Tagore wanted to become a barrister. He went to England to study law, but returned to Bengal without taking a degree. In 1883, he was married to Mrinalini Devi. Tagore prolifically wrote during the time. His works written during the time depicted a wide range of Bengali lifestyles, including village life. Tagore received knighthood from the British Crown. But he renounced the title to the Crown in protest against the Jalianwala Bagh massacre in 1919.
Tagore was a prolific composer of songs and music. He also produced great number of paintings. He wrote around 2,230 songs. Tagore’s music is inseparable from his literature. His music is largely influenced by Hindustani classical music. His music beautifully depicts various shades of human emotions. Tagore played leading role in his theatre at the age of sixteen. At the age of twenty, he wrote his first drama opera—Valmiki Pratibha. His most notable play Dak Ghar portrays the story of a childhood. Tagore’s plays articulate the natural human emotions. They touch the core of human hearts. Dance dramas based on Tagore’s plays are commonly referred to as Rabindra Nritya Natyas.
Tagore wrote many story collections. His three volume work Galpaguchha remains a masterpiece in Bengali literature. His stories are reflections on his surroundings, modern society and fashionable ideas. Tagore was a social reformer also. He criticized the hypocrisies of modern society. He condemned Sati system. He through his writings promoted Hindu-Muslim unity. Tagore strongly protested against British rule. He was a true patriot and a pioneer nationalist. He supported the freedom struggle of India. He founded an institution to propagate his ideas which later turned to become an educational institution of great repute—Santiniketan, Visva-Bharati University. This great soul breathed his last on 7 August 1941.