'No More Let Life Divide ...': Victorian Metropolitan Confluence in Penny Dreadful


CRITICAL SURVEY, vol.28, no.1, pp.15-29, 2016 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.3167/cs.2016.280103
  • Journal Name: CRITICAL SURVEY
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-29
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


In Penny Dreadful, John Logan creates a 'confluent' and urban diegetic world which is characterized by the merging of dualities. While seamlessly bringing together characters from such classical works of Victorian Gothic fiction as Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Dracula, and through the references by these characters to the Romantics such as Shelley and Blake, the series also provides a retrospective vision of the dark aspects of the urbanization of Victorian London. With reference to London's representation in Penny Dreadful, this article explores the shaky ground of the metropolis that creates a duality in almost every other element of the show, including the representation of the city and its social realities, the identities of the characters, and the adaptation and 'confluence' of Victorian literary works in a single world that is paradoxically characterized by stark contrasts and dualities.