Dragon and Hero or How to Kill a Dragon – on the Example of the Legends of Međimurje about the Grabancijaš and the Dragon
Zmaj i junak ili kako ubiti zmaja na primjeru međimurskih predaja o grabancijašu i pozoju
AbstractThrough interpretation of oral legends about the Čakovec pozoj, or Dragon, the emphasis is placed in this paper on the differential determinant in relation to the final status of the Dragon (live status/cosmic renewal – dead) in proto-Slavic legends, in the oral legend about the Čakovec pozoj and in the legend of St George, who slays the Dragon. Namely, Christianity installs a once-only saintly finishing off of the Dragon, while it is a matter of cyclic killings in the Indo-European myth of the conflict between, for example, Indra and the so-called Cosmic Monster (Vṛtra, Vala) the Snake/Dragon.
In the conclusion of this article, the Međimurean legends of the meteorological binomial, made up of the grabancijaš and the pozoj, are interpreted by way of the ecofeminist key as legends in which an effort is made to conceal inconvenient historical truths (Christianisation, colonialism). In other words, the legend of the Čakovec Dragon – as is the case with all similar legends of the vanquishing of so-called monsters – demonstrates what Roland Barthes differentiated in mythic structure: that the myth can be very simply modified into a tool of political demagogy that confers a “natural” appearance upon a particular ideology. True enough, the case of the legend of the Čakovec Dragon is a weak myth, which Barthes denotes in relation to the strong myth. Namely, in the former the political quantum is immediate, the depolitisation is abrupt, and in the latter, “the political quality of the object has faded like a colour, but the slightest thing can bring back its strength brutally”. Needless to say, the slightest thing, trifles, are not at all unimportant.
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