Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Writing,rhetoric

Study of Metaphors in Robert Frost’s Poems

Author ZhouSai
Tutor WangLiJuan
School Nanchang University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Robert Frost Conceptual Metaphor Theory Conceptual Integration Theory metaphor
CLC H315
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
Downloads 208
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Metaphor is the life principle of poetry, and it’s the main text and honor of the poets. The creation of poetry is indispensible from the use of metaphor. Poets express their profound philosophical thoughts via metaphor to stimulate the readers to think and imagine, thus to provoke emotional resonance with them. Robert Frost is considered as one of the most famous poets in the 20th century in America. His poems are deceptively simple, but deep in thought. There are abundant of metaphors in his poetry.Bases on this, the thesis studies metaphors present in Robert Frost’s poems using the conceptual metaphor theory and conceptual integration theory to reveal the originality by Frost and the underlying meanings of his poetry, so as to offer a comparatively new perspective for Frost"s poetry interpretation and to prove that the cognitive mechanisms of conceptual metaphor theory and conceptual integration theory can work as effective tools in poetry interpretation and meaning construction. The following research questions are put forward according to the above-mentioned study objectives.(1)What kind of metaphors are there in Frost’s poetry?(2)What’s the intricate link between Frost’s view of metaphor and cognitive view of metaphor?(3)Do all those metaphors support major claims stated in the conceptual metaphor theory as well as the cognitive mechanism in conceptual integration theory?Based on the research questions above, this study analyzes The Pasture. After Apple-Picking, Fire and Ice, and Come in, four poems of Frost wrote in different periods from the perspective of cognition. And the following conclusions are thus drawn:First, nature is a very important theme in Frost’s poetry and the poet uses a great many nature images like pasture, water, leaves, apples, woods, fire and ice. etc. to express those conceptual metaphors like death is sleep, death is dark, woods is life. woods is death, fire is desire, ice is hatred, etc. as the media to demonstrate his inner world and hence the realities of human souls, which is full of metaphorical meanings and rich connotations in his poems.Second, the intricate link between Frost’s view of metaphor and cognitive view of metaphor is unveiled through the case analyses; metaphor is an organ of perception which helps us have a better understanding towards the meaning of abstract concepts. The metaphors in Frost’s poetry come from the basic conceptual metaphors in our daily life and they are based on the poet’s daily experience and knowledge, which is from the poet’s everyday life and from his physical or mental feelings. We think in metaphors and metaphors are in our language. The poetic metaphors lie on the basic conceptual metaphors we all possess, and the poets can create vivid and fresh metaphorical expressions via their extraordinary imagination and perception as well as their profound writing skills to extend, elaborate and compose the basic metaphors in our ordinary life.Last but not least, it is proved that the cognitive mechanisms of conceptual metaphor and integration theory can work as effective and powerful cognitive tools in poetry interpretation and meaning construction by close study and thorough analyses of the four poems by Frost, applying the conceptual metaphor theory and the net model of conceptual integration theory.In a word, to analyze metaphors in poetry from the cognitive perspective offers a new angle to poetry interpretation and it is a field worth of further study.

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