Notes on politeness and impoliteness in Cervantes and Borges

  • María Sagrario del Río Zamudio University of Udine
Keywords: pragmatics, politeness, impoliteness, argumentation, analysis


The main objective of this article is to outline an analysis of verbal politeness and impoliteness based on selected passages of El Quijote and Borges’ story Pierre Ménard, autor del Quijote. Through the lens of these texts, we were able to examine some of the different theories that have emerged on this topic, and, in particular, certain politeness strategies. In our discussion we consider both the rhetorical perspective (which encompasses strategies for creating persuasive discourse), and the logical perspective, basing our arguments on specific examples in the texts. The results of this analysis lead to the conclusion that verbal politeness offers a frame of reference which enables a better under­standing of the texts in question, opening up new perspectives not considered by traditional literary theory. Further, we observed that not everything that initially appeared impolite, and even offensive, actually was impolite, and vice versa.


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How to Cite
Sagrario del Río Zamudio, M. (2017). Notes on politeness and impoliteness in Cervantes and Borges. Verba Hispanica, 25(1), 103-116.