Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Mustafa Mirzeler

Second Advisor

John Higgins


The trickster is a primary motif that appears in numerous cultures in the form of a mischievous and impulsive character, who tricks others to get what he wants. However, in reality the trickster is far from a simple-minded clown. He is actually very complex and sees through the facade of society and it’s strict hypocritical cultures and traditions, seeking to challenge these mechanisms that restrict the flow of logic and pleasure. For this paper, I will theoretically analyze the mechanism of the trickster, and the intimate relation between his trickery and his role as a culture-hero. I will apply this analysis to describe the trickster qualities within four key songs from the band Queen, i.e. the category-defying quality of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the anti-establishment tones of “Fight From The Inside,” and “Sleeping On The Sidewalk,” and the gender-bending music video of “I Want To Break Free,” before concluding with an analysis on the trickster qualities of the band itself. Through this analysis, I will show that the trickster, as a conduit for questioning structure to reduce society to the inherent reality, is crucial to the functioning of the band as a vehicle of enlightenment, and was a critical part of making Queen the greatest band of all time.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access