Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


French and Francophone Studies

First Advisor

Charles R. Batson




carmen, character, new, altered, audience


Carmen, the title character of Prosper Mérimée’s 1845 novella, has taken on many lives in the creative world. Adaptations of her story have been produced over the past 150 years in operas, ballets, and films. With each new reincarnation of Carmen, her identities as a femme fatale, gypsy, and sorcerer have been altered in order to appeal to her audience. Carmen’s character changes with the audience, presented as relatable and desirable to each new generation. Each piece represents Carmen in a new light, and I explore what allows this character to be able to be altered time and time again but still remain uniquely identifiable. Her character is distinctly recognizable in each piece: Carmen is thus not merely a popular culture reference but rather a modern myth, comparable to Don Juan and Faust.