The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0134  Monday, 24 January 2005

From:           Douglas Galbi <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 21 Jan 2005 12:17:28 -0500
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare and the Invention of Metaphor and Language

 >PROFESSOR VS RAMACHANDRAN: Our language is replete with what we might
 >call synaesthetic metaphors, where you are sort of linking different
 >sensory systems in metaphorical usage. As, for example, you say loud
 >shirt. My shirt's not making any noise, why do you call it loud shirt,
 >you instantly understand what I'm talking about. It heightens your
 >appreciation of its vivid colour. Or when you say cheddar cheese is
 >sharp. Obviously, cheese isn't sharp, if you rub it on your skin it's
 >soft but then you say well no no no, I mean it tastes sharp but there's
 >a circularity and we're using a tactile adjective to describe a taste.>>
 >Tim Carroll believes the genius of Shakespeare comes when he goes
 >beyond [synaesthetic] sense metaphors to ones which involve links to
 >more abstract ideas.

While Shakespeare undoubtedly had an individual, biological genius, the
particular process discussed has a strong connection to general currents
of sixteenth-century English history. Relationships among the senses
were a matter of intense political, cultural, and religious controversy.
For a presentation and analysis of some of the relevant political,
cultural, and religious history, see http://www.galbithink.org/sense-s5.htm

Douglas Galbi

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