The Theatrical Trope as a Narrative Device in The Mystery of Edwin Drood Cover Image
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The Theatrical Trope as a Narrative Device in The Mystery of Edwin Drood
The Theatrical Trope as a Narrative Device in The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Author(s): Magdalena Pypeć
Subject(s): Cultural history, Theoretical Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Philology, British Literature
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: Dickens; theatre; performance; theatrical trope; self-fashioning; performance of self; The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Summary/Abstract: The article analyses the theatrical trope as a recurrent leitmotif in Dickens’s last novel by which the novelist works out his themes and the inherently dramatic structure. Theatrical tropes such as-references to play-acting, pretending and assuming a disguise, designing a plot and scenery, fashioning oneself as an author, director, stage manager and actor of a play, awareness of performing on stage and being watched by an audience move the plot forward, develop characters, organise scenes and create the air of suspense and mystery in the narrative with a supposed foul crime in the centre. The underlying theatrical analogy is particularly visible in the character of John Jasper who assumes several roles throughout the narrative, that of a playwright, director and leading actor in the script for the ideal life he intends to live, created in the euphoria of opium-induced vision.

  • Page Range: 143-159
  • Page Count: 17
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: English