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«Uluslararası Sosyal Araştırmalar Dergisi The Journal of International Social Research Cilt: 7 Sayı: 32 Volume: 7 Issue: 32 ...»

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Lear’s daughters are human beings, yet cruel as beasts, lacking any sense of sympathy. In Knight’s word “they are therefore throwbacks in the evolutionary process: they have not developed proper humanity” (1964: 183). Lear’s warning to Kent as “Come not between the dragon and his wrath” (I.i.122 ) is a clear foreshadowing for how the events would turn for Lear as a result of his wrath and inability to see the nature of those around him. As King Lear stops to see those around him he uses the words “less as a means of communication with others than a means of expressing what goes on within himself” (Clemen, 1966: 134). Evans (1952) concludes that what visualizes the violence of action in King Lear is the presence of lower animal images employed by Lear.

The world of animals is also evoked by the imagery: they give the play not only

background and atmosphere, but also a vital connection with earthly existence (Bradley, 1904:

266). All of these images contribute to the central theme of the play; thus, amplifying and supporting the mood of the tragedy. Shakespeare spares none of his characters from the

- 121 suffering; implying that as long as evil is loose in the world it will befall on both the tragic protagonist and “the bystander who, because no one is isolated, is enmeshed in the general human situation (Bechtold, 1948: 289).

3. Conceptual Metaphor Theory Metaphor has been one of the issues of detailed research and analysis in various currents of linguistics. Since each current theorizes language differently, there are different approaches to metaphor in linguistics. One of the recent approaches to metaphor in linguistics is Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) or Contemporary Theory of Metaphor which emerged from Cognitive Linguistics. Proposed first by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), CMT can be considered as one of the pillars of Cognitive Linguistics. It can be said that no linguistic theorization regards such a pivotal status for metaphor as Cognitive Linguistics does.

Since Cognitive Linguistics emerged as the by-product of rapid developments in cognitive sciences in 1960s and 1970s, CMT considers a crucial role for cognition and cognitive forces in the formation of different metaphors. Thus, it is not accidental that metaphors in this approach are considered conceptual rather than linguistic. As Lakoff and Johnson (1980: 6) put


Metaphor is not just a matter of language, that is, of mere words. We shall argue that, on the contrary, human thought processes are largely metaphorical.

Considering metaphors as building blocks of human thought and conceptual structure is one of the most important features of CMT which distinguishes it from traditional and other linguistic approaches to metaphor. Indeed, it can be said that such an approach frees metaphor from the bounds of language and instead locates it in the vast realm of human cognition.

Another characteristic of CMT is its claim to the ubiquity of metaphor in everyday language. As opposed to traditional views, CMT does not consider an exclusive field of usage for metaphors. In traditional approaches, metaphor, like other tropes or figures of speech, is mainly a device or embellishment which is imposed on ordinary language and consequently transforms such language into poetic or figurative language. Hence, an exclusive area of usage, i.e. literature, is considered for metaphor and metaphorization in this view. Due to this, the focus of traditional studies of metaphor is mostly on literary texts and the like. On the contrary, CMT does not regard an especial position for literature in researches on metaphor and metaphorical language. Since metaphors are necessary for the formation of concepts or conceptualization, their presence can be explored in any linguistic manifestation of those concepts, not simply in one specific domain like literature. In other words, conceptualization and linguistic manifestation of concepts are not at all secure from the influences of metaphorization and this matter guarantees the presence of conceptual metaphors in different domains.

Another feature of CMT is its emphasis on the role of bodily experiences and embodied practices in the formation of different metaphors. This means that human experiences of the real world provide the basis for many metaphors we encounter in our everyday language. In this regard, Evans and Green (2006: 286) relate CMT to two principal hypotheses of cognitive


1) Embodied cognition which considers bodily experiences as the origin of conceptual structure.

2) Semantic structure is a reflection of conceptual structure.

The first hypothesis shows that metaphors are not only related to cognition but also to a special kind of cognition, that is, embodied cognition. Such hypothesis can explain the salient role of body organs and bodily actions in the formation of various metaphors. The second hypothesis states that the true location of metaphors is not in language but in cognition. In other

- 122 words, metaphors should be studied conceptually rather than semantically because they are concepts, not linguistic elements.

For validating their theory of metaphor, Lakoff and Johnson (1999: 119) enumerate and

criticize some central tenets of traditional theory. These tenets are as following:

1) Metaphor is a matter of words, not thought.

2) Metaphorical language is not part of ordinary conventional language.

3) Metaphorical language is deviant.

4) Metaphors express similarities.

Since CMT is a critical reaction to traditional theory and its tenets, the definition it provides for metaphor should be free of such tenets. Semino (2008: 5) provides one such


Conceptual metaphors are defined as systematic sets of correspondences, or mappings, across conceptual domains, whereby a target domain is partly structured in terms of a different source domain.

In this definition, metaphors are considered to be essentially conceptual, not linguistic.

Thus, metaphor is a matter of thought, not words. In addition, there is no point in this definition showing that metaphors belong to a special kind of language since it mainly delineates metaphors in terms of concepts, not language. Finally, this definition does not consider similarity as an essential element for defining metaphor. Instead, it uses the notion of “correspondence” or “mapping” which is held between different conceptual domains in the process of metaphor formation. Correspondence or mapping is a general term which denotes any kind of link or connection held between different conceptual domains and thus it does not necessarily mean similarity. The advantage of this term over similarity is that there are many different correspondences between various conceptual domains which are not based on similarity between those domains.

Defining metaphor in such a way leads to the characterization of different kinds of metaphor. In this view, metaphors can be classified in terms of factors such as conventionality, function, generality and nature (Kovecses, 2010). The functional classification is one of the most famous ones in this regard. Accordingly, Lakoff and Johnson (1980) propose a triad

categorization as following:

1) Structural metaphors: one concept is metaphorically structured in terms of another.

2) Orientational metaphors: a whole system of concepts is organized with respect to one another.

3) Ontological metaphors: a kind of metaphor responsible for identifying our experiences as entities or substances.

This categorization shows that each type of metaphor is responsible for fulfilling certain functions and thus different metaphors are used for different concepts. Although these metaphors are different from each other, there is a point of similarity between all of them. In each metaphor, there is a conceptual domain (target domain) which is structured in terms of another domain (source domain) and the important point is that the first domain is more


than the second one. In other words, if we consider the relationship between the two domains as A is B, it can be said that A is the abstract domain which is metaphorized and B is the concrete domain through which the process of metaphorization is carried out.

4. Cognitive Analysis of Animal Metaphors in King Lear Although CMT does not consider a privileged status for literary texts, such texts are among the most studied data in CMT analyses. One of the reasons of using CMT for metaphor

- 123 analysis in literature emerges from its power for describing and explaining metaphorical systems in literary works. Since the main function of metaphor is representation of reality or some aspects of reality (Semino, 2008: 31), the set of metaphors used by a specific writer in his/her works can elucidate his/her attitude towards reality and the world. Thus, such analysis can show how metaphors are at the service of writers for construing reality and consequently foregrounding some aspects of it and backgrounding other aspects.

Whereas different writers use different metaphors in their works, CMT shows that some kind of systematicity can be observed in such variegated metaphors. In fact, one of the main claims of CMT is that metaphors in literature are not in essence different from metaphors in other fields and they are mainly constructed on the basis of ordinary language metaphors. As

Lakoff and Turner (1989: 67) put it:

Poetic thought uses the mechanisms of everyday thought, but it extends them, elaborates them, and combines them in ways that go beyond the ordinary.

This shows that there exist certain tools for transforming ordinary thought into poetic thought. In other words, ordinary thought or language plays a crucial and constructive role in the formation of poetic thought or language. In this regard, Lakoff and Turner (1989) mention a number of processes through which ordinary language is transformed into poetic language.

These processes are as following:

1) Extending: a conventional conceptual metaphor is taken and expressed in a new way via introducing new elements in the source domain.

2) Elaborating: an existing element of the source domain is elaborated in an unusual way. As opposed to extending, no new element is added to the source domain in elaboration.

3) Questioning: the very appropriateness of common ordinary metaphors is questioned by the poet.

4) Combining: it is perhaps the most powerful mechanism to go beyond everyday conceptual metaphors. Here, different conceptual metaphors are combined and as a result a composite metaphor is formed.

It can be said that these are the main mechanisms for creating metaphors and metaphorical systems in literary works. Each literary work may include one or all of these mechanisms. As mentioned before, the important point is that these mechanisms are based on everyday conceptual metaphors. In other words, ordinary conceptual metaphors function as raw material which is processed by those mechanisms and as a result novel literary metaphors are created.

The plays of Shakespeare, in general, and his tragedies, in specific, are considered as the masterpieces of play writing. One of these tragedies is King Lear which has a high status among his tragedies. In this tragedy, Shakespeare uses different stylistic selections and techniques for creating a prototypical tragedy. Among various tropes used in this play, metaphor has an outstanding position undoubtedly. This play consists of several metaphorical systems, each of which has its own specific function. One of these metaphorical systems is the system of animal metaphors which has been elaborated by Shakespeare to fit into the overall structure of the tragedy. Thus, investigating this metaphorical system can help us understand the structure and organization of this masterpiece.

In the framework of CMT, animals are among the most productive source domains (Kovecses, 2010: 19). Different animals and their characteristics can be used metaphorically for referring to human beings and human characteristics. On the basis of this, a very productive

conceptual metaphor is proposed in CMT:

- 124 MAN IS ANIMAL As mentioned before, in this formula man is regarded as target domain whereas animal is regarded as source domain. As a result, a set of correspondences or mappings between the two domains is held. Such mappings are unidirectional, that is, from animal domain to man

domain and not vice versa. For example, consider the following sentence:

a) That man is a sly fox.

In this sentence, the attribute of slyness or the power of deceiving others, which is considered to be one of the intrinsic characteristics of foxes, is allocated to the man via the image of a fox. What should be noticed is that we cannot replace the position of man and sly fox because such replacement will change the conceptual metaphor “MAN IS ANIMAL”. This sentence is the linguistic expression or manifestation of that conceptual metaphor and thus it should accord with that metaphor.

For studying the role of animal metaphors in King Lear, we should first explore the linguistic manifestations of these metaphors and, then, explore the conceptual metaphors

underlying such linguistic expressions. For example, consider the following sentences:

a) Lear: Peace, Kent! Come not between the dragon and his wrath (I.i.122)

b) Lear: My lady's father! my lord's knave: you whoreson dog! you slave! you cur!


c) Lear: More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child than the sea-monster!

(I.iv.267-268) In these sentences, different linguistic manifestations of “MAN IS ANIMAL” conceptual metaphor are mentioned. The italic words are animal metaphors. As these examples

show, this conceptual metaphor can be specified as following:


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