- Purchase/rental options available:
This essay challenges past scholarship’s emphasis on a two-part structure for early English pantomime by using quantitative data to stress the diversity of pantomime’s form. One curious example, the “intermixed structure,” merges rather than alternates its serious and comic elements, combining the classical and commedia dell’arte traditions in one plot, or even one body. Satires of pantomime focus disproportionally on this form of mixture in their critique of the genre, particularly when discussing pantomime in performance. Ultimately, this antipathy to merging traditions in pantomime is part of a general disquiet among eighteenth-century critics about the blending of incompatible kinds in literature, and perhaps also in culture more broadly.