Here is a great video of Peter Sellers flouting the maxim of manner in the deliberate way that artists do in order to generate thought or to create a comic effect.
Peter Sellers delivers the words of the famous Beatles song “A Hard Day’s Night” in the same manner that a Shakesperean actor – in this case he is dressed and surrounded by the props which we associate with William Shakespeare’s Richard III The effect is hilarious. I am not sure whether Sellers is trying to say something more through this. Is he insinuating that the manner of delivery may sometimes assign some kind of aura to the words that they might otherwise not have? I don’t know. But what he (or his director) has created is a wonderful starter for discussions on the notion of genre.
Genre ( // or //; from French, genre French pronunciation: [????????], “kind” or “sort”, from Latin: genus (stem gener-), Greek: genos, γ??νος) is the term for any category of literature or other forms of art or culture, e.g. music, and in general, any type of discourse, whether written or spoken, audial or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria. Genres are formed by conventions that change over time as new genres are invented and the use of old ones are discontinued. Often, works fit into multiple genres by way of borr
owing and recombining these conventions.
Imagine if the Beatles set Richard II’s monologue into music similar to a Hard Day’s night. Would we take the words as seriously then, I wonder.