This paper aims to discuss the statement of Bakhtin stating that carnival has undergone a great deal of transition from medieval time to romanticism. Furthermore, a discussion or implementation of the idea that was presented by Bakhtin will be done on Batman (1989) and Night before Christmas (1993).
It is important to understand the context of carnival theory presented by Bakhtin before discussing the difference between medieval and modern carnival and the reasons behind transition. The contextual understanding of carnival by Bakhtin is based upon the European tradition of carnival. Critics claimed that Bakhtin took interest in assessing the seventh century forms of the grotesque because he was impressed by carnivals as he viewed them as occasions where the lows and highs of the society submerged together for some time. In simpler words, the authority of the church and state came together without any control. It will not be incorrect to state that Bakhtin’s account of carnival was anarchic where everyone liberated as audiences and performers (McNay, 1994).
It has further been stated by Bakhtin that Carnivalesque bodies were involved in the use of absurd or laughter in order to present the difference between life and death. Festivity lingered all these years in order to provide people to express their views about life. In short, carnival was just a way to provide a platform for expression for people in all geographic locations of societies over the years. It should be noted that carnival rather gave a way to people to cherish their identity and presence by giving up undertaking a re-birth of experiences (Muggleton, 2000).
Bakhtin celebrates the mediaeval culture of the carnival, but he does this in the context of its relevance to the development of the classic literature of the Renaissance ; Rabelais, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Dante and Boccaccio etc. Moreover, Bakhtin asserts that the Renaissance would not have happened without the carnival ,