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 Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine~ (Lord Byron)

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Juan-Baptista (Carnival)

Posts : 1
Join date : 2016-04-03
Location : Si, try to answer that !

PostSubject: Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine~ (Lord Byron)   Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:17 pm


Name: Juan-Baptista, but he introduces himself by many names.

Representative of: Carnival

Gender: Juan-Baptista has no official gender. He was born a male baby, but transformed himself almost straight away, so quickly that her mother, the Representation of the Saturnalias, later wondered if he had already started to change his gender when he was in her womb.

Age (human and historical): Carnival can be related to other older traditions, such as the roman Saturnalias, the Greek Dionysiacas or the celebration of the return of the daylight in Germania, but it truly takes its form and meaning with the apparition of Christendom and its new sacred calendar. So we can consider that Carnival is about two thousands years old. Juan-Baptista, however, can look like he wishes - he can be a child or a very old man.

Physical Appearance: If he once had his own appearance, he has forgotten it. Even as a baby, he would change his body so often that it was so difficult for his parents to keep an eye on him that they would lose him in the middle of crowds if ever their attention diminished (And it did. Often. Both being very busy with drinking wine and celebrating), until eventually Juan-Baptista was lost and never to be found again.
Being able to change himself completely in the time of a lighting bolt, he introduces himself under the appearance he thinks can make laugh the ones he will be talking to. However, he more or less set on a face for when he would be alone, a thin one framed with blonde hair (but it wasn't always the exact same one). It is of an extreme rarity that he uses this appearance (in which he has a light, thin and pale body), and a very few persons have seen him like this.

Brief personality: Juan-Baptista is a very joyful person, his whole existence is there to contribute to people's happiness and that is done mosly through humour, and to be more specific, scatological and sexual humour. Of course, he isn't all about fun and sexual desires. He also has a particular interest in gender and social classes issues, which can be seen when he constantly tries to turn relationships around (by making himself appear as the real master of someone he serves for example - when he takes the appearance of a servant - ; because of this, he particularly likes the plays of Molière or Beaumarchais where servants are cunnier and often more cultivated than their masters).
Because of his ability to transform his body, and the fact that he never really knew how he would have looked like if he didn't have this power, Juan-Baptista has a lot of difficulties to define himself, to understand who he is as a human being. This is why most of the time he sticks to trying to make people laugh. However he has a way of escaping this personality issue, by inventing a character and taking their personality and appearance for a very long time, enough to almost lose himself in them. For example, you may have met him under the name of Jean-Baptiste Grancourt, who was thought to Represent the Royal Palace Theatre of Paris. But he never truly did... It was yet again one of Juan-Baptista's false identities, one he liked greatly. Nowadays he already wanders in the Nations Mansion... but as whom ? This is indeed the question...

Brief history: From an anthropological point of view, carnival is a reversal ritual, in which social roles are reversed and norms about desired behavior are suspended. Winter was thought of as the reign of the winter spirits that were to be driven out for the summer to return. Carnival can thus be regarded as a rite of passage from darkness to light, from winter to summer: a fertility celebration, the first spring festival of the new year.
Traditionally a carnival feast was the last opportunity to eat well before the time of food shortage at the end of the winter during which one was limited to the minimum necessary. On what nowadays is called vastenavond (the days before fasting) all the remaining winter stores of lard, butter and meat which were left would be eaten, for it would soon start to rot and decay.
Traditionally the feast also applied to sexual desires, which were supposed to be suppressed during the following fasting. Before Lent began, all rich food and drink were consumed in what became a giant celebration that involved the whole community, and is thought to be the origin of Carnival.
Carnival is a time when everything is reversed : men dress up as women, women as men ; servants take the place of their masters and masters start to serve them, the social structure is completely disruped ; and most of all what we call the lower body replaces the upper body, meaning the head (representing the mind, the reason, all the spiritual elements that make humans more elevated, deeper, and give them their spiritual life) is replaced by the rest of the body : jokes about sex, poo or pee are extremely common during Carnival, the physical body is what matters.
Some of the best-known traditions, including carnal parades and masquerade balls, were first recorded in medieval Italy. The carnival of Venice was, for a long time, the most famous carnival (although Napoleon abolished it in 1797 and only in 1979 was the tradition restored).

Religious affiliation: Christianity

Any special powers or abilities: He can change his appearance as he wishes and so fast that the human eye can't see it. He can also change his gender and voice.

*The illustration of the signature is The Embarkation for Cythera by Watteau. I didn't choose this painting because it had a link with the Carnival festival, but because the kind of life depicted here is linked to Juan-Baptista's personal history.
**The followed quotation is taken from the song "Carnival" by Natalie Merchant.

Have I been wrong__________
Have I been wise
To shut my eyes
And play along
________By what my eyes have found
By what my eyes have seen________________
What they have seen ? _____
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