Tragic Props and Cognitive Function

Aspects of the Function of Images in Thinking


By applying aspects of cognitive psychology to a study of three key tragic props, this book examines the importance of visual imagery in ancient Greek tragedy. The shield, the urn and the mask are props which serve as controls for investigating the connection between visual imagery and the spectators' intellectual experience of tragic drama. As vehicles for conceptual change the props point to a function of imagery in problem solving. Connections between the visual and the cognitive in tragedy, particularly through image shape and its potential for various meanings, add a new perspective to scholarship on the role of the visual in ancient performance. These connections also add weight to the importance of imagery in contemporary problem solving and creative thought.
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Biographical Note

Colleen Chaston, Ph.D. (2005) in Classics, Victoria University of Wellington, is a Visiting Fellow at The Australian National University.


Classical scholars and students of Greek tragedy, cognitive psychologists with an interest in imagery function, specialists and non-specialists in the field of metaphor, general readers interested in the power of images


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