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Figures of a Changing WorldMetaphor and the Emergence of Modern Culture$
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Harry Berger, Jr.

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257478

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257478.001.0001

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Ulysses as Modernist

Ulysses as Modernist

From Metonymy to Metaphor in Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida

(p.115) Eleven Ulysses as Modernist
Figures of a Changing World

Harry Berger

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines Ulysses' speech from William Shakespeare's tragedy, Troilus and Cressida. The passage demonstrates how natural disorders produce social disorders, and that planetary and political commotions are related by metonymy, not metaphor. It resonates with the awareness that its commonplaces are more fictive than real, real only to the extent that the royal actor successfully communicates them to others. According to E. M. W. Tillyard, the speech expresses the familiar medieval correspondence between macrocosm and body politic. The speech is in fact a challenge to medieval thought for it demetonymizes this order and shows it up as a metaphoric construction; it rides on a more complicated perception of order which displays its modern commitments by putting traditional metonymies in metaphoric scare quotes.

Keywords:   Ulysses' speech, Troilus and Cressida, E. M. W. Tillyard, metaphor, metonymy, medieval thought

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