Semiotics: A Literary Genre Universal Essay

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Semiotics is a branch of communication and study of signs and symbols. Strictly speaking, this comes under non verbal communication. Some objects that are visual and non verbal may be used to communicate rightly or wrongly in a limited area as that of a green light indicating a positiveness and of a red light, a danger. A set of boulders put nocturnally on a major highway is indicative of a deliberate scheme of waywardly robbers to loot lorries and cargo movers. A white flag from the enemy

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A poetic literature, ‘Mukkoodar-Pallu’ of the 18th Century, in one of its stanzas says the lightning that glares on the sky above the coastal Kerala and over the horizon of Eeelam Island herald the onset of monsoon rains. The wind that sweeps and swirls goes around since yesterday and the frogs with coarse skin began crying. These are the symptoms of the rain that is to befall soon.
Symbolically indicating the natural occurrences such as silent heralding of news mostly in poetry has been there even in ancient Tamil literature but the credit of categorizing it as a separate generic element goes to the European scholars.
We may not realize but, semiotics can be applied to all sorts of human endeavours including cinema, theatre, literature, music ,dance, art, history, politics, religion ,and even to advertising. We knowingly or unknowingly display a variety of signs or gestures in order to convey a message. For a semiotician (one who practices semiotic analysis), a shirt, a haircut, a television image, anything at all, can be taken as a sign, as a message to be analyzed and to discover its meaning. Semiotics is the systematic study of these signs. Semiotics draws attention to the layers of meaning that lay hidden in a set of signs. For example the five interlocking rings on the Olympic flag or even a
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