The concept of “wisdom” in a Russian fairy tale

Keywords: folklore, linguofolkloristics, magic folk tale, concept, linguoculturology, folklore picture of the world, wisdom


The description of the concepts of the Russian language is impossible without referring to folklore, since it is in this linguocultural layer that it is possible to identify the sources and ways of the formation of the mental characteristics of the Russian people. The concept "Wisdom" is one of the central concepts of the Russian folklore picture of the world. It is extremely widely represented in the genre of folk fairy tales. Usually women in fairy tales are wiser than men.

The purpose of this article is to reveal the semantic structure of the concept "Wisdom" in Russian fairy tales. The material of the study was Russian folk tales from the collection of A. N. Afanasyev.

As a result of the study, it was found that the concept of "wisdom" in the Russian fairy tale is characterized by various cognitive features. Central is the understanding of wisdom as a supernatural power, the ability to perform magical actions, transformations, witchcraft. Such wisdom is possessed, as a rule, by female characters (wise princesses, wives), less often by male characters, but always positive characters. Fairy-tale female wisdom includes such components as supernatural power, power over the natural world, mental abilities and good intentions.

Along with the understanding of wisdom as a magical power, there is another interpretation of this concept in fairy tales. Thus, the wise in a fairy tale is that which is characterized by difficulty, complexity, impracticability. In fairy tales, the word wise often characterizes the quality of an object, as well as the skill of a hero who is able to make such objects. The intellectual component of the concept is also presented in Russian fairy tales. At the same time, wisdom is understood not only as intelligence and education, but also as practical insight and ingenuity.


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Author Biography

Xiaoyan Huo , V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Graduate student of the Department of Slavic Philology


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How to Cite
Huo , X. (2023). The concept of “wisdom” in a Russian fairy tale. The Journal of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Series “Philology”, (93), 84-89.