The story of Igor’s Regiment is based on the description of the unsuccessful campaign of Russian soldiers led by Prince Igor Svyatoslavich against the Polovtsian invaders. This heroic epic, called the first Russian tragedy, glorified not victory, but defeat. The author of the poem is unknown, but there is a version that this is a monk who witnessed Igor’s campaign. Prince Igor’s speech is shown against the general gigantic background of the history of all Russia. «The Word about Igor’s Regiment» can be rightfully called a monument of Russian culture. It confirms that the Russian folk epic is a branch of European culture.
Prince Igor set out on his famous campaign in 1185. Most of the sources believe that the «Word» was written in the same year. However, there are opinions that this work was created a little later. The epic «The Lay of Igor’s Campaign» concerns both the problems of all of Russia as a whole, and the miscalculations of a particular Igor’s campaign. This work explains to readers what is the main reason for the failure of the Russian prince. According to the author, this is Igor’s excessive ambition, his excessive pride and arrogance.
In the second chapter of the poem, the problem of the disunity of Russia is most clearly shown. Through the «golden word» spoken by Svyatoslav, the author tries to explain to the readers the idea that Russia can become invincible only in one case – if there is general unity. Only general ideas and the unification of all forces will make Russia great and formidable. Otherwise, with the existing general fragmentation, it will remain weak and defenseless.
The meaning of The Lay of Igor’s Host is important in the modern world as well. It calls for taking into account the mistakes made in the past and not repeating them in the future.