A Conceptual Metaphor Account of Desdemona: Body, Emotions, Ethics

  •  Miriam Mezghani    


This paper aims to delve into Desdemona’s mind in Shakespeare’s Othello. In this paper, Desdemona’s utterances are perused through conceptual metaphor analysis. The objective of this study is to disclose Desdemona’s cognitive complexity, and conceptual metaphor analysis offers an opportunity to enter Desdemona’s cognitive world notwithstanding the degradation of her speech. These conceptual metaphors will follow three major axes of scrutiny: body, emotions, and ethics. The findings of this paper demonstrate that a cognitive exploration of the character reveals a structured system of thoughts where corporeal passions, emotional acuity, and ethical choices are culminated in a coherent and dynamic female protagonist. Desdemona’s conceptual metaphors confirm a sensual and wilful persona who broke an ascetic image of femininity associated with conditioning and interdictions. The study aspires to demonstrate how Desdemona would become a haunting presence on stage, triumphant even as all other characters fell, and how she would reach from beyond the grave to hold the audience in the throes of empathy. The intent of the paper is also to point out that conceptual metaphor analysis, with its ties to cognitive poetics, can furnish character criticism with dissimilar readings.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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