An Attempt of Cognitive Analysis of Stage Images by the Example of the Concept of “The State”

Keywords: cognitive analysis, the concept of “The State,” conceptual metaphor, conceptual symbol, stage image, the language of theater.


The article develops the idea of cognitive
analysis of stage images created by non-verbal
means of post-dramatic theater and studies
the mechanism of formation of concepts
on the basis of theatrical metaphors
and symbols. The extrapolation of the lingualcognitive
approach onto the language
of theater presumes interpretation of visual
stage actions as a literal manifestation
of the producer’s meta-text, which
is the mental form of the natural language
and is read by the audience in reverse order.
Thus, the conceptual metaphor of George
Lakoff and Mark Johnson, being paradigmatic
and lining up an analogy towards action,
becomes transformed in the context of theater
into a conceptual symbol, since it presents
a secondary semantic superstructure over
the visual acoustic forms. As an example,
an analysis is made of the concept
of “The State” in the article on the material
of performances of several producers.
As the result, it becomes clear that the mental
image represented in language
by the word “state” becomes the axis
of semantic projection (the conceptual symbol),
forming the symbolic connection between
the concepts of “Construction” and “Hierarchy,”
which relate to each other as the transmission
of the empirical and metaphysical essence
of the researched image and demonstrates
the principle of interaction of lingual
and mythical thinking.

The Art of Theater