• Dr. Mazhar Hayat 1 Assistant Professor of English, Government Postgraduate College, Samanabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Abdul Baseer Lecturer in English Linguistics, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Saira Akhter Lecturer in English, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan


Pragmatics; Deviations; Cooperative Principles; The Theatre of the Absurd; tragi-comedy


There is no denying that for a meaningful communication to take place, the interlocutors ought to observe in the words of Paul Grice (1975) ‘Four Maxims of Cooperative Principle’. However, for the communication to become meaningful and effective, utterances are interpreted and understood in context, not in isolation. Pragmatics, a relatively new branch of linguistics, deals with all the sociological and psychological phenomena which occur in the functioning of speech. It does not interpret a textual discourse at its surface level but goes to its meanings at deeper level. Samuel Beckett, the pioneer of ‘The Theatre of the Absurd’, affirms that we try to conceal reality behind words but we fail because language reveals more than is intended by the speaker. Beckett’s master piece Waiting for Godot provides rich foregrounded material for pragmatic analysis as characters of the play frequently flout the maxims of Cooperative Principles. For a lay man, the utterances of the dramatis personae seem to communicate nothing because of repetitive sentence structures, unconventional dialogues and untraditional symbols. But, this research paper aims to establish that all these deviations/floutings of Cooperative Principles would yield a variety of meanings when analysed in context. A number of passages from the text are selected for analysis on the basis of their stylistic and thematic significance. Mick Short’s (1997) model of description, interpretation and evaluation has been applied for the analysis of the selected texts.


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How to Cite

Hayat, D. M., Baseer, A., & Akhter, S. (2014). PRAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF DEVIATIONS OF COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES IN SAMUEL BECKETT’S WAITING FOR GODOT. Journal Of Social Sciences, 6(2), 47-68. Retrieved from //