Conflict discourse and cognitive processing in Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Piazza, Roberta (2012) Conflict discourse and cognitive processing in Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Studi Italiani di Linguistica Teorica e Applicata (SILTA), XLI (2). pp. 317-336. ISSN 0390-6809

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This study of Martin McDonagh’s play The Beauty Queen of Leenane investigates verbal confrontation in the dramatic discourse between its female characters. The analysis shows how various expressions of conflict range from direct and symmetrical, when the two women use repair and refutations, to indirect confrontation in the case of witty and ironical ripostes. The aspects of an interactional confrontation are not simply appreciated as rhetorical strategies but are viewed in their quality as speech events that may trigger different cognitive processes in the mind of the readers/viewers.
This study suggests that the closeness and distance that are associated with the speech act of disagreeing and conflicting can be viewed from the cognitive angle of Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson, 1995 [1986]), if one considers that speakers make an initial approach to their interlocutors by taking on board what they say and their views, to then take their distance from them when they refute their propositions. The dimensions of ‘closeness’ and ‘intimacy’ in opposition to that of ‘distance’ and ‘disengagement’ therefore are not simply social (i.e. speakers disagree in a situation of intimacy) but can actually be seen in relation to the cognitive effects to which the dramatic text gives rise

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English > PE1001 Modern English
Depositing User: Roberta Piazza
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2012 09:38
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 21:32

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