Who’s afraid of aggression
Gender and impoliteness through translation
Impoliteness scholars have drawn attention to the fact that any deviation from the stereotypical ‘polite’ and ‘feminine’ behaviour, in certain communities of practice, is considered impolite and offensive (Mills 2005
). The aim of the study is to investigate how im/politeness constructs gender identities in two Greek stage translations (1977, 2006) of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(1962), through analysis of how the translators reshape the im/polite behaviour in the interaction of the main couple to capture the audience’s attention. An emic approach to the analysis of the two translations, along with a glimpse into multimodal aspects of interaction, namely, the body language as manifested in the film adaptation of the play (1966), indicate subversion of gender roles and different levels of aggression in the two Greek versions, highlighting the significance of the chronological distance between the two translations. The study reveals that impoliteness theories can be applicable to stage translation, that body language may be another factor contributing to the shaping of im/politeness, while there is a growing awareness that relationships and gender roles, in the sphere of the spectacle, continuously embrace aggression for entertainment purposes.
- 1.Introduction: Gender in discourse and the play
- 2.Designing the research
- 3.Presentation of empirical data
- 3.1The verbal input
- 3.2Visual input
- 3.3The preferred options
- 4.Discussion of the results, im/politeness in society
- 5.Im/politeness in fiction