Understanding Politeness in the Indian Way- A Study of Girish Karnad’s  “Nagamandala” and Vijay Tendulkar’s “Silence! The Court is in Session”


Politeness is a culture specific and context-bound phenomenon. While engaging in conversation with somebody, several factors are taken into account like sociological and interpersonal factors such as status, inferiority- superiority, formality or informality of relation, age group etc. These factors could lead to various instances of face threatening acts among speakers and hearers. This research paper analyses the various ways of applying Brown and Levinson's proposed strategy of negative politeness to literary texts such as plays. As drama is akin to real life conversations, it is productive to pragmatically analyze the interactive dialogues that occur in it. The purpose of this paper is three-fold: 1) it applies the elements of negative politeness (indirectness and deferential methods) to various dialogues uttered by the characters in Girish Karnad's Nagamandala and Vijay Tendulkar's Silence! The Court is in Session. 2) By applying these strategies, the attitude of the Indian society is portrayed. 3) It also focuses on how both of the dramatists deal with the notion of politeness. Although both of the dramatists belong to the same society, their depiction of politeness in their plays is quite different from each other.

Author Information
Antony, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2013
Stream: Language Learning

This paper is part of the ACLL2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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