Based on various models of metonymy, this book distinguishes metonymic drama structure from the metaphoric, symbolic, and allegorical.
Author: Jutka Devenyi
Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Based on various models of metonymy, this book distinguishes metonymic drama structure from the metaphoric, symbolic, and allegorical. It applies Kristeva's theory of the "semiotic" to dramatic texts and Barker's observations on the private body to their potential theatrical representation in order to argue that there is a relationship between fragmented representations of the subject and metonymic drama structure. In the four plays this book investigates (Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, Racine's Phedre, and Buchner's Danton's Death), the dramatic hero goes through a process that disrupts his or her consciousness, which in turn is reflected and accentuated by dramatic structure. These changes in mind can be isolated on all levels of dramatic representation: aesthetic, linguistic, and dramaturgical. The ideology resonating in the dramatic world has a special connection with structure, which manifests itself in unique and different ways in the plays. Nevertheless, despite the uniqueness of representation, it is always metonymic structure that seems to parallel the fragmentation of consciousness. Having distinguished the functions of metonymy in drama as a potential focus of structure from those of the other major tropes, the book then examines its variants without evolutionary considerations. The argument differs from prevailing concepts of the two master tropes, formulated by Burke, Lodge, Ricoeur, and Laplanche. The book does not focus on their categorical separation, but investigates the possibilities of a creative mind to depict the world in a way that actively involves and challenges the audience.