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Performing Susanna: Speech Acts And Other Performative Elements In Susanna

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Chapter Summary

Susanna has been a popular text for interpretation through the centuries, just like any other text that connects with the hearts and desires of human beings. Many approaches have already been used in trying to unfold Susanna's relevance: a historical-critical approach; a grammatical-historical analysis; thematic expositions such as 'suffering' (Harrington) and 'humour' (Gruen); and more recently, a feminist perspective. However valuable these approaches might be, they do not illuminate the performative/dynamic aspects of texts and their ability to communicate. Furthermore, they do not provide for investigation of the presumed response of the audience. Elements of the speech act theory are applied to the text of Susanna as a possible way to remedy these unattended areas. This addresses previously neglected strands of communication between author and audience.

Keywords: Daniel; speech act theory; Susanna



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