Morevna belongs to that great subset of myths known as initiation
myths. It is the dawn of Christianity in Russia. The Christian
prince Ivan marries the Pagan warrior princess Maria; and before
she goes to war she gives him a sacred charge: Do release the
convict in the basement; he is the most dangerous prisoner alive.
Ivan does, of course, and unleashed is Koshchey the Deathless
a man of great evil who cannot be killed. Koshchey captures
Maria and Ivan must atone for his transgression and prove his
worth by saving her.
other things this play is about the death of magic. To help Ivan
right the wrongs and contain evil, the enchanted pagans must employ
a sacred rite that does wondrous things but robs them of their
powers. The final ritual the seals the fate of the play occurs
just as the bells ring out signifying the consecration of
Russia as Christian. In the blink of an eye the magic of the old
ways has vanished and made way for the holy faith of Christendom.