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

dc.contributorAinsworth, David
dc.contributorWrenn, Chase B.
dc.contributor.advisorO'Dair, Sharon
dc.contributor.authorHelms, Nicholas Ryan
dc.contributor.otherUniversity of Alabama Tuscaloosa
dc.date.accessioned2017-02-28T22:20:30Z
dc.date.available2017-02-28T22:20:30Z
dc.date.issued2009
dc.descriptionElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.description.abstractIn 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.en_US
dc.format.extent70 p.
dc.format.mediumelectronic
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.otheru0015_0000001_0000036
dc.identifier.otherHelms_alatus_0004M_10009
dc.identifier.urihttps://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/543
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.hasversionborn digital
dc.relation.ispartofThe University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.rightsAll rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.en_US
dc.subjectEnglish literature
dc.subjectCognitive psychology
dc.subjectLanguage, Linguistics
dc.titleA body of suffering: reading Shakespeare's tragedies through cognitive theoryen_US
dc.typethesis
dc.typetext
etdms.degree.departmentUniversity of Alabama. Department of English
etdms.degree.disciplineEnglish
etdms.degree.grantorThe University of Alabama
etdms.degree.levelmaster's
etdms.degree.nameM.A.
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