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Shakespearean Neuroplay : Reinvigorating the Study of Dramatic Texts and Performance through Cognitive Science - A. Cook

Shakespearean Neuroplay

Reinvigorating the Study of Dramatic Texts and Performance through Cognitive Science

By: A. Cook

Hardcover Published: 15th October 2010
ISBN: 9780230105478
Number Of Pages: 205

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Shakespearean Neuroplay provides a methodology for applying cognitive science to the study of drama and performance. With Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a test subject and the cognitive linguistic theory of conceptual blending as a tool, Cook unravels the “mirror held up to nature” at the center of Shakespeare’s play. Hamlet’s mirror becomes a conceptual structure that invisibly scaffolds our understanding of the play. A lucid explanation of both contemporary science and Hamlet, Shakespearean Neuroplay unveils Shakespeare’s textual theatrics and sheds light on blind spots in theatre and performance theory.

'Cogent, well-researched, and well-written a heartfelt and compelling argument for the importance of a harmonization of art and science on both sides of the disciplinary divide.' Theatre Survey

"A rare book that adds new dimensions to our understanding of theatre, literature, and the human mind. Cook's remarkably original approach offers deep insights presented with striking clarity and elegance." - Gilles Fauconnier, Distinguished Research Professor of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, USA

"Shakespearean Neuroplay is an important contribution to theatre and performance studies. Rigorously engaging current cognitive studies, Cook offers nuanced and sometimes surprising insights into Shakespeare (particularly Hamlet) that are of use not only to scholars, but also to directors and actors. Integrating cognitive linguistics, literary studies, performance theory, theatre history, and Shakespeare studies, Cook's approach to Shakespeare provides a rich meditation on how our minds work in relationship to language, imagery, and embodiment, and how, on the most basic human level, we understand and experience theatre." - Rhonda Blair, Professor of Theatre, Southern Methodist University, USA and President of the American Society for Theatre Research

"This is a startlingly original and courageous exploration of cognitive blending theory and its usefulness for understanding the epistemological complexities of Shakespeare's Hamlet, in both text and performance. Cook offers a comprehensive reading of Hamlet's resonant mirror metaphor that extends the traditional rhetorics common to both literary criticism and theatre studies toward the cognitive-linguistic dynamics underlying both. Utilizing Cook's rare combination of experience in theatrical production, her expertise in Shakespeare studies, and her ground-up familiarity with the emerging field of cognitive performance theory, this study vigorously participates in ongoing reconfigurations across the disciplines that are now enabled perhaps even necessitated by embodiment studies in the humanities." - F. Elizabeth Hart, Associate Professor of English, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA and co-editor of Performance and Cognition

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Who's There?p. 1
Stand and Unfold Yourselfp. 3
Rivals of My Watchp. 14
Minutes of This Nightp. 20
Linguistic Synaesthesiap. 23
Half Centsp. 27
Cunning of the Seenp. 30
Her Speech Is Nothingp. 36
Mirror Mirror; Mirror rorriMp. 43
The Critical Mirrorp. 45
The Rear-View Mirrorp. 48
The Mirror Blendp. 57
Meaning Superflux-A Cognitive Linguistic Reading of Hamletp. 65
Hand and Soulp. 69
Enacturesp. 77
Hamlet's an Old Minnowp. 84
Play's the Thing-A Cognitive Linguistic Performance Analysisp. 91
Inexplicable Dumb Shows on an Unworthy Scaffoldp. 92
Casting-to out-Herod Herodp. 105
Gesture and Performance-"tweaks me by th' nose"p. 112
Past/Future, Microscope/Telescope, Performance/Sciencep. 123
An Eye of Youp. 125
Surpassing Showp. 138
The Inmost Partp. 141
Conclusion: A Dying Voicep. 149
A Rhapsody of Wordsp. 150
An Eye of Viewp. 154
Notesp. 159
Indexp. 197
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780230105478
ISBN-10: 0230105475
Series: Cognitive Studies in Literature and Performance
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 205
Published: 15th October 2010
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 1