A body of suffering: reading Shakespeare's tragedies through cognitive theory

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dc.contributor Ainsworth, David
dc.contributor Wrenn, Chase B.
dc.contributor.advisor O'Dair, Sharon
dc.contributor.author Helms, Nicholas Ryan
dc.date.accessioned 2017-02-28T22:20:30Z
dc.date.available 2017-02-28T22:20:30Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0000036
dc.identifier.other Helms_alatus_0004M_10009
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/543
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract In this thesis I attempt to build and use a cognitive theory of tragedy. I base this theory upon the work of George Lakoff, Mark Johnson, and Mark Turner, whose studies of embodied metaphor and conceptual blending offer a new linguistic understanding of the way human beings think. When applied to tragedy, these cognitive theories enable a radical rethinking of the tragic hero, catharsis, and suffering itself. My thesis contains three major sections. In the first, I lay out the foundation of my theory, describing the basic processes of embodied metaphor and conceptual blending and linking these processes to theoretical accounts of paradigm shift and pattern, specifically those of Thomas Kuhn and Daniel Dennett. I then describe cognitive theory's relationship to traditional tragic theorists, including Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Terry Eagleton. Finally, I offer a cognitive reading of two plays: Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. Throughout, I hope to illustrate the links between thought, metaphor, and human action. Metaphors are not simply linguistic expressions: they are tools of the mind, and our use of those tools can bring great success or great tragedy. As such, tragedy is not merely an aesthetic genre. It is a cognitive event, a presentation of metaphor and of the consequences of metaphor.
dc.format.extent 70 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Literature, English
dc.subject.other Psychology, Cognitive
dc.subject.other Language, Linguistics
dc.title A body of suffering: reading Shakespeare's tragedies through cognitive theory
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Dept. of English
etdms.degree.discipline English
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master's
etdms.degree.name M.A.


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