Author(s): Zahra JAFARI

Conceptual Theory of Metaphor (CTM), first proposed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), is an approach to metaphor which releases it from the bounds of language and instead places it in the domain of cognition. According to this approach, metaphor and cognition are in a bilateral relationship, that is, each metaphor has a cognitive basis and conceptualization in the mind mostly takes place via metaphors. In this regard, the main function of metaphor is to lay ground for talking about one concept in terms of another concept. In this process, some features of one conceptual domain (source domain) which is mostly concrete are transferred to another domain (target domain) which is mostly abstract.

Since metaphor is among the widely used tropes in literary discourse, CTM can be used for analyzing the role of metaphors in such discourse. Relative to other approaches, this approach can provide a better explanation for the presence of different metaphorical structures in literary texts. On the basis of this, the present article aims to investigate the role of animal metaphors in King Lear from the viewpoints of traditional rhetoric and CTM and show the advantages of the latter over the former for explaining the role of metaphorical structures in contributing to the coherence of this play.


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