full name / name of organization:
fatemeh sadat basirizadeh, mohamad mahdi momen , fari parvaneh
A study of the Role of language use in Generating Absurdity in Tom Stoppard Major Plays: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and the Real Thing
Fatemeh Sadat Basirizadeh ,professor of English Literature from Islamic Azad University ,Qom Branch, Iran. Email:
Farid Parvaneh, PhD, Faculty Member of Islamic Azad University, Qom Branch ,Iran
Mohammad Mahdi Momen, BA in Industrial Management from state university, Qom, Iran. Email:
Language in Tom Stoppard’s plays has crucial role; the nature of language itself, how it comes to have significance within context and how the exchanges between characters maybe interpreted differently by an audience.
What Stoppard wants to insist on his plays is the unreliability of language in an unreliable and meaningless world. The use of figurative language, dramatic language, silences, puns, break down of dialogues, and verbal humor, all are effective on making absurdity or making language witty instead of meaningful. He goes beyond absurdism by breaking the distance between audience and the actors. In his plays, human beings are unable to communicate with each other, because they are afraid of using a language that does not have a particular form; sometimes serious, sometimes witty, sometimes meaningless and sometimes difficult to comprehend. Language can be used as a tool for passing the time and everything in Absurd drama is similarly silly, all aspects of life and at the base of this black humour is the absurdity of language itself. For Stoppard the language use is the particular use of a particular word in the right place, or a group of words in the right order, to create a particular effect. He tires to use witty dialogues between actors. When an idea is expressed in words, it may lose its true meaning since the words have infinite interpretations. Therefore, Stoppard believes that language is the downfall of ideas and thoughts.
In this paper, Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and The Real Thing have provided me with the many examples of the power of language communication. To what extended language is effective in making absurdity.
Key words: Metaphor, stoppardian style, play of ideas, The Theater of Absurd, literal / nonliteral language, verbal -humor, word-play
Brief Biodata: Teacher of English Literature in Azad University of Qom in Iran . English teacher and translator.