Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4070
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4097
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There are currently attempts to dovetail classical and conceptual metaphor to improve analyses of metaphor in political discourse, but the results, to date, are not robust or sufficiently comprehensive. In this article, I return to Aristotle’s original definition of metaphor in order to set up a framework for the analysis of political metaphors. I first designate the exact position of Aristotle’s theory within conceptual metaphor theory, in order to avoid a lack of coherence between classical and conceptual metaphor theory. In the combination of the two theories I am able to define three styles of purposeful political use of metaphor: reason-based, emotion-based and strategy-based usage of (conceptual) metaphor. These styles are significant, because using a political metaphor is performing a political speech-act, and an important purpose of that speech-act, besides persuasion, is establishing a political identity and style. Examples of the three metaphor purposes and styles show how they can be identified in political discourse. The framework can be used in further political analysis to assess what the role of rhetorical style is in political processes.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): metaphor; political discourse; political style; rhetoric
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