Disclosing Deceitful Behavior in Aladdin (2019): The Characters’ Violation of Grice’s Maxims


In spite of the fact that Grice’s maxims direct the dyad talk exchange to glide gently, some people disobey for certain rational grounds or motives: one of them is hiding a lie. Aladdin (2019) was the remake of the 1992 American musical fantasy film which described a kind-hearted street urchin (Aladdin) and a power-hungry grand vizier ( Jafar) who were vying for a magic lamp that had the power to make their deepest wishes come true. Princess Jasmine’s introduction enlivened the story because her beauty was so tempting that Aladdin, whose social stratification was different, fell passionately in love with her. Jafar’s ambitious appetency to take over the kingdom fired the conflicts among the characters. All enthusiasms drove these fictitious characters to do anything, including entailing lies. Unriddling the violation of Grice’s (1975) maxims and detailing Ekman’s (1992) Detecting Deceit theory, comprising word, voice and body, this investigation was designed qualitatively to disclose the characters’ deceitful behavior and find out the reasons behind it. Some of the reasons for telling a lie, according to Turner, Edgley and Olmstead (1975) are covering to save face, to maintain/terminate a relationship, to avoid tension/conflict, and to control the situation; these were operated in the study. It was found that there were groups who 1) violated the maxims of quantity, quality and manner; 2) violated the maxims of quantity, quality and relevant; and 3) violated the maxims of quality, manner and relevant. The most frequently found reasons for why they violated the maxims were to save face, to exploit others and to terminate the interaction. The results show that people tend to deceive others in order to save face in social situations and to gain power over others by violating multiple maxims.

Keywords: deceitful behavior, reasons of deception, violated maxims

[1] Aladdin Movie Script. Retrieved from September 25, 2019 from https://springfieldspringfield.co.uk/ movie_script.php?movie=aladdin-2019.

[2] Christoffersen, D. (2005). The Shameles Liar’s Guide. Illinois: Sourcebooks Hysteria.

[3] Cutting, J. (2002). Pragmatics and Discourse: A Resource Book for Students. London: Routledge.

[4] DePaulo, B. M., et al. (1996). Lying in Everyday Life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 70, issue 5, pp. 979-995.

[5] Ekman, P. (1992). Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage. New York: Norton & Company.

[6] Fadhilla, F. L., Anam, S. and Wahyuningsih, A. T. (2019). An Analysis of Violated Maxims by the Main Character of 13 Reasons Why Season 2 TV Series. Jawa Timur, Jember: Undergraduate Thesis, Universitas Jember, 2019.

[7] Finegan, E. (2008). Language: Its Structure and Use (5th ed.). Boston: Thomson Wadsworth.

[8] Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction Ritual. Garden City: Doubleday.

[9] Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and Conversation. In J. Cole, et al (Eds.), Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Act. New York: Academic Press, pp: 41-58.

[10] Thomas, J. (1995). Meaning in Interaction: An Introduction to Pragmatics. London: Longman.

11] Tupan, A. H. and Natalia, H. (2008). The Multiple Violations of Conversational Maxims in Lying Done by the Characters in Some Episode of Desperate Housewives. K@ta Journal, vol. 10, issue 1, pp. 63-78.

[12] Turner, R. E., Edgley, C. and Olmstead, G. (1975). Information Control in Conversations: Honesty is not Always the Best Policy. Kansas Journal of Sociology, vol. 11, issue 1, pp. 69-89.

[13] Waget, A. (2016). Violations of Grice’s Maxims in The Prince and the Pauper Movie. LLT Journal, vol. 18, issue 1, pp. 1-10.

[14] Wei, X. and Xu, J. (2012). A Comparative Study on Heroism in Shooter and Water Margin. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, vol. 2, issue 7, pp. 1458-1464.