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

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An insult to the Moslem populace causes him to kill Michaeles’ brother. Saturday, November 18, They seem to be largely permitted to live according to their own principles, their freedom of religion is not interfered with; they have a school with a Cretan schoolmaster, and I guess that the education there takes place in Greek, as there is no mention of the Turkish language being used there.

War is raging and the Turks lay siege to the Monastery of Christ the Lord. This wound heals, but Nurey Bey commits suicide, being unable to bear the disdain and pity Emine shows him over his mutilation, while she becomes mistress to Kapetan Polyxigis.

Retrieved from ” https: Every few months Michales invites a kaznatzakis acquaintances to a feast lasting a whole week, during which he forces them as well as himself to drink almost without interruption; but the drink doesn’t seem to affect him, and he merely sits glumly and enjoys a kind of dark sense of contempt at the sight of the antics and carousings of his drunken companions 3. In the heat of battle, he realises that Kapetan Michalis has freed edath of all fears and hopes.

He may have simply regarded her as an unwelcome temptation and distraction, cf. It is known as Freedom and Death in the United Kingdom. Tineretului undated Theatre ceath N. Rowohlt,, This page was last edited on 27 Novemberat The book deals with the rebellion of the Cretans against the Ottoman Empire in The consequences of this policy can be seen in 6.

Now, this last thing was in fact a perfectly decent duel in which Nuri had also been seriously wounded, so one would perhaps naively expect that this settles the matter, but in fact it doesn’t. Kazantzakis says this in his book “Report to Greco “. The writer was influenced by his early years on the island of Crete and uses explicit Cretan Greek words and the Cretan idiom in a way that preserves it untouched.

Zorba the Greek Zorba musical Zorba the Greek film. My favorite is Zorba the Greek, definitely: What does death mean for him? Cover of the second edition in Greek, Athens Eventually, massacres begin to occur 8.



Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Ali’s son, Nuri Bey, was just a child at the time, but now, more than twenty years later, he is a grown-up and ready to take revenge 2.

But when he meets Emine, wife of his blood brother Nurey Bey, he is overcome by a “new demon”; for all his efforts, he cannot get her out of his mind. Thus when I saw this copy of Freedom and Death in a bookstore at a wonderfully low price, and also saw that the blurb on the back cover seems quite promising, I bought it without much hesitation.

Be the first to discover new talent! Captain Michalis Cover of the second edition in Greek, Athens Piecemeal, inconsecutive and effortless as life itself, it is filled with passion and the enduring stuff of human personality.

The central character, a wild, insubordinate warrior named Kapetan rebel leader Michalis, has sworn to remain unshaven and dressed in black, and not to laugh until Crete has been freed.

Captain Michalis – Wikipedia

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. At the same time, Emine readies herself to be baptized a Christian, but Kapetan Michalis arranges that she is kidnapped and hidden in a house belonging to one of his relatives.

Damn, once again I wade through an English translation without freefom bothered to check whether a Slovenian one is also available. He kills Manoussakas, but is wounded in the genitals.

Anyway, little by little the Greeks realize that the Turkish army is too strong for them, and news reach them that they cannot expect any concrete support from mainland Deah, nor from the Great Powers not even Russia, to which some of them look with so much hope. Pitying Nuri Bey, who has lost his manhood in the fight, Michaeles cannot take vengance, a humiliation which drives Nuri Bey to suicide. The Turks are also interested in ending the uprising quickly, preferrably with the Greeks laying down their arms voluntarily rather than only after a complete and utter massacre, because the latter might attract unwelcome attention and interference from the Great Powers cf.

Nikos Kazantzakis – Freedom or Death

So most of the Greek captains and their warriors accept the offers of amnesty, bury their weapons again and return to the same uneasy peace that had been broken a few months earlier. It seems to be chiefly with a view to washing away his kazantzakiz at having left his post during the defense of the monastery that he later decides to continue fighting even when there is kazajtzakis hope left and all the other leaders of the revolt accept the fact that it’s better to end the fighting and wait again for the next opportunity At the time when the novel opens, there has been an uneasy peace for several years.


One by one the rebel leaders lay down their arms, but Kapetan Michalis refuses to yield. The subtitle “Freedom or Death” and a prologue were added to the edition. He seems to pretty much wilfully deny himself any joy or pleasure in life, any lighthearted fun, as if this somehow hurt the cause that the lives for, i. There are, both among the Turks and among the Greeks, some people that try to calm things down, and others that try to incite yet more violence.

Anyway, thanks for your comment — I’ll try to avoid buying any further books by Kazantzakis, seeing that they can be had for free at local libraries What he did seemed to her right, and if she had been a man she would have done the same. Violence continues; there is an abortive Greek revolt against Turkish rule; Michaeles deserts his post to rescue Nuri Bey’s mistress, is seduced by her and, horrified by his disloyalty, kills her and returns for a last-ditch battle: Based on this good experience with the film, I always had a long-term intention of eventually reading some of Kazantzakis’s books.

Initially one has the impression that Michales is just a very ardent patriot, somewhat more fanatical than the majority perhaps, but little by little we come to realize that his obsessiveness transcends any sane definition of patriotism; he often gives us the impression of a person possessed by demons, and he reminded me somewhat of the sort of romantic heroes that one encounters in Byron or Lermontov.

The scene is Crete, about a century ago but there is no sense of remoteness or foreignness in the story of the bitter division of Greek Orthodox and Moslem, of honor and courage, treachery and death, and of the many actors who play their parts. De Fontein, I suppose that a more experienced reader than me would probably say that these are merely old tricks of the genre, but I was almost truly touched by that scene.