Monty Python vs. Church
“Comment on the way speakers adapt their spoken language to suit the situation.”
Throughout the transcript, each side has a clear argument: Monty Python has the purpose to defend the film whilst the Church has the purpose to attack ‘Monty Python.’ However, not only this but there is also the purpose of entertainment being casted through the transcript. Firstly, the idea of defending ‘Monty Python,’ is said by John Cleese and Michael Palin. “…Popper’s on about with the falsifiability of theories.” Here, John Cleese has adapted a more serious tone and the repertoire of Carl Popper, than before as he makes a statement. As a result of this, it comments on John Cleese’s intellectual ability, which intimidates the opposition because they cannot argue against a well-established theory. Furthermore, in this transcript Michael Palin disguises his planned speech by adapting his language by using hedges and making his talk have flat intonation so that his points don’t seem so direct and accusative, “I think that, uh…sort of…we’ve done for three series, we’ve done for three films...” Here, it seems as if Michael Palin’s point is quite pointless due to the hedges, however, what he tries to say is quite critical of the opposition as he tries to say that they don’t know what they are talking about. “I think it isn’t entirely about religion…” here, Michael Palin adapts his spoken language by choosing not to use Standard English; he uses contractions and this has the same effect as a hedge because it softens his point, ensuring that no one will take it personally. It is also quite ironic by denying that not all of the film was about religion when actually, the whole purpose of the film was to ridicule Jesus. The effect of using irony is convergent because it gets the audiences attention and draws their interest to what Michael Palin says, but also, by using hedges, it shows how they understand what their opponent is saying and how they undermine them....
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