glovers son turned player however much Shakespeare may himself have felt the

Glovers son turned player however much shakespeare

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glover’s-son-turned-player, however much Shakespeare may himself have felt the constraints of his social position upon his writing, as he seems to express in sonnet  : ³⁵ Why write I still all one, ever the same, And keep invention in a noted weed, That every word doth almost tell my name, Showing their birth and where they did proceed ? ( ; emphasis added) Shakespeare is nonetheless a writer acutely sensitive to the social situ- ation of people’s language. For that reason alone we must have at our command a working inventory of the tropes of social interaction before we can give a richly articulated account of his language and style. The analysis in this chapter of the various styles for doing directives in one play should at least suggest how the Brown and Levinson model of politeness can help us toward such an inventory. I have been arguing that the conversational logic of politeness helps to determine linguistic interaction among the play’s characters. If the ordinary (and yet eloquent) forms of social politeness direct characters’ speeches to such a large extent, then we must question the usual assumptions that stylistic features express either a character’s individual ‘‘personality’’ or Shakespeare’s personal style. It would nonetheless be premature to conclude that style is simply re ective of the immediate contingencies of particular social interactions. It is still possible to conceptualize a connection between style and character, if we reach towards a dialogics of the speaking subject and a pragmatic reading of dramatic character. Subsequent chapters will explore this possibility further, but we have seen in this chapter how character ‘‘e ff ects’’ can be shaped by the speech patterns of the speakers’ relative social positions, both as given in the present moment of the verbal interaction and as gathering up the cumulative trajectory of accustomed speech positions.  The rhetoric of politeness
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  ‘‘Power to hurt’’: language and service in Sidney household letters and Shakespeare’s sonnets ‘‘Power to hurt’’: my starting point is a phrase shared by Edmund Molyneux and William Shakespeare. In an eloquent and rhetorically complicated letter to Sir Philip Sidney, answering a rebuke from him, his father’s secretary, Edmund Molyneux writes of having ‘‘neither Will nor Power to hurt in this Case if I wolde.’’ Letter Edmund Molyneux, Esq ; to Sir Philip Sidney. SIR , I have receaved your Lettres, and doe acknowledge the same as a speciall Note of your lovinge Favour, that it wold please you to write vnto me; and what may lye in me in any Sorte to doe, you shall not need to requier me: But you have (yf it may soe lyke you) full Power and good Warrant to commaund me. Sir, yt semethe by your said Lettres, that you have beene enformed, that I either have already, or in some Sorte pretend hereafter, to be an Adversarie to Mr. Grivell in
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