Am I politic?:(Im)politeness in Shakespeare’s soliloquies

Murphy, Sean Edward (2015) Am I politic?:(Im)politeness in Shakespeare’s soliloquies. In: PALA 2015, 2015-07-152015-07-18, University of Kent.

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This paper reports on a study of (im)politeness in soliloquies in Shakespeare’s plays. I argue that classic theories of politeness such as Brown and Levinson (1987) cannot fully account for politeness phenomena in soliloquies. There is therefore a need for a model of self-politeness such as that proposed by Chen (2001) which can compensate for some of the deficiencies in the Brown and Levinson model. I apply Chen’s model to soliloquies and provide examples of self-politeness output strategies. Shakespeare’s characters use a variety of impolite and self-impolite forms in their self-talk, which I discuss using Culpeper’s (2011) typology of conventionalised impolite formulae. I conclude that aspects of soliloquies can be described in terms of self-politeness; that the motive for soliloquy may be a threat to self-face as soliloquies often involve internal conflict; and that for Shakespeare impoliteness proved to be a particularly useful device in soliloquy.

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Contribution to Conference (Paper)
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PALA 2015
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11 Aug 2016 09:16
Last Modified:
11 Sep 2023 12:00