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„Тримата братя и златната ябълка" — анализ на митологическата семантика в сравнителен балкански план
"The three brothers and the golden apple": Analisis of the mythological semantic in comparative Balkan aspect

Author(s): Milena Benovska-Sabkova
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: In the mythological content of the tale "The three brothers and the golden apple" there are three layers. The first one contains universal elements of the myth (Journey to the underworld; fight with the dragon; struggle between life and death etc.) Two types of the universal myth element "marvellous tree" are presented — tree of life (the golden apple) and tree (in the second part of the tale). The first type bears regional Balkan specificity. The theriomorphic characters belong to the layer full of national specificity. They are strongly connected with the topical mythical beliefs of other nations. The key symbol is the golden apple. It is considered emblematical for the fabulous type in its' Balkan version and according to it the latter is assigned not to the main sort of the international fabulous type AT 301 but to the alternative one. The primary senses in the semantic register of the golden apple are fertility and continuity of life by means of its endless triumphs over death. The fruit golden apple is a semantic equivalent of the protagonists' maturity and readiness for marriage. The initial absence of the apple corresponds to the social and biological status of the character, his unripeness and his condition of the youngest son. The finding of the marvellous fruit (after series of adventures and heroic episodes) is in line with the new social status, wife and maturity gained by him. The sexual symbolism of this fabulous element is shown more clearly in its realizations in other parts of Bulgarian, Greek and Roumanian folklore. The golden fruit is also a poetic metaphor of longing for love typical for growing up and maturing individuality, to whom the fabulous message is addressed. The implied identification of the addressee and the protagonist delicately carries the moral suggestion that the spiritual steadiness is a pledge for the individuals' recognition. The stress on the fantastic nature of the golden apple is the point where the tale, resting on the mythological, moves away and overcomes it. Exactly the fabulous stylization converts the golden apple into image of the achieved unachievable—an episode of the great optimistic saga of life—the fairy tale.

  • Issue Year: 1995
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 90-108
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Bulgarian