Female Characters in the Russian Fairy-Tales

Besides Ba’ba Yag’a, who is certainly the wisest, the most mysterious & the most impressive woman one can discover in the Russian fairy-tales, there are static female characters interested to be analysed.

Unlike the folklore of ther nations, keeping great images of beautiful, powerful & wise ladies, the Russian one could harldy provide anybody of the kind. I suspect this attitude comes from the duality of our perception as I have already mentioned in previous posts. For Russians women in tales are divided: they are either beautiful and if they are their beauty passes beyond any limit or they are wise and if so, they are too  intelligent &  even able to conquer the whole world. Traditionally main female characters, faincées of various Ivans, are maidens 15-18 years old approximately. A rare tale mentions about their own family & if so as a rule it is a weird one & makes maidens suffer a lot. And there is always a mystery how & where they learned their crafts, magic & how many Ivans they accepted before the necessary one to have finally reached them.

Those female characters who are described as beautiful might be capricious, spoiled, selfish & stupid, while their opposites are kind, compassionate, have a good contact with the nature & animals & are able to solve any problem. Maybe that’s the root of out eternal Russian evil: “weak men & strong women”.  If we compare plots, we might notice that beautiful women are more preferable in our tales than wise ones. The Russian men are afraid of intelligent women, so that might be a reason why our folklore diminishes their presence.

Another favourite personage are foreign princesses. They often appear in our tales & are usually promoted as the most extraordinary women in the world. They are not only beautiful but wise, know the magic, to do everything about the house & to solve any problem: from sock darning to calm a statal rebellion. Strangely enough, all of them speak Russian & give Ivans a very warm welcome when they kidnap them.

All stated above might make you think, Esteemed Readers, that the Russian men used to have a rich imagination. They did & yet they do!

Maria KethuProfumo


About kethuprofumo

Reconstructing the Past for the glorious Future
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17 Responses to Female Characters in the Russian Fairy-Tales

  1. I like the characters as you describe them. I think we all like characters who can do anything

  2. Leon says:

    Rich imagination haha, such a Slavic thing. Maybe week men afraid of wise women cause thay lossing a way to impress a ladies. Otherwise how thay can do ? Our time showing so many week men and strong women, not only in Russia, I’be noticed that wherever been.

    • kethuprofumo says:

      Maybe, my dear friend. Oh, our time! So many things are upside down, aren’t they? And strong women must save the world again & again. 🙂 Thank you for your thoughts!

  3. HesterLeyNel says:

    A wise woman is a strong woman who gives her male companion the credit for solving a problem.

  4. Your comments about the females in these Russian tales are very interesting, Maria.

  5. theburningheart says:

    Well, I guess it is Universal, what we helpless men, will do without women? 🙂

  6. theburningheart says:

    I guess we have figured out today, Dragons do not exist, but within ourselves, and in the past we just projected them into those stories, were the Hero was the one who conquered himself by defeating his own beast, the lady hold prisoner by the dragon, the Anima of the Hero, that needed to be liberated.

    We still need to fight against our personal dragons, but today at least we know, there are not without, but within, well at least some of us.

    I bow in a chivalry gesture to you, fair Lady Maria. 🙂

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