

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