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Title: The Trope of an Upside-Down World: Carnival and Menippean Satire in Richard Brome's The Antipodes
Authors: 蔣筱珍
Contributors: 英語學系
Keywords: The Antipodes;Richard Brome;Bakhtin;Carnival;Crowning;decrowning;Menippean satire;trope;Upside-down world
Date: 2004-07
Issue Date: 2012-06-05T09:20:59Z
Publisher: 臺灣師範大學英語學系
Abstract: Richard Brome’s The Antipodes (1638), a Caroline comedy, contains several major
characteristics of Menippean satire and, correlatively, of Bakhtinian carnival. Menippean
satire typically employs a fantastic voyage in order to afford us an inverted (and thus
perhaps clearer) perspective on reality, on the place we “started out from.” In Bakhtin’s
closely-related theory of carnival the socio-political power hierarchy is temporarily
reversed: slaves may be “crowned” as kings, just as kings are “decrowned” as slaves.
Brome’s play-within-the-play concerns a wild, fantastic journey to an unknown place,
“The Antipodes,” which looks like a “utopia” insofar as the journey there has the power
to cure many ills, including madness. On the other hand, we are now looking at the “real”
London upside-down; it has become “Anti-London,” and this inverted lens exposes its
dark spots, the genuinely irrational and perhaps “insane” aspects of London in the days of
Charles I. In the Bakhtinian carnival the abrupt and total overturning, reversal or
inversion of social, political and gender roles allows a comic release, but it also leads us
to deeply question the underlying, pre-established ground of such hierarchies. Here, then,
some of the more serious implications of this dialogic, carnivalesque play are explored.
Relation: Concentric:Literary and Cultural Studies, 30(2): 55-72
Appears in Collections:[Department of English] Periodical Articles

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