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Is John Austin correct to say that theatrical talk is 'parasitic' on real life Detail your answer with examples and relevan - Essay Example

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Is John Austin correct to say that theatrical talk is ‘parasitic’ on real life? Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2 2. Language and Theory 3 2.1 Performance of Language 3 2.2 Performative Utterance 4 2.3 Constatives 6 2.4 The Doctrine of Infelicities 6 3…
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Download file to see previous pages 1. Introduction The performance of language is defined by the way in which it constructs reality. Language has the capacity to create a setting, a place in which the performance of language becomes the centre of its existence. Language does not only interpret, but it creates. Through the way in which language creates the space, it gives it meaning. The meaning that comes from the construction of language to create affect provides the context for the construction. Language has great power in society and therefore must be considered well as it is used. The use of language is a performance. Every time people speak they are creating a performance based on the theme which they are trying to express. In the theatre this should be the same but many times it is not. Sometimes the experience of creating becomes hampered by the need to tell. Telling is not nearly as effective as showing. A person can perform an entire monologue through a look, but can miss the entire meaning if it is spoken in several pages of spoken language. In creating real life, the nature of language is changed, the willingness to change the nature of communication in order to imitate life making it disingenuous. Therefore, because it is disingenuous, the language used in the theatre is parasitic and should be excluded. The theatre creates meaning that should reflect life, but in truth it feeds off of the reactions of the audience. The theatre can reconstruct society through making the audience believe in its utterances and that the emotions behind them are realistic. Even as the actor speaks his monologue he is being disingenuous about what he or she says, his or her ‘performance’ reflecting fiction and not reflecting his own experiences, meanings, or intentions. In truth, there is no truth in the theatre, thus Austin is right about the language of theatre. 2. Language and Theory 2.1 Performance of Language Unfortunately, language is not always considered well. John Austin (1975, p. 22) stated that theatrical talk is parasitic on real life. Theatre is the construction of an imitation of real life. Theatrical talk is a way that creates a gap between the ‘reality’ of a moment and the framing of a moment from the exterior space of it. Although it is too obvious of a way to show this phenomenon, the example can be seen through Hamlet. In many interpretations, in his soliloquy, Hamlet is discussing the idea of suicide. He talks what it would be like to do it, what it would mean, and how it would affect his existence. He talks around the topic, but the one thing he does not do is experience it. Of course, this evasion of action is central to the plot and character of Hamlet, but the point is made. The language talks about what should be experienced. The concept of performativity has become associated with a number of different ideas. The basic definition of the word is based upon the idea that language creates something that is ‘like a performance’ (Scheiner 2013, p. 4). However, the way in which John Austin discusses the idea of performativity is in relationship to the sincerity of the performance. Without this sincerity, the reality of the moment is lost in the parasite of theatrical language. Theatrical language often becomes a step away from reality, thus the ‘performance’ of the words detracts from the performance that is life. Eve Sedgwick (2003) discusses performativity in relationship to shame. Relating the action of looking down and away, the performance of shame is associated with the recognition of that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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