“Leda and the Swan”’s Revisions: A Cognitive Stylistic Analysis

  •  Hua Guo    


Previous literary studies on the revision of “Leda and the Swan” by William B. Yeats are mainly concerned with its psychological, social and historical implications conveyed by the relationship between Leda and the swan, and seldom explain the realization of this relationship in linguistic terms and its reception by the readership. Stylistic studies can furnish linguistic evidence for literary interpretation. Building on previous literary criticism and stylistic analysis, this study takes the first stanza as an example and conducts a cognitive stylistic analysis of the poem’s three versions by means of Langacker’s reference point model and dynamic discourse analysis framework. The poet’s aspiration to achieve subtle balance in the relationship through syntactic and semantic alteration is thus better understood and the possibility of applying Langacker’s cognitive grammar to stylistic analysis of poetry is tentatively explored.

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