‘You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water’, few words that have crossed everyone’s path at least once in their academic journey. The name Rabindranath Tagore is etched in everyone’s heart as they sing along with the patriotic song ‘Ekla Chalo Re’, a song written by him that talks about one continuing on their journey relentlessly, even as the others withdraw company or support. Hence we have written this essay on Rabindranath Tagore in English to give you more information about him and his contribution to society.
In this essay on Rabindranath Tagore in English, we have given you all the information about Rabindranath Tagore, his history, life, education, family, books, and literature written by him, his contribution to the freedom fight of India and in the betterment of the society. This information will help you to write an essay on Rabindranath Tagore and to prepare a speech on the Rabindra Nath Tagore. The information should be used as a reference only. Make necessary modification according to your needs. So let’s start.
Essay on Rabindranath Tagore, The Poet of Eternity in English
Shri Rabindranath Tagore who not only breathed fire into millions of hearts with his patriotic words but also with his poetry transported people into a different world through its lines. He was a person who could not be described by just one word that is a poet; he was a writer, an educationist, an inspiration, philosopher, painter…he was a manifestation of art itself.
History and Family life of Rabindranath Tagore
He was on born 7th May 1861 at Calcutta( now Kolkata), in a literary Bengali Brahmin family, of thirteen children. His father’s name was Debendra Nath Tagore, who was a reformist and a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, and mother’s name was Sarada Devi. Tagore’s childhood was deprived of the company and love of his parents, with the early demise of his mother and the frequent travelling of his reformist father.
The Bengal renaissance had the Tagore Family as a key pillar, as their house resonated with theatre and recitals of both Bengali and western classical music and poems. Not only Rabindranath but also his siblings were influenced by arts and his brother Jyotirindranath was a composer and playwright, while his sister Swarnakumari was a novelist.
Education and Early Work of Rabindranath Tagore
Homeschooled for most of his early childhood, in various subjects like history, astronomy, modern science and Sanskrit, he went to England at the age of seventeen (1878), to complete his formal education. Though he did not complete his law education at the University of London as he was never a fan of formal education, it did not stop him in any way from pursuing his literary dreams and passions.
He returned to Bengal where he started working on poetry, stories, and novels. He entered matrimony in 1883, with ten-year-old Mrinalini Devi, a norm during those days in India. His matrimonial life was short-lived, with his wife and two children passing away during the period of 1902-1907.
He first published his work of poetry Mansi in 1890, which was a collection of verses, political and social satire and from there he never looked back; penning around 50 volumes of poetry alone. He revolutionized the Bengali poetry scenario by introducing prose or verse form of poetry into it. A good author or a poet draws inspiration from real life and that is what Tagore did when he went to East Bengal in 1891.
His family owned an ancestral estate in Shilaidah and Shazadpur, which he managed while staying on a houseboat. That stint of Tagore gave him the insights into the life of the village folk in that area and his empathy and thoughts towards them reflects in his later works from 1890 onwards.
Most of his poignant short stories woven with irony centred on the simple folk and their simple problems. There is also the backdrop of the river Padma in several of his stories, reflecting his love for Bengal’s countryside. His many such works were adapted into movies by noted filmmaker Satyajit Ray in an equally effective manner.
The period from 1890 -1895 was one which characterizes the creation of most of his short stories from the 84 short story collection Galpaguchchha, spanning three volumes. Tagore became a pioneer in this genre too by introducing the short story format in Bengali.
The Literature and Famous Books Written by Tagore
There are some poets and authors whose every single creation is a masterpiece and Tagore was one such literary icon to the world.
- Poetry- Some of his extraordinary poetry works include Sonar Tari( 1894), Gitanjali(1910), Gitimalya(1914).
- Bengali to English translation- Just like the sun’s rays illuminate the entire world, Tagore’s popularity spread to the west when his works were translated into the English language with works like The Gardener (1913), Fruit-Gathering (1916), Fugitive (1921), Last Poem, and Farewell song.
- Tagore’s works were translated not only in English but also in Dutch, German, Spanish and several other European languages by Czech Indologist Vincent Lesny.
- Short stories- His short stories titled the Kabuliwala (1892), Kshudita Pashan( 1895) and Atithi (1895) are some of his finest works from the volume Galpaguchchha.
- Plays- In plays, Raja (1910), Dakghar (1912), Raktakaravi( 1926) are the noted ones and used a blend of philosophical and allegorical themes.
- Novels- Out of the eight novels and four novellas written by Tagore, Chaturanga, Char Odhaye, Ghare Baire are exceptional classics. Shesher Kobita is considered one of his most lyrical novels and was translated twice in English.
- Apart from the above, Rabindranath was also the author of several musical dramas, dance dramas, essays, travel diaries, and two autobiographies, one of which was written just before he died in 1941. He was also a powerful speechwriter.
- He authored more than 2000 songs which still are popular among all classes of Bengal and are known as Rabindra Sangeet.
- The most revered achievement of Rabindranath Tagore was that the first five stanzas of the Brahmo Hymn Bharat Bhagya Bidhata, composed by him, became India’s National Anthem, Jana Gana Mana.
Rabindranath Tagore’s Contribution to Indian Cinema
Many of Tagore’s works were adapted into movies in several languages by noted filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Rituparno Ghosh, and Tapan Sinha. Some of them are Chokher Bali, Charulata, Uphaar, Atithi, Kabuliwala, Dak Ghar, Milan, Ghare Baire, Chaturanga, Lekin to name a few.
Rabindranath Tagore’s Paintings
Rabindranath Tagore forayed into the world of canvas around the 1920s when he turned 60. He even organized Art Exhibitions for many of his works in Europe. An interesting and one of the not so commonly known facts about Tagore was that he created pieces of art despite being red-green colour blind. His painting too reflected what he called as his vichaar or views. This disability of colour blindness did not deter him and he kept trying relentlessly to become an accomplished painter.
Shantiniketan, the abode of peace, and other educational institutions.
Tagore was a pioneer in every field and education was no exception when he founded Shantiniketan in 1921 in rural West Bengal. Shantiniketan was an experimental school founded on the premise of achieving a blend between western education and the Upanishadic principles of education. Shantiniketan is one of its kind educational institute where the brahmacharya system of education is followed. Classes are not held in the confines of a classroom but out in the open under the trees.
Tagore was a well-travelled person who had visited several western countries like Europe, America, East Asia for lectures and he tried to implement some of the knowledge and information gained there, at Shantiniketan. The institution became Visva Bharti University in the year 1921. Rabindranath was also the co-founder of the Dartington Hall School in Japan which aimed at imparting progressive education to both girls and boys.
Awards and Accolades of Rabindranath Tagore
- Tagore was given a knighthood by the then in power, British Government in 1915. He later gave up that honour in 1919 as his protest against the British Policies in India and the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in Amritsar.
- He was the first non–European litterateur to receive the Nobel Prize for literature in the year 1913. Interestingly, this Nobel Prize was stolen from the Visva Bharti University in 2004, though they were replaced later by the Swedish Academy with two statues made of gold and bronze each.
- To honour Rabindranath Tagore’s 150th Birth anniversary in 2011, the Government of India issued a 5 rupee coin.
- The legacy of Rabindranath Tagore lives on not only in the form of his works but also through five museums dedicated to him, in India and Bangladesh.
Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti
Every year the birth date or the Jayanti of Rabindranath Tagore is celebrated across the globe, from Kolkata to the US. The legacy of Tagore is honoured by the Rabindranath Parikrama organized from Kolkata to Shantiniketan every year on this day.
It is celebrated on the 25th day of the Bengali month of Boishakh. All schools, colleges, and Universities in Bengal and some outside Bengal celebrate this day with fanfare, organizing poetry recitals, dances, and dramas, all penned by Tagore.
Tagore and the Independence Movement of India
Rabindranath Tagore played his part in the Indian Independence Movement through his songs which glorified the movement. His compositions ‘Chitto Jetha Bhayshunyo’ popularly known as ‘Where the mind is without fear’ and ‘ Ekla Chalo Re’ charged the listeners with patriotism. The latter was favoured by even Mahatma Gandhi.
Educational Quotes by Tagore
- ‘Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or to usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.’
- ‘By plucking her petals, you don’t gather the beauty of the flower’.
- ‘Don’t limit a child to your own learning, as he was born in another time’.
- ‘I slept and dreamt that life was a joy. I awoke and saw that life was a service. I acted and behold service was a joy.’
- ‘Depth of friendship does not depend on the length of acquaintance.’
- ‘You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.’
- ‘If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.
- ‘The roots below the earth claim no rewards for making the branches fruitful’.
- ‘The time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in the incongruous context of humiliation, and I for my part, wish to stand, shorn, of all special distinctions, by the side of those of my countrymen who, for their so-called insignificance, are liable to suffer degradation not fit for human beings’ – Tagore’s powerful words at the time of repudiation of his knighthood by him.
The Last Days of Tagore
The last five years of his life were marred by chronic pain and two bouts of illness during which both times he became comatose. He recovered after the first one but the next proved fatal. He departed for his heavenly abode on 7th August 1941 at the ripe age of eighty. His last poem beautifully summarised his life and a journey like a biography.
‘I am lost in the middle of my birthday. I want my friends, their touch, with the earth’s last love. I will take life’s final offering; I will take the human’s last blessing. Today my sack is empty. I have given completely whatever I had to give. In return, if I receive anything -some love, some forgiveness- then I will take it with me when I step on the boat that crosses to the festival of the wordless end’.
Rabindranath Tagore was no doubt a blessing for mankind. Even if he is not with us today, his work and his contribution to society will live forever in people’s heart.
Tips for Essay on Rabindranath Tagore, The Poet of Eternity
Writing an essay can sometimes be a headache for many of us. There are plenty of things which should be taken care of while writing an essay. So while writing your essay on Rabindranath Tagore you might need these tips. So let’s start.
- Rabindra Nath Tagore was an actual person, so the essay on his life would be like his biography which will contain the information about his life.
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- Every essay has a particular structure and that is the beginning of any essay is done with an introduction statement, argument followed by the paragraphs of an information body and ending with the conclusion. So make sure you write your essay on Rabindra Nath Tagore in this way.
- Keep your handwriting neat and clean while writing the essay on Rabindranath Tagore.
- While writing an essay about any historic person, be accurate with the dates and number.
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- While writing the conclusion of the essay on Rabindranath Tagore, mention his contribution, and why he will be remembered for years.
Tips for Speech on Rabindranath Tagore, The Poet of Eternity
Delivering a speech in front of a roomful of the audience can be a difficult task for many people. Even the expert speakers agree that even they get scared sometimes before starting their speech. So don’t make it a big issue and try to overcome it with practice. Here are some useful tips which will help you for delivering your speech on Rabindra Nath Tagore. So let’s start.
- Confidence is the soul of any speech. So practice your speech on Rabindra Nath Tagore a lot to gain the confidence.
- Practice makes a man perfect. So practice your speech in front of your friends, family members and even in front of the mirror to cope with the fear of facing people.
- A speech has the power of inspiring and motivating people. So put your emotions in your speech. Don’t make it sound robotic and artificial.
- Make good use of hand gestures while delivering your speech, but don’t overdo it.
- Be accurate with the facts, timelines, and events. The last thing you’ll want is to deliver the wrong information through your speech.
- A speech on the life of Rabindra Nath Tagore should be told as a story from his childhood to his last days. Maintain the flow between the transitions from one section to another.
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