Baba Jaga, Kościej Nieśmiertelny i inne postacie władające magią w rosyjskich baśniach magicznych a wiedźmy i czarownicy Grimmowscy
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The article is an analysis of the images of magic-wielding characters in Russian magic fairy tales. The basis of this analysis is a set of fairy tales collected by Alexander Afanasyev. The author focuses primarily on the characters of Baba Yaga and Koschei the Immortal, pointing in particular to the ambiguity of the former. She can be seen as a witch, a demon and deity, as an antagonist — just like other fairy tale witches — but also as a donor, tester, and catalyst of the protagonist’s evolution. In the case of Koschei, although he always turns out to be an antagonist, what deserves attention is the level of his power — much higher than in the case of “lower-order” sorcerers — and the motif of the seven-stage soul hiding as the source of immortality. Also considered is the image of dragons, characteristic of Slavic fairy tales — perceived in this cultural circle as chthonic beings, related to snakes and in opposition to birds, i.e. uranic beings. In the course of the analysis, the author also compares the images of magic-wielding characters in Afanasyev’s collection with those gathered by the Brothers Grimm.