THE STRATEGY OF THEATRECALITY IN BORIS JOHNSON’S POLITICAL DISCOURSE
Politics is a multifaceted phenomenon that involves quest for power and influence reflected in strategies, tactics and language use. This article addresses the problem of strategies and tactics of speech manipulation as well as linguistic means employed in political discourse, with a particular focus on Boris Johnson’s speeches. From a variety of contemporary academic approaches to the typology of strategies associated with speech manipulation in political discourse, the authors of this article resort to the classification suggested by Olena Mihaleva. Apart from the strategy of downgrading the candidate’s status and the strategy of enhancing the candidate’s status, the researcher identifies the strategy of theatricality approached in this study. Adopting the traditional view of theatricality seen as the quality of relating to the stage as well as Olena Shejgal’s stance, the authors of this article consider political communication as a concept closely related to the theatre in which the addressee is a spectator perceiving the political event as a dramatic performance. This research examines the strategy of theatricality in Boris Johnson’s political discourse from the perspective of tactics and language used to bring the addressee into the right psychological state as intended by the addresser. It has enabled the authors to identify a number of tactics undertaken to accomplish the strategy of theatricality, in particular, tactics of call to action, identification, cooperation, appeal to audience, certainty, presentation, and promise as well as the scope of linguistic means employed by the politician to influence the addressee’s perception of himself and the party he belongs to. This study has found that the most productive means used to verbalize the strategy of theatricality and its tactics are lexical and grammatical ones. Parallel constructions are prevailing among syntactic means and are used to explicate the hidden speech influence on the targeted audience. Further research on communication in political discourse could be focused on other politicians’ individual styles as well as their comparative analysis.
2. Михалева О. Политический дискурс: специфика манипулятивного воздействия. Москва, 2009. 252 с.
3. Шейгал Е. Театральность политического дискурса. Единицы языка и их функционирование. Саратов, 2000. № 6. С. 92–96.
4. Brown P., Levinson S. Politeness: Some Universals in Language Use. London ; New York, 1987. 345 p.
5. Johnson B. Transcript: Boris Johnson’s election victory speech in full. 2019. URL: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/transcript-boris-johnson-election-victory-speech-full-191213082621940.html (дата звернення: 26.08.2020).
6. Johnson B. Transcript: Boris Johnson’s first speech to Parliament as UK Prime Minister. 2019. URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-leader-speech-text/boris-johnsons-first-speechto-parliament-as-uk-prime-minister-idUSKCN1UK1JK (дата звернення: 26.08.2020).