Example: Violation of the Cooperative Principle in Shakespearean plays

The extent to which the cooperative principle and its maxims of conversation facilitate communicative situations, and influence their ongoing, can be observed in situations in which one interactant do not follow them.

In Shakespeare’s plays there are many examples of refusals to cooperate in conversations. The most obvious are those in which a clown or lower-class character deliberatley misinterprets what has been said in order to create humour; or those where characters of high status do the same to exhibit their wit (Blake 2002:311).

An example which illustrates this is the following exchange from Troilus and Cressida (Act 3, Scene 1 ).

Pandarus:

Friend, you, pray you a word: Do not you follow the young Lord Paris?

Servant:

Pandarus:

You depend upon him I meane?

Servant:

Pandarus :

You depend upon a noble Gentleman: I must needes praise him.

Servant:

Pandarus :

You know me, do you not?

Servant:

Faith sir, superficially.

Pandarus:

Friend know me better, I am the Lord Pandarus

Servant:

Pandarus:

Servant: