Binary Opposition of Life vs Death in H.C. Andersen’sFairy Tales

Aistė Vitkūnė, Skirmantė Šarkauskienė


When analysing the binary opposition of life vs Death in the famous fairy tales of H.C. Andersen semiotic approach is used. The aim is to reveal how this binary opposition is used in fairy tales to create meanings, as it serves both as an element of the plot and as a means of expressing values. It has been observed that the conceptual opposition pair of Life and Death is often associated with Up vs Down opposition. The dichotomic category of Life vs Death in part of the fairy tales is presented in the context of religious themes. It turned out that Andersen followed the concept of death, considering it as a continuation of natural life, in many cases romanticised, more qualitative, and happier than the real reality marked by scarcity and lack of love. Thus the boundaries between life and death are erased, giving life the connotations of death, and vice versa. 



H.C. Andersen, fairy tales, binary opposition, life and death, semiotic approach.

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