본문 바로가기
  • Home

The Evolution of Peter Pan as a Carnivalesque Pantomime (II)—The Endings of The Manuscript, The Lord Chamberlain’s Copy and The Premier of Peter Pan

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2016, 29(1), pp.123-156
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

JUN, JOON-TAEK 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Bakhtin’s carnivalesque thesis is contradictory as it argued that drama cannot be carnivalesque while admitting its elements in Feast of Fools, commedia dell’arte, and Shakespeare. Bakhtin’s argument that the public spirit of the carnival metamorphosed only into a novel and that “drama does not allow for the dialogic interpenetration of one language by another” is contradictory as well. Bakhtin did not recognize the unique British pantomime tradition that elaborated commedia dell’arte and thus encouraged the carnivalesque by its heteroglossic conventions: interplay of the opening and harlequinade, interplay of subtitles and casting policies, and the breakdown of the fourth wall by audience participation, etc. This article sets itself the double task of analysing the manuscript, Lord Chamberlain’s copy and the premiere of Peter Pan through Bakhtin’s theories of carnival, while at the same time debating these texts expanded its carnivalesque elements to the full point as it evolved from the draft to the performance. Barrie’s manuscript was a pantomime as the harlequinade, its subtitle, The Boy Who Hated Mothers, and the doubling of Hook and Mrs. Darling demonstrated. Peter came to live with Wendy in Kensington Gardens and this subversive text criticized the harsh and painful Victorian home and school education system together. In Lord Chamberlain’s copy subtitled as The Boy Who Could Not Grow Up, Barrie deconstructed the harlequinade and expanding the carnivalesque element by Wendy’s adoption of an abandoned baby for the future mother figure of Peter. The premiere, subtitled as The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, was somewhat different in narrative as it separated Peter and Wendy by allowing her to visit Peter just once a year for spring cleansing. However the representation became heteroglossic as it seemed to show Peter and Wendy live together betraying the narrative. In addition the carnivalesque was more expanded by casting an actress to Peter’s role. The meanings thus became more heteroglossic as well as the representation became plural: one, Victorian children subverting an education system, the other, Victorian women liberating harsh and painful socio-political mores of the times. Therefore in its development from the manuscript to the premiere, Peter Pan was intensifying the carnivalesque of British pantomime, turning the Victorian world upside-down.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.