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Anger in the Oresteia

Irarrazabal Elliott, Manuela; (2019) Anger in the Oresteia. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The study of ancient emotions has attracted growing attention in classical scholarship in recent years. This thesis seeks to contribute to that growing body of research. It examines the representation of anger in the Oresteia. While dealing with a culture remote in time, its religion, social structure and language, I attempt to extract the experiential base behind the dramatisation of the emotion by using cognitive science as a basis for my analysis. I propose that the representation of anger in Aeschylus indicates a rich conceptualisation of the emotion with a sophisticated degree of psychological insight and realism. Anger is a complex psychological phenomenon involving cognitive processing, bodily change, and social interaction. Tragedy, a medium that deals with intense emotion in a social context, in interactive form through both word and action, lends itself exceptionally well to the presentation, and conceptualisation, of anger as a multifaceted and complex experience and phenomenon. The methodology and scope of this thesis enables the enquiry into this conceptual richness. While I draw on previous research on ancient emotions, both in method and content, I also develop them further by highlighting the importance of shaping the enquiry in a way that allows theoretical breadth and analytical depth. I start out from the cognitive hypothesis that emotions are a function of the mind to explore how the characters in the trilogy shape their anger in terms of evaluations of social interactions. I use other Greek sources as a comparative framework for this investigation. I then treat cognition in a broader sense as having the body with all its sensorimotor capacities as its context. The use of cognitive metaphors will enable an understanding that accounts for aspects of anger with an important presence in the text such as overdetermination and desire. The dramatisation of anger is also considered as a socially embedded phenomenon, developing within and continuously affected by a social environment. Finally, I will approach anger from the perspective of the Gods both as immanent forces and as anthropomorphic entities

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Anger in the Oresteia
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079273
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