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Homework of Stylistics-chapter 15 Drama  

2009-11-03 23:40:31|  分类: 教师学习 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Chapter 15 The English of Literature (III) –the Language of Drama

2) How do playwrights manipulate the naturalness of characters’s speech? Why?

Though drama is most like naturally occurring conversation, it is written to be spoken—it is prepared and rehearsed, which is not the case in daily life. However, real conversation and drama dialogue still share something in common, including the turn-taking patterns, speech act patterns, uses of conversational implicature ect. Interestingly, what is aimed at by playwrights is only a kind of “realistic illusion” and different playwrights have shown different degrees of speech realism in their presentation of characters’ speech. Due to the need of their works or to highlight characters’ unique feature, the playwrights choose to give their drama dialogue either a realistic or an unnatural feel to make the characters’ speech elegant or pompous, casual or vulgar, sloppy or banal, so as to reflect the drama of everyday life. Generally speaking, that the characters speak in verse or long and complex sentence with periodic structure can give a kind of gravity to their importance and the to affairs they deal with while their speaking in short or easy sentences with loose structure may show one’s low status.

 

5) How does the particular politeness pattern of a person reveal his/ her traits?

It is well known that politeness is an important aspect of human social interaction. All speakers claim for a kind of public “self-image”, which consists of positive face and negative face. However, speakers may perform acts that may threaten the face of hearers.

According to Brown and Levinson, positive and negative face exist universally in human culture. In social interactions, face-threatening acts are at times inevitable based on the terms of the conversation. A face threatening act is an act that inherently damages the face of the addressee or the speaker by acting in opposition to the wants and desires of the other. Most of these acts are verbal, however, they can also be conveyed in the characteristics of speech (such as tone, inflection, etc) or in non-verbal forms of communication. At minimum, there must be at least one of the face threatening acts associated with an utterance. It is also possible to have multiple acts working within a single utterance These FACE THREATENING ACTS may include insulting, abusing, demanding or requesting someone to do something, ect.

Take the following sentences to show the politeness pattern of a person.

a.       Close the door. ( quite impolite, using a direct form of FTA)

b.      Could you please close the door? (polite, asking for a favour)

c.       It’s a bit draughty in here. ( appear not be coercive and avoid performing FTA)

In drama, the playwright may use the politeness strategies to make the drama dramatically interesting, which indicate characters’ relationship or social conflict.

Take Eugene Ionesco’s the lesson for example, the professor shows an excessive politeness to the pupil at the start of the private lesson, keeping apologizing and begging for forgiveness for keeping the pupil waiting. However, during the lesson and near the end of the lesson, the professor shows totally oppositive attitude toward the students, being very rude, discouraging and ordering them not to give the response. From the vivid contrast, we can clearly see the professor’s true colours- hypocritical, superficial, and even pretentious.

 

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