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"Is Love a tender Thing?". Metaphors of the Word Love in Shakespeare's Plays

Author(s): Heli Tissari

Journal: Studi Linguistici e Filologici Online
ISSN 1724-5230

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 131;
Date: 2006;
Original page

From a cognitive linguist’s point of view, it seems possible that a majority of Shakespeare’s metaphors are universal rather than idiosyncratic. If metaphors construct our thoughts (Lakoff & Johnson 1980), why should his thoughts be different? Or is he too far removed from us in time to use the same metaphors as we? This article suggests preliminary answers to these questions, introducing examples of familiar cognitive metaphors of love which occur with the verb or noun love in his drama, and providing simple figures concerning the frequency of a number of cognitive metaphor types in his plays. It also discusses the possibility that the metaphors might vary according to the kind of relationships being discussed using the verb or noun love, ranging from Romeo’s love of Juliet to the loyalty of subjects towards their rulers.
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