Dreamscape and the Carnivalesque: An Intertextual Analysis of The Tempest and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Abstract: William Shakespeare’s tragicomedy The Tempest and Terry Gilliam’s surrealistic film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus are narratives that uphold the role of the magician/shaman in relation to art and contemporary culture. By exploring the intertextual connections between the texts, the similarities of such concepts as the Bakhtinian ‘carnivalesque’ and ‘dialogism in language’ across widely displaced literary narratives can be found. Most notably, the concept of the Bakhtinian ‘carnivalesque,’ as it exists in literature and language, is explored through the psychological ‘dreamscape’ as they are presented in Prospero’s Island and the eponymous Parnassus’ ‘Imaginarium’ By equating the dreamscape with the carnivalesque we are able to develop on the Bakhtinian notion of novelistic discourse and the role of the author as an arena or miseen-scène for dialogue. The paper analyzes the role of masks in both texts as it relates to Bakhtin’s concept, and attempts to trace the thematic and archetypal elements of the narrative which have been reinterpreted. Bakhtin and Kristeva’s proposal of a dialogic relationship between texts is traced between the playwright Shakespeare and the filmmaker Gilliam in this paper.
Keywords: Carnivalesque, heteroglossia, dialogic and novelistic discourse, Jungian archetypes, narrative and narratives, and intertextuality
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Published in December 2015