1st Edition

Exploring the Language of Drama From Text to Context

Edited By Jonathan Culpeper, Mick Short, Peter Verdonk Copyright 1998
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    Exploring the Language of Drama introduces students to the stylistic analysis of drama. Written in an engaging and accessible style, the contributors use techniques of language analysis, particularly from discourse analysis, cognitive linguistics and pragmatics, to explore the language of plays.

    The contributors demonstrate the validity of analysing the text of a play, as opposed to focusing on performance. Divided into four broad, yet interconnecting groups, the chapters:

    • open up some of the basic mechanisms of conversation and show how they are used in dramatic dialogue
    • look at how discourse analysis and pragmatic theories can be used to help us understand characterization in dialogue
    • consider some of the cognitive patterns underlying dramatic discourse
    • focus on the notion of speech as action
    • there is also a chapter on how to analyse an extract from a play and write up an assignment

    Notes on contributors, Acknowledgements, 1. Introduction, 2. From dramatic text to dramatic performance, 3. Turn management in drama, 4. Odd talk: studying discourses of incongruity, 5. Implicature, convention and The Taming of the Shrew, 6. Accessing character through conversation: Tom Stoppard’s Professional Foul, 7. (Im)politeness in dramatic dialogue, 8. ‘Catch[ing] the nearest way’: Macbeth and cognitive metaphor, 9. Three models of power in David Mamet’s Oleanna, 10. ‘Unhappy’ confessions in The Crucible: a pragmatic explanation, 11. The give and take of talk, and Caryl Churchill’s Cloud Nine, 12. Advice on doing your stylistics essay on a dramatic text: an example from Alan Ayckbourn’s The Revengers’ Comedies, Bibliography, Index


    Based at the Department of Linguistics and Modern English Language, Lancaster University, Jonathan Culpeper is Lecturer and Mick Short is Professor of English Language and Literature. Peter Verdonk is Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Amsterdam.