‘I’ve been nowhere and done nothing’. The characterization of Daisy Mason in the British drama Downton Abbey


  • Cecilia Lazzeretti University of Modena and Reggio Emilia




characterization, television series, Downton Abbey, corpus linguistics, identity, language


The article aims at investigating the characterization of Daisy Mason in the British television drama Downton Abbey and is based on a corpus of transcripts of episodes in Series One, Two and Three. The relevant background of the study is represented by Culpeper’s (2001) and Bednarek’s studies on characterization in drama and fictional television (Bednarek 2010, 2011a, 2011b, 2011c, 2012).

Drawing upon a combined methodology, in line with the Corpus Assisted Discourse Studies tradition (Partington, Duguid and Taylor 2013), the analysis puts in relation the most relevant aspects of the personality of Daisy – the character traits obtained by applying Culpeper’s (2001) framework on textual cues – with typical features of her speech revealed by corpus linguistics methodologies. 

Corpus evidence shows a relevant presence of negatives in Daisy’s speech: I don’t know is the most frequent three-word cluster around the pronoun I. Her sentences are shorter than the average of other characters and are often self-interrupted.  Moreover, she asks a question every fourth sentence, while the average of other characters is one every fifth.

Results point to a frustrated character, a silent rebellious who has difficulties in expressing her thoughts and does not accept to play a minor role in the story.


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How to Cite

Lazzeretti, C. (2019). ‘I’ve been nowhere and done nothing’. The characterization of Daisy Mason in the British drama Downton Abbey. Series - International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, 5(1), 33–44. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2421-454X/8966



Narratives / Aesthetics / Criticism