Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2352-1805
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1813
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The use of im/politeness in political discourse has attracted relatively little attention in im/politeness scholarship (Tracy 2017). The study examines how the character of a leader may be intra-/cross-culturally reshaped, in translated drama, through the use of im/politeness strategies. To this end, the study examines the use of im/politeness strategies in two Greek versions (Belies 1997Karthaios 2004) of William Shakespeare’s play . Etic and emic approaches to the data show differences in the way the character of Brutus is portrayed, by the translators’ manipulating im/politeness strategies in his discourse. The study uses the ‘horizontal’ dimension of intimacy/distance and the ‘vertical’ dimension of power (Spencer-Oatey 1996) to show that the first translation (Karthaios 2004) shows Brutus to be making use of a less impressive persuasive strategy when addressing the public, the second translation (Belies 1997) seems to show Brutus’ potential to express intimacy towards the public, which made the persuasive force of his discourse more convincing. The study shows that im/politeness is a significant tool in the hands of translators who shape the identity of the leader and that translated versions of a playtext can fruitfully show preferred patterns of behaviour which may be pointing to cultural patterns of interaction.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): emic; etic; im/politeness strategies; political speech; public discourse
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