Discuss How Semiotics/Semiology Informs Our Reading Of A Performance

786 words - 4 pages

­Looking at Decadence using Saussure's theory we can understand a lot of it, even though its un-convential. On the other hand using the same theory to try and 'read' Across the Universe gets very complicated, and we probably lose a lot of the information. Even from using the first few words of the performance of Decadence using signifier and signified we can start to add up whats occuricing in the scene in front of us. "what would monsieur and madame like" (reference from steven berkoffs book) is our signifier, what is signified is that there is a conversation occuring between two individuals either he's asking the question or being asked himself, in addition they are sitting in a suit and a dress. so its probably a good guess that they are at some type of restaurant/cafe, and they are talking to there waiter. Also, as the performance progresses they start using language like "salmon fume... hor's d'oeuvres" (reference) this backs up the point of the restaurant. We could also get this from using Peirces theory but it would in a different way. For instance the suit and dress in question would be an icon, but could also be an index to them being upper class. the same quote from above signifing that they are at a restaurant would be an symbol, because culturally it is what we are asked when we are waiting at a table in a restaurant. They ask for champagne with there meal, this signify's that they are rich, and can afford luxurys with there meal such as champagne. This same occurence would be an index and a symbol in Peirces theory, an index to them liking expensive things. It is also symbol because we associate champagne with being rich. "get fucking moving you italian git" now this signifys two things, one the arrogance of the upper class shown in this piece and two the contempt Berkoff has for the upper class. He is showing how arrogant he feels the upper class are. In Peirces theory this could be an index to show the upper classes arrogance towards the 'working class'. Decadence uses a lot of onomapotic words, these serve two purpose's. One, to describe what is occuring in the scene, for us to try and easily see what that character is seeing, and also to make the audience feel...

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