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Ethno-psychological Specific Character of the Image of Death in the Fairy Tales of the Ukrainians of Transcarpathia, Slovakia and Serbia

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The authors of the publication:
Tykhovska Oksana
p.:
111–121
Bibliographic description:
Tykhovska, O. (2021) Ethno-psychological Specific Character of the Image of Death in the Fairy Tales of the Ukrainians of Transcarpathia, Slovakia and Serbia. Folk Art and Ethnology, 3 (391), 111–121.

Author

Tykhovska Oksana

a Ph.D. in Philology, an associate professor at the Ukrainian Literature Department of the State Higher Educational Institution Uzhhorod National University. ORCID: 0000-0003-4663-5960

 

Ethno-psychological Specific Character of the Image of Death in the Fairy Tales of the Ukrainians of Transcarpathia, Slovakia and Serbia

 

Abstract

The article is dedicated to a recomprehension of the semantics of the image of Death in the folklore of Ukrainians of Transcarpathia, Slovakia and Serbia. The tales about Death are analyzed. They have been noted by V. Hnatiuk during 1896–1897 in Zemplén (Eastern Slovakia) and Bach-Brodskiy (Serbia) counties, M. Hyriak in Sninshchyna (Eastern Slovakia, 1962), M. Fintsytskyi (at the end of the 19th century) and P. Lintur (at the mid to late 20th century) in Transcarpathia. In folklore the image of Death is closely connected with the ideas about a person’s fate and it is often objectified in the image of a woman, rarely – a man (Death by a Crony) or an animal (of white color). In tales and mythological stories the image of Death has the archetypical semantics: the archetype of Anima (As a Man has Become Death’s Crony, A Poor Man and Death, As the Death has been a Guest of a Man, About a Knight and Death, A Knight and Death, About a Grey Beard, Death and a Theft) and archetype of Self (Death by a Crony) are projected on it. That is why it appears either as a woman or a man. Death in the image of a woman is the personification of a dark side of an ancient Goddess, Horrible Mother, as the birth of a soul of dead in the beyond is a traumatic experience and a negative event for a man. In folklore stories of Slavs Death is often supposed to wear white clothes, because white colour symbolizes the person conversion from life to death. According to psychoanalysis, an unknown aspect of own soul in the image of Death appears  before the dying person. It acts as a guide to the beyond. In the fairy tales, where Death becomes a crony of a man, she acts as an assistant – she makes her crony rich and gives him an ability to predict if a sick person recovers or not, but it doesn’t give him immortality. Crony-Death functions at the same time as a benefactor, a temper and a judge. In these fairy tales folk imagination has modelled metaphorically a psychological process of a person’s obsession with negative Anima, because this person gets wealth as a gift and it does not assist his spiritual development. An attempt to deceive Death-crony has failed in all the plots. The motive of marriage with a Death is in the fairy tales About a Knight and Death and A Knight and Death: before the threat of dying a knight makes a marriage proposal to an awful woman-Death, but she refuses and takes his life. Another semantics of the image of Death is submitted in the fairy tales Death and a Theft and About a Grey Beard. Here she loses the signs of a fateful deity, arises a demonic creature. The person seems to be better and more humane in comparison with her.

 

Keywords

archetype, fateful deity, fairy tale, mythology, Ukrainian folklore, the image of Death.

 

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