Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Cognitive Semiotics

Editor-in-Chief: Bundgaard, Peer F.

2 Issues per year

See all formats and pricing
More options …

Complexities of cognition in poetic art: Matthew Arnold's “The Last Word”

Margaret H. Freeman
Published Online: 2014-05-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cogsem-2014-0005


The cognitive complexity of Matthew Arnold's poem “The Last Word” has resulted in diverging literary critical evaluations. By applying several cognitive approaches to the poem, I develop a reading that reveals the poem's underlying coherence. I then address the question of how that reading might reflect Arnold's own intentions and motivations in responding to adversaries of his social criticism. In doing so, I hope to present a way of showing how both cognitive approaches to literature and traditional literary expertise complement each other in contributing to our understanding of the complexities of human minding: the integration of sensations, emotions, and conceptual reasoning that constitute the way we experience and interact with each other and the world of which we are a part.

Keywords: Matthew Arnold; cognitive poetics; blending; authorial intention; motivation

About the article

Margaret H. Freeman

Margaret H. Freeman is Emeritus Professor of English at Los Angeles Valley College and co-director of Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts (www. myrifield.org). Her many publications in cognitive poetics mark the expansion of her research from studies in cognitive linguistics to include phenomenology, cognitive science, and aesthetics. A selection of her papers may be found at http://ssrn.com/author=1248859.

Published Online: 2014-05-08

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: Cognitive Semiotics, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 83–101, ISSN (Online) 2235-2066, ISSN (Print) 1662-1425, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cogsem-2014-0005.

Export Citation

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in