This article investigates the motif of the 'evil eye' in the works of the Polish Romantics. The first to take up the idea of a menacing gaze was Konstanty Gaszynski in his ballad 'Zle oko' (The Evil Eye). He was followed by Kazimierz Wladyslaw Wójcicki, who adapted the ancient motif for his stylized folktale 'Oczy uroczne' (The Spell-binding Eye). Another writer to have been inspired by the idea of the baleful gaze was Karol Balinski, author of the fairy tale 'Piekne oczy' (A Pair of Beautiful Eyes). The minor Romantic Franciszek Morawski drew a portrait of a girl with a pair of strange and spell-binding eyes in his fairy tale 'Ciche dziecie' (A Quiet Child). The motif of a strangely menacing gaze usually evokes some indistinct forebodings of misfortune, illness, death, or some other disastrous event. Only in the case of Balinski's 'Piekne oczy' does the disturbing gaze happen to have no bad consequences for any of the characters.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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