Communication Through Texts For Performance Essay

1102 words - 4 pages

There is a considerable difference between the spoken and written word. It is important to understand this difference to completely understand a piece of text. There are many facets that characterise these differences, but language is one of the most important. Goodman states that language is 'a map of the world' and rather represents things and events than watches them, as a one would when observing the outside world through a window. When a text is performed, it can be done so in many different forms, whereas a text can only be read. A performance is alive. It happens only once and cannot be stopped midway, as a book can be put aside. Esslin tells us that it is pace, rhythm, and variation in pitch and loudness that give each performance its unique quality. The language as performed gives so much information to the audience. It helps to develop characters, past events, action and materialises the dramatic word.It is meaning that we are searching for, and all communication has meaning. Hawkes tells us that meaning resides in the total act of communication. It is not the message alone that gives the meaning. Factors such as addresser, addressee, contact, message, context and code all play a role in the total act of communication. Depending on which of these elements is more dominant in the communication that exposes the purpose or intention of the message.Another set of aspects to consider is quantity, quality, relation and manner. This is in a sense more necessary to the writer, or speaker, but one must take it into account in order to gain the most from the encounter.In a performance, the verbal element also functions as action. It is characters reactions to the words that play a large part in the action. One can make a study of the relationship between the action and text spoken. This can lead to interesting conclusions when one considers why the character's words contradict the action. This could possibly be used in order to reveal the character's complexity and mixed motivation without blatantly stating it through words. Subtlety is often the best option. It is often the best option to not repeat in your words what your actions are clearly stating. There is no point in saying you are making coffee when one can see that you are clearly doing so. Redundancy is unnecessary.In social terms, in order to be successful in clearly getting one's message across, there are three conditions that must be adhered to. These conditions are (i) preparatory (ii) sincerity, and (iii) essential. In dramatic performances, abuse of these conditions is what gives drama its structure and so much of the structure is based thereupon. It is through this abuse that power and conflict are created - the driving force of the play. If a play's theme revolves around deception, it is likely to be highly dependent on such abuse of these conditions. There is a scene in Shakespeare's Othello that makes for an interesting study of all of these previously spoken about factors....

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