Raphael Lyne addresses a crucial Shakespearean question: why do characters in the grip of emotional crises deliver such extraordinarily beautiful and ambitious speeches? How do they manage to be so inventive when they are perplexed? Their dense, complex, articulate speeches at intensely dramatic moments are often seen as psychological - they uncover and investigate inwardness, character and motivation - and as rhetorical - they involve heightened language, deploying recognisable techniques. Focusing on A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Cymbeline and the Sonnets, Lyne explores both the psychological and rhetorical elements of Shakespeare's language. In the light of cognitive linguistics and cognitive literary theory he shows how Renaissance rhetoric could be considered a kind of cognitive science, an attempt to map out the patterns of thinking. His study reveals how Shakespeare's metaphors and similes work to think, interpret and resolve, and how their struggle to do so results in extraordinary poetry.Read more
- Brings cognitive linguistics and other cognitive approaches to language and literature into contact with close literary analysis of Shakespeare
- Presents an account of the history and philosophy of rhetoric and its relationship to thinking as well as speaking
- Addresses a crucial and fascinating Shakespearean question of why characters in the grip of terrible crises deliver such extraordinarily beautiful, ambitious and/or confusing speeches
Reviews & endorsements
'Sections of this book work very well as thoughtful close readings of the way Shakespeare uses language to present his characters' thought in action and Lyne's central argument is surely right.' Peter Mack, The Review of English Studies
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- Date Published: June 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107417144
- length: 276 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
- weight: 0.37kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: 'pity, like a naked new-born babe'
2. Metaphor, synecdoche and cognition
3. The drift towards cognition in rhetorical manuals
4. A Midsummer Night's Dream
7. The Sonnets
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