An Analysis of the Characters' Relationship Development in Roman Holiday from the Perspective of Politeness Principle

Topics: Politeness maxims, Pragmatics, Conversation Pages: 8 (2682 words) Published: June 26, 2012
An Analysis of the Characters' Relationship Development in Roman Holiday from the Perspective of Politeness Principle

1. Introduction
Roman Holiday is a classical romance-comedy film in which a reporter falls in love with a runaway European princess. As a very influential film, Roman Holiday makes a deep impression on the audience with its funny plots and expressive dialogues. However, most of the critics attribute its success to the plot arrangement and actors' performance. As far as the author concern, the film dialogues also plays an important role. Moreover, many scholars, who are engaged in linguistic studies, begin to apply linguistic approach to analyze film dialogues, the results are interesting and inspiring. Some critics noticed that the dialogues in Roman Holiday contribute great to the success and popularity of the film. And it would be innovative to make a research on the dialogues in the film. The dialogue, also known as conversational exchange, is a means that not only reflect communicative purpose, also can promote the audience to better understand the development of the plot and deepen the understanding of the characters' personalities and even their relationship. And it's interesting to discover that many dialogues, which is key to the relationship improvement, are corresponding to and can be explained by Leech's Politeness Principle. Therefore,this paper makes a study of the dialogues in the film from the perspective of Leech's Politeness Principle to explore the characters' relationship development in specific context of situation,which is hoped to facilitate understanding and appreciation of the film. The research, based on six maxims of Leech's Politeness Principle, is to find out the dialogues observing these maxims respectively. Meanwhile,it is concluded that an appropriate knowledge of pragmatics helps to understand and appreciate the artistic features of films. 2.Leech's Politeness Principle

Politeness, as a social phenomenon, can be observed in communication,especially in linguistic behaviour. It can be viewed as one of the major social constraints on human interaction which regulates participants' communicative behavior by constantly reminding them to consider the feeling of others. It is necessary to their take feelings into consideration so as to establish harmonious relationship, which in turn accelerate and facilitate human communication. The academic study of politeness has been one of the most active areas of research in language use. Among the various theories of politeness in the West, the Face Theory proposed by Brown & Levinson remains to be the most influential point for cross-culture contrastive pragmatics and Greffrey Leech's Politeness Principle has also received enormous attention. However, this paper is mainly focused on the Politeness Principle by Leech, which serves as a theoretical basis of the analysis of the dialogues in the film Roman Holiday. In 1967, Grice put forward Conversational Implicature theory that all speakers should adhere to Cooperative Principles(CP) to make the conversation go smoothly and meaningfully. But in the actual communication, people tend to violate these principles due to many reasons. There is no doubt that Cooperative Principles can well explain the generation of conversational implicature. It is inadequate to explain why people would like to use indirect ways to express their meaning which violate some maxims. Based on this fact, in 1983, Leech proposed Politeness Principle(PP) in an attempt to rescue Grice's Cooperative Principles. Leech suggests that speakers often violate the principle of cooperation out of politeness. Speaking politely is very important in our daily communication.It is out of consideration of politeness that people choose different conversational strategies. Politeness Principle proposed by Leech consists of six maxims: Tact Maxim, Generosity Maxim, Approbation Maxim, Modesty Maxim, Agreement Maxim, and...
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