Politeness in our day is usually seen as something positive. We think of giving compliments or excusing ourselves for small things as acts whose purpose is to make others feel good or comfortable. But politeness has not always been regarded in this way. In fact, our modern conception of politeness may have originated in behaviors adopted by upper classes as means of advertising and perpetuating one's social superiority. With this history in mind, the object of this essay is to investigate whether traces of this hostile use of politeness can be found in modern speech. Through an examination of the 1963 screenplay The Servant, by Harold Pinter, from the perspective of rules of politeness developed by renowned linguist Robin Lakoff, this paper aims to demonstrate how politeness, in its more or less contemporary form, may still function as an essentially aggressive tool for asserting and maintaining dominance.