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Dramatic Minds

Performance, Cognition, and the Representation of Interiority


Werner Huber, Elke Mettinger and Eva Zettelmann

This volume seeks to put drama and its neglected mental dimension into the limelight. While narrative fiction with its intricate ways of rendering consciousness has been deemed an ideal playground for approaches of a cognitivist leaning, the dramatic genre has been all but ignored by cognitive literary studies. Providing insights into such drama-related issues as subject construction, interiority, performativity, empathy, reader manipulation and reception control, the contributions to this collection testify to the richness and variety of the cognitivist enterprise.
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“Now is this golden crown like a deep well” – Richard II from a Cognitive Point of View


Elke Mettinger

“Now is this golden crown like a deep well”1 – Richard II from a Cognitive Point of View

Shakespeare’s Richard II lends itself to an analysis from a cognitive point of view, for “it is deliberately a play of character, thought, and emotion rather than action” (Wells 9). I will set out to prove the value of a cognitive approach by demonstrating how some of its concepts may help to make transparent the dominant idea of the drama, the rise of Bolingbroke and the fall of Richard, and how contemporary spectators might have perceived the play. Accordingly, the first part of the paper will be dedicated to metaphor, the second part will turn to performance and audience reception.



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