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The Mind Style of Electra: Displacement, Negation, Death

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This article investigates the characterization of Electra by examining aspects of her ‘mind style’ — a notion taken from Stylistics, based on the idea that distinctive patterns in a character’s use of language reflect the workings of his or her mind. Three aspects of Electra’s mind style are discussed, each connected to a particular linguistic pattern: (1) her sense of displacement from the royal palace, evident from the way in which she linguistically configures Argive space; (2) her sense of being deprived of an alternative life, evident from her use of negation and related expressions; and (3) her metaphorical conception of her existence as a kind of social death. Various concepts from cognitive linguistics, specifically construal and conceptual integration (blending), are applied in the analysis. Each of the investigated aspects points at a world view which focuses on the life which Electra is unable to live, because of the influence of her mother and Aegisthus.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCahiers du Théâtre Antique
Pages (from-to)257-282
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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