English Language Essays – Language play in Literature

What is the function of linguistic communication drama in literature?

Language drama, the usage of words and linguistic communication to make new and unusual significances and correspondences, has long been used by writers to guarantee that their words have an impact on readers. Poets, dramatists and novelists, both authoritative and modern-day, use linguistic communication drama to raise the readers’ imaginativeness without long-winded descriptions or long accounts. Language drama affords writers the chance to state more with less, arousing graphic imagination doing the reader to experience the action, instead than merely reading words on a page.

“Literary linguistic communication is different from mundane linguistic communication because it draws attending to some belongings of the linguistic communication itself, and high spots or foregrounds it. This foreground processing surprises the reader into a fresh perceptual experience and grasp of the topic matter.” ( Jeffries, 1996, p. 163 )

There are many different type of highlighting used by writers, most of which are besides considered to be types of linguistic communication drama. Out of the tradition of linguistic communication drama comes the phrase “to drama on words” which normally refers to the most basic signifier of linguistic communication drama, punning. But this phrase can besides be taken in this context to mention to other types of linguistic communication drama including: metaphors, similes, rime, initial rhyme, vowel rhyme, onomatopoeia, and many other more proficient signifiers of linguistic communication drama.

Many writers use linguistic communication drama to make their ain distinguishable manner, non merely puting their words and thoughts apart, but besides themselves as authors. These writers have used linguistic communication drama to interrupt literary conventions and make their ain literary hallmarks. One of the most noteworthy writers known to persistently utilize linguistic communication drama in their literature is William Shakespeare, who broke conventions of capable affair and linguistic communication usage far before his clip.

Shakespeare’s usage of linguistic communication drama has ensured that his dramas remain relevant to this twenty-four hours, while the plants of his coevalss frequently appear dated or irrelevant today. Shakespeare instilled eternity in his plants by utilizing legion linguistic communication drama conventions to make ocular images for his readers and audiences.

He mixed the usage of poesy and prose in his dramas to tag alterations in the narrative, notably the motion from conversation to monologues. This usage of linguistic communication drama is effectual both when reading the texts and hearing to the words out loud. As text the motion from prose to poesy has a clearly different expression on the page, merely as the beat of address alterations when read aloud. In his poesy he frequently uses rime, initial rhyme ( the repeat of consonants ) , vowel rhyme ( the repeat of vowels ) and onomatopoeia ( words that sound like the things or actions they describe, such as, dad ) to make a distinguishable, memorable beat within the text. This usage of linguistic communication drama within the text besides creates text which is notably easier for histrions to declaim and retrieve.

But likely the most noteworthy linguistic communication drama convention used by Shakespeare is punning, which he used to great consequence both in his calamities and comedies. “Shakespeare was a dedicated punster, non merely for amusing but besides tragic purpose… . An illustration is Hamlet’s call:
Is thy brotherhood here?
Hamlet, v. three. 340 )

When he realises that his female parent has drunk the vino laced with a poisoned pearl (a brotherhood) by the adult male she has joined inbrotherhoodor matrimony, therefore conveying about herbrotherhoodwith decease. Here a wordplay compresses significances and emotions in a powerful and affecting mode. ( Cook, 1996, p. 220–221 ) .

Shakespeare besides used punning for comedic intents in his comedies and love affairs. There are legion illustrations of raillery in Shakespeare’s comedies. These railleries frequently non merely function a comedic intent but besides move to develop characters or shed penetration on to the secret plan. In Twelfth Night the sap or clown character, Feste, appears by the terminal of the drama to be the most intelligent and insightful character, and as a consequence he is loved and respected by all.

FESTE Good Mary, why mourn’st 1000?

OLIVIA Good Fool, for my brother ‘s decease.

FESTE I think his psyche is in snake pit, Mary.

OLIVIA I know his psyche is in Eden, sap.

FESTE The more sap, Mary, to mourn for your brother ‘s psyche,

being in Eden. Take away the sap, gentlemen.

( Shakespeare, Act. 1 Scene 5 )

In this transition Shakespeare uses word frequence to concentrate the readers attending on the function of Feste as the sap. The consequence of word frequence is that as words are repeated they gain a greater consequence upon the reader, ( Graddol, et. Al. 1994, p. 227-228 ) . As the word sap is repeated throughout the transition, and throughout the drama, it focuses the readers attending to the sarcasm in that the one character that can see everything that is traveling on within the complicated drama if Feste, the sap. At the beginning of scene five Olivia calls for Feste to be taken off because she does non understand what he is seeking to state, he so proves himself to be more sound of head so she, the true Shakespearean sap.

“People’s apprehension of texts non merely depend on a general cognition of the universe, but besides involve schemes of comprehension which are non curious to linguistic communication ( Graddol, et. Al. 1994, p. 218 ) . In this sense writers frequently depend on reader’s cognition, premises and sentiments to derive the reactions they desire from their readers. Therefore, in Twelfth Night even though Feste is referred to as the sap the audience shortly learns to listen to him for penetration into the narrative.

Merely as Shakespeare uses linguistic communication drama to enrich his dramas and guarantee their eternity, likewise, Gabriel Garcia Marquez infuses his plants with evocations of the charming and phantasmagoric, while staying within the categorization of literary fiction, instead than traversing the boundary into scientific discipline fiction, although many of his story-lines could easy be classified as scientific discipline fiction or phantasy. Marquez uses unusual metaphors to make a alone universe where, frequently, the past nowadays and future coincide, yet Marquez presents his narrations in such a ocular and powerful manner, that they non do non look strange.

‘Through the window he contemplated the sea adult drowsy in the boredom of four o’clock, and realised with a heavy bosom the sups had returned, ’ ( Marquez, 1995, p. 20 ) . In this transition Marquez uses linguistic communication drama in a figure of ways. First he uses the reader’s premises of what certain words should intend and which other words they should be grouped with, these premises are referred to as scheme and frames ( Graddol, et. al. , 1994, p. 216-8 ) .

Furthermore he uses collocation ( Jeffries, 1996, p. 169 ) , which is linked to the thought of scheme and frames, utilizing the thought of grouping unusual words to make an impact upon the reader. In his description of the “sea adult drowsy” Marquez uses the thought that most readers would see the sea as boisterous and goes against that by depicting it as drowsy, making a sense of melancholy with merely a few words. He besides uses the readers apprehension of the phrases “heavy heart” and “swallows returning” to show the thought of unhappiness in clip passing. Without stating that clip has passed the usage of the phrase “the sups had returned” indicates to the reader that it is now spring and the character in inquiry is unhappy about it.

Both writers manage to defy being pigeonholed by utilizing linguistic communication drama to paint graphic dynamic images in the reader’s imaginativeness. They depend on the reader to make full in the inside informations of what they are depicting, and in making so avoiding the demand to depict inside informations which could restrict them to a specific period or genre of literature.

If there were no linguistic communication drama, there would be no literature because there would be merely one manner of stating any one thing. Language drama affords authors the ability to personalize their ideas, and those of their characters, making dynamic narrations. Much of literature is referential, but without the usage of linguistic communication drama we would simply hold repeat instead than mention. “No text is produced which is non in some manner affected by texts, both spoken and written, literary and non-literary, that have gone before it’ ( Jeffries, 1996, p. 181 ) . It is their usage of linguistic communication instead than their thoughts, which set writers apart from one another.


Cook, G. “Language drama in English” ( pp. 198-227 ) . In: Maybin, J. and Mercer, N. ( 1996 ) . Using English: From conversation to canon. London: Routledge.

Graddol, D. , Cheshire, J. & A ; Swann, J. ( 1994 ) . Describing Language. “7.4: Written Language.” ( pp. 214-234 ) . Buckingham Philadelphia: Open University Press.

Jeffries, L. “What makes English into art? ” ( pp. 162-184 ) . In: Maybin, J. and Mercer, N. ( 1996 ) . Using English: From conversation to canon. London: Routledge.

Marquez, G.G. ( 1995 ) Of Love and other Demons ( translated from Spanish by Edith Grossman ) . Toronto: Knopf Canada.

Shakespeare, W. Twelfth Night. Act 1, Scene 5. In: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.shakespeare-literature.com/Twelfth_Night/5.html

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