Home Releases # 13. 2019


Literary Сriticism , UDC: 821 DOI: 10.25688/2619-0656.2019.13.03


  • Chesnokova Tatyana Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor


Personifications of Winter and Spring as contesting seasons being deeply rooted in many peoples’ consciousness have long literary history during which they have passed many changes under the influence of cultural, aesthetic, and national language context.

In the poetics of Alcuin’s “Conflictus Veris et Hiemis” (“The Contest of Spring and Winter”) the ideology and artistic principles of the Carolingian Renaissance were manifested in combination of folklore Spring call with the dialogical traditions of ancient bucolics and school rhetorical contests. The Winter here is given voice, but the victory of Spring is absolute and eternal, symbolizing the coming of the new Golden Age under the authority of Carolingian Christian empire.

In Shakespeare’s songs of the Cuckoo and the Owl (in “Love’s Labour’s Lost”) the dialogical principle is weakened, while the whole context is expanded. Instead of celebrating the moment of Spring’s arrival and Winter’s defeat the poetic diptych gives two separate pictures of reality as the moments in the year cycle. The winter frost associated with the “death” of Nature is also the natural teacher who prompts the man to surpass the boundaries of fallen nature.

In Russian poetry of the 1830s the lyric principle in depicting personifications of seasons strengthens against the background of romantic paradigm. In Alexander Pushkin’s hymn in honour of the Plague (in “A Feast in the Time of Plague”) Winter being deprived of its traditional opponent plays the part of the weakened substitute for the Plague, which does not eliminate the contrast between them.

The new degree of “lyricizing” is manifested in Fyodor Tyutchev’s lyric “The Winter not without reason grows wroth” (“Zima ne darom zlitsya…”), in which the poet reverts to the picture of the conflict of seasons depicting it through lyrical description. The universal archetypes are refracted through national linguistic world picture making Tyutchev’s lyric the model for their perception in Russian cultural domain.

How to link insert

Chesnokova, T. . (2019). PERSONIFIED IMAGES OF WINTER AND SPRING IN EUROPEAN AND RUSSIAN POETRY (FROM ALCUIN TO FYODOR TYUTCHEV) Bulletin of the Moscow City Pedagogical University. Series "Pedagogy and Psychology", # 13. 2019, 42-63. https://doi.org/10.25688/2619-0656.2019.13.03
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