Date of Award

5-1-2017

Degree Name

Master of Music

Department

Music

First Advisor

Worthen, Douglas

Abstract

This paper intends to study carnivalesque elements in the music and sound design of the Batman: Arkham video game franchise. This will be done by examining the ontology of the Batman mythos through the lens of carnivalesque social theory related to the European-American carnival as articulated by Bakhtin and Rabelais.Two expressions of the carnivalesque, the traditional and the Gothic, can be seen and heard in the Arkham video games. These two carnivalesques are essential to understanding both the games themselves and the Batman mythos as a whole. The music and sound design related to selected in-game locales and characters of the Arkham franchise will be studied and linked to the carnivalesque ontology of Batman as an American icon. This study will support the hypothesis that the European-American carnivalesque still plays a literal and figurative role in twenty-first century American society through such icons as Batman.

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