Interpreting “The Snow Queen”: A comparison of two semantic universes

Tatjana Pilipoveca


The article compares the famous fairy tale “The Snow Queen” by the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen with a Soviet play of the same title by Evgenij Schwartz. Schwartz changed the original ideas and narrative structure of Andersen’s complex and religious text in order to make the play more attractive, spectacular and relatable for Soviet viewers. With the help of A. J. Greimas’ actantial model and semiotic square, the article tries to distinguish and analyse the discursive transformations of the source text in the process of adaptation.


adaptation; transformations; actantial model; semiotic square

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SIGN SYSTEMS STUDIES. ISSN 1406-4243 (print), 1736-7409 (online). E-mail: Postal address: Sign Systems Studies, Dept. of Semiotics, University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2, 51014 Tartu, Estonia