This study aims at investigating a selection of passages from Shakespeare’s Richard II and Marlowe’s Edward II from a Conceptual Integration Theory (CIT) perspective, with particular attention to figurative descriptions of bad counselling/ors through organicistic and plant imagery. This investigation explores the intertwining of multiple imagery for the representation of the Body Politic in the staging of English monarchical history. Although the importance of both body- and plant-related images for figurative representations in Elizabethan drama has been vastly investigated and acknowledged by Shakespearean scholars, their copresence and conceptual integration have hardly been considered. For the purpose of better understanding such complex figurative representations and the flatterers’ role within such descriptions, Conceptual Integration Theory, or Blend Theory, offers an apt linguistic framework to investigate not only selective projections from different mental spaces, but also the instruments to highlight the so-called “vital relations” (Fauconnier & Turner 2002), their compression, and the emergence of complex integrated structures, of which the instances analysed are linguistic representations. The dissection of conceptual structures behind these figurative descriptions of kingship and bad counselling will hopefully give appreciable descriptions of their complexity and – arguably – of the cognitive effort necessary to conceive and interpret them.
Kings do not Fall Far from Bad Counsellors. The Figurative Representation of Kings and Flatterers in Shakespeare’s Richard II and Marlowe’s Edward II / Bagnulo, Leonardo. - (2023). (Intervento presentato al convegno 31st AIA CONFERENCE FUTURE HORIZONS: NEW BEGINNINGS IN ENGLISH STUDIES tenutosi a Rende).