A Pragmatic Comparative Study of Deixis in Relation to Absurd Drama

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Assit Prof. Dr. Saad S . Abdullah


      This paper aims to identify and analyze the dominant types of deictic expressions in two famous plays of the Absurd Theatre: Harold Pinter's " The Birthday party” and Samuel Beckett's " Waiting for Godot”, and to compare these on the basis of the deixis found in both texts by adopting Levinson's (1983) model. Plays categorized under this heading make them different from traditional plays . This is because language is different and the characters who use and speak it for communicating ideas and meanings are different . The study is qualitative where the researcher reads, collects the data from the utterances in the two scripts, and finally counts the frequency of all types of deictic expressions so as to state the function of each type.

      The findings revealed that the five types of deixis: person, place or spatial, time or temporal, discourse and social were all employed in the two texts .  The study concludes : first , this employment is intended to facilitate the readers' understanding of words and phrases that could not completely comprehended in the absence of additional and textual information .  Secondly, deictic expressions are prominent features in the plays of the Absurd Theatre.  Thirdly, deixis can contribute, to a great extent, to complete the ideas and meanings that absurd playwrights writers like Pinter , Beckett and others sought to convey in their plays.

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