RUSS 2231 Fairytales of Russia
2008 Final Review
Explain three distinctive features which characterize a traditional bylina.
) possessed of outstanding qualities
Portray events (especially battles) or exploits of “epic” proportion
-a lot of the bylinas feature the same hero or same scene(pattern scene)
Begins in middle of action
What defines a bylina of the “Mythological” Cycle? What defines a bylina of the “Kievan” Cycle? Give
an example of each type which you have read.
Mythological-very pagan, before Kiev was prevelant, no historical refrence,
based on myths
Kievan Cycle(Prince Vladmir prominent)-centers around the capital of Kiev, bogatyrs, involves tartars/
Mongols, Ilya Muromets
Ilya Mermotz-revolves around Vladmir, enemy is Tatar
Mythological Cycle ilya marmots baba yaga
By what evidence is it obvious that Volkh Vseslavevich is a sorcerer, in the bylina in which he appears?
He can change form, mother conceives him by being touched by a snake
What is the bogatyr’s sworn duty (e.g., what does he promise to defend)?
sworn to defend prince, church, and Russian land
How does the bylina differ from the Russian “Wondertale” (fairytale)? Refer to differences between the
heroes and the plot, stylistic differences, and structural elements.
Historical context within bylina, not in wondertales
Heroes- Exhibit qualities that have no parallel, but usually lack supernatural attributes
Style- orally sung, a poetic song
Bylina-often there is a foreign army that is a re-occurring character, no set enemy in wondertale
Hero(bogatyr vs. peasant)
Repetition in bylina
Bylina starts in middle of action
If the bylina were recorded in fishing villages in far northern Russia, how can one explain the fact that
their content often describes Kievan court life? Explain.
originated in the court of Kiev @ end of 9
century Skomorokhs-traveling orators that would recite
Who is the prince who sends bogatyrs on great missions in the bylini? Is he an actual historical figure?
Vladmir, yes he was an influential prince in Kiev, but is not necessarily accurately reflect in the bylina
Discuss the relationship between the bylina and actual history, making reference to their use of historical
personalities and events.
Loosely based on historical fact may have the names of historical figures or illusions to historical events,
but the characters are not necessarily accurately reflected nor are the historical events
Vladmir, Mongol War lose but say they win
In “How Lenin and the Tsar Divided Up the People,” Lenin claims to have a “word” to use on the