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Lithuanian Essay on Recurring Situations and Challenges


At all times extraordinary natural and historical monuments of the environment have attracted the attention of people and encouraged to explain the reasons for their occurrence. Lithuanian legends tell of rocks brought by living and strong creatures, lakes that can travel or have human traits. Legends are meant to draw attention to the beauty and mystery of special rocks, cities, castles and other objects. Therefore legends are an integral part of Lithuanian culture and folklore. In Lithuanian legends, as in other European legends, the characters find themselves in recurring situations, facing certain challenges that they have to overcome. Lithuanian legends often mention stones. The stones were especially loved by the evil spirits, the devils, so their traces on the boulders are abundant. Legends often mention the devil. His one of the main tasks was to carry or roll stones. But when the morning dawned or the rooster started to sing the devil usually lost the stone. Devil's lost stones are still standing there. (Legends “The Devil's Stone”, “Puntukas”). Moreover, to harm the people and the yield, the devils carried a sack of stones to spread over the arable land. In legends is also a typical situation observed - the collision of good and evil. Characters usually have to deal with mythical creatures. Evil is usually represented by mythical creatures - the devil or the dragon. These characters are mentioned in Italian legends of "Saint George and the Dragon", "The Devil's Column", Romanian "Dragon's Garden", Polish "Legend of the Wawel Dragon". The purpose of the devil and the dragon is to intimidate or harm people. Legends almost always end with the defeat or even death of the dragon and the devil. Other characters, such as giants and soothsayers are also mentioned in Lithuanian legends. These characters have supernatural powers. They help people who get into difficult situations or are exploited, and punish those who are greedy or want to harm others. In addition, legends highlight family relationships. The Lithuanian legend "Hill of Crosses" and the Italian legend "Lake Misurina and Mount Sorapiss" show the unconditional love of a father to his daughter. In legends, a father is determined to do everything for his daughter. Depicting people's various faults is another recurring situation. Greedy, lofty, unassuming characters are punished.

In legends, one of the most recurring situations is carrying or rolling the devil's stone. The devil carries a stone wishing to harm people. He wants to stone the church while destroying it and in this way to laugh at people. But the devil fails to fulfill his purpose. The devil is frightened of the crow of a rooster and drops a stone. A similar situation is depicted in the legend  of “Puntukas stone”. The devils are angry with the sorcerer Anykšta and wanting to hurt her, throw a stone on her house. However,  they are frightened by the God Thunder and lose a stone. In legends evil constantly loses.

In the Polish legend "The legend of Mount Schlesh", the devils also want to stone the area. Then the stones will ruin man-made fields, destroy the lands. Such a devilish act would make people unhappy. But people come to the aid of angels. By good deeds angels overcome evil and people begin to believe in God.
Both in Lithuanian and Polish legends devils appear who want to harm people. The forces of evil are overcome by good powers (angels, the God Thunder).


In this legend, there is a collision between supernatural beings - a giant named Naglis and a dragon. There is a struggle between good and evil.The Dragon frightens a giant girl Neringa and wants to marry her by force. The giant Naglis fights for his lady-love. Finally the fight ends with the dragon's defeat - murder. Such storyline is mentioned in legends of other countries as well. The dragon represents evil and usually wants to harm humans. Meanwhile  the hero joins the fight against the dragon. In the Polish legend "The Wawel Dragon Legend", a brave simple shoemaker defeats a dragon and marries a princess. In both legends good prevails over evil. Heroes in legends are characterized by courage, strong character and goal-seeking. Their behavior is heroic.

This story depicts a warm relationship between family members. The father is determined to do anything to help his sick daughter to recover. Because of this, he follows all the instructions of the woman who appeared in the dream.The  Father with a wooden cross goes on a pilgrimage. He prays for God's help and the daughter recovers.
In Italian legend "Lake Misurina and Mount Sorapiss", the father is also determined to sacrifice for his daughter. He loves his daughter so much that he agrees to turn into a  mountain. The Polish legend "Legend of Gingerbread" also reveals the unconditional devotion of a family member. Only in this legend does the daughter try to help the sick father.
Human faith and love for loved ones are the key aspects of legends.

Common legends that explain how and who has founded one or another city. The protagonists of these legends are often dukes. In this legend, after the death of Duke Palemonas, his sons share lands among themselves. The Son Kunas was given the land where the city Kaunas now stands. The Italian legend " Romolo and Remo and the foundation of Rome" is similar to the Lithuanian one. According to Italian legend,  two brothers Romolo and Remo want to find the town where they grew up. The brothers cannot share power, so Romolo kills his brother after that becoming  the King of Rome himself.
These legends have to do with the fact that the city is named after one of the brothers.


Most religions have an important belief in the afterlife. Therefore, it is no wonder that people believed in spirits and ghosts. Ghosts are often seen in ambiguous conditions - in low light or when people are drowsy. In this legend, it is believed in a ghost and it is noticeable at dusk. The ghost looks like a knight and does not interact with the castle guard. Ghost performance is associated with the transmission of an important message that is difficult to understand.
The Polish legend “The legend of Skarbnik - Miner’s guardian” mentions the spirit of the mine that lives underground. The spirit was considered the guardian of the miners. Both legends share a belief in ghosts and spirits.