Returning ghosts and other wraiths or specters play an important role in the writings of the young Mickiewicz. At the time such literary protagonists were in fashion, but Mickiewicz gave them an individual meaning, making use, in addition to popular ballad conventions, of the folklore of the Nowogródek region. Not only in 'Ballads and Romances', but also in 'Forefathers' Eve' Parts II and IV, a significant role is afforded to local beliefs in the poet's expression of the problems surrounding romantic individualism. These problems are treated in a different way in 'Forefathers' Eve' Part III, although the poet endeavors to emphasize the unity of the cycle by introducing ghosts in the scene entitled 'Noc dziadów' (Forefathers' Night). For Mickiewicz, the motive of the returning ghost becomes a metaphor for internal conflict and the inability to readjust in life. This feeling is expressed most dramatically in the Lausanne lyric 'Gdy tu mój trup' (When here my corpse). In this last text, however, in which the heroes refer to macabre images of bodily death, the motif of the ghost has lost its deeply personal dimension; in the French text 'Rozmowy chorych' (Conversations des malades) jokes about death serve to characterize the experience of soldiers fighting at the front.
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