Abstract

Wittgenstein included “playing theater” among the meanings of Sprachspiel, an association obscured by the translation of that word as “language game.” Suggesting that we translate Sprachspiel as “language play,” I argue that Wittgenstein developed a dramatic vocabulary by describing language as acts performed by actors in particular scenes and settings. In his own writing, he invented dramatic scenarios that are populated by characters and centered on sequences of action. These scenarios—Wittgenstein’s “language plays”—with their flat characters and minimal stages, resonate with the theater of the absurd and influenced later dramatists such as Tom Stoppard.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 107-127
Launched on MUSE
2015-09-30
Open Access
No
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