Pragmatic Approaches to Drama

Studies in Communication on the Ancient Stage


This volume collects papers on pragmatic perspectives on ancient theatre. Scholars working on literature, linguistics, theatre will find interesting insights on verbal and non-verbal uses of language in ancient Greek and Roman Drama. Comedies and tragedies spanning from the 5th century B.C.E. to the 1st century C.E. are investigated in terms of im/politeness, theory of mind, interpersonal pragmatics, body language, to name some of the approaches which afford new interpretations of difficult textual passages or shed new light into nuances of characterisation, or possibilities of performance. Words, silence, gestures, do things, all the more so in dramatic dialogues on stage.
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Gunther Martin, DPhil (2005), University of Oxford, is a lecturer and researcher at the Universities of Zurich and Bern. He has, among other things, published books on historiography, oratory, and a commentary on Euripides' Ion.
Federica Iurescia, Ph.D. (2017), Universities of Siena and Pisa, worked as SNSF scientific collaborator at the University of Zurich. Her research interests focus on pragmatics in Latin, chiefly im/politeness and dialogues. Her main publication is Credo iam ut solet iurgabit. Pragmatica della lite a Roma (Göttingen, 2019).
Severin Hof, MA (2016), University of Zurich, has written his PhD thesis on multiperspectivity in Sophocles at that university. His research interests include Greek drama, Medieval Latin, and papyrology.
Giada Sorrentino, Ph.D. (2013), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg i. Br., has completed her post-doc research project at that university. She is author of various articles on Middle and New Comedy and of Comunicazione e relazioni interpersonali nelle commedie di Menandro (Göttingen 2020).

Contributors are: Rutger J. Allan, Peter Barrios-Lech, Luigi Battezzato, Łukasz Berger, Anna Bonifazi, Evita Calabrese, Matteo Capponi, Evert van Emde Boas, Severin Hof, Federica Iurescia, Michael Lloyd, Gunther Martin, Sandra Rodríguez-Piedrabuena, Renata Raccanelli, Licinia Ricottilli, Carlo Scardino, Lavinia Scolari, Camille Semenzato, Giada Sorrentino, Luis Unceta Gómez, Vanessa Zetzmann.
Notes on Contributors

Gunther Martin, Federica Iurescia, Severin Hof and Giada Sorrentino

Part 1 Verbal Communication I: Doing Things with Words

How To Do Things with (ἐ)κεῖνος and αὐτός in Tragedy: Initial Suggestions
Anna Bonifazi

Pointing to Common Ground in Dramatic Dialogue: The Case of δή and τοι
Rutger J. Allan

Terms of Address on Right Periphery in Greek Tragedy
Sandra Rodríguez Piedrabuena

The Linguistic Characterisation of Oedipus in OT: A Pragmatics-Based Approach to ‘Mind Style’
Evert van Emde Boas

Resonance in the Prologue of Sophocles’ Ajax
Severin Hof

Pentheus und Dionysos in den Bakchen: Die Grenzen des klaren Dialogs
Camille Semenzato

Iphigenie und ihre Mutter: Pragmatische Bemerkungen zur Iphigenie in Aulis
Giada Sorrentino

Part 2 Verbal Communication II: Being More or Less Kind with Words

Oedipus and Tiresias: Im/politeness Theory and the Interpretation of Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus
Luigi Battezzato

Politeness and Impoliteness in Aristophanes
Michael Lloyd

Developments in Politeness from Aristophanes to Menander and Beyond
Peter Barrios-Lech

Advice-Giving in Roman Comedy: Speech-Act Formulation and Im/politeness
Łukasz Berger

The Politics of Manipulation: Politeness and Insincerity in the Language of Parasites and Courtesans in Plautus’ Comedies
Luis Unceta Gómez

Part 3 Verbal and Non-verbal Communication: Doing Things Not Just with Words

Silence and the Failure of Persuasion in Tragic Discourse
Vanessa Zetzmann

Doing Things with Words … and Gestures on Stage
Matteo Capponi

Reflections on Gestures and Words in Terence’s Comedies
Licinia Ricottilli

The Kiss in Plautus’ Stichus: Notes on Gestures and Words in View of a Pragmatics of Comic Communication
Renata Raccanelli

Lacrimae and uultus: Pragmatic Considerations on Gestures in Seneca’s Tragedies
Evita Calabrese

Pragmatics of fraus: Encoding and Decoding of Deceit in Seneca’s Troades and Thyestes
Lavinia Scolari


Euripides: Von der Rhetorik zur Pragmatik
Carlo Scardino

Index Locorum
Index Rerum
Academics and advanced students interested in ancient Greek and Roman drama, historical pragmatics, drama and performance, linguistics, narratology, literary interpretation of dramatic genres.
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